If people needed a reason to see more live music, Thursday night at Fairfield Theatre Company's StageOne should have provided an ample one for the 100 or so folks in attendance. With Dawn Landes opening and Justin Townes Earle headlining, it was a heck of a show.
As many of you know, I've been a big Landes fan for a couple years now. Ever since I first popped "Fireproof" into my CD player, I can't stop listening to her. The singer/songwriter's new disc, "Sweet Heart Rodeo" is even better, says my review. Well Landes certainly didn't disappoint last night. It may have been the best 25-minute set I've ever seen. Seriously.
Flanked by her backing band, The Hounds, Landes delivered a sometimes stark and poignant and sometimes loud and immediate performance. She gave the crowd eight songs, three ("Young Girl," "Money In the Bank" and "Sweetheart of the Rodeo") from "Sweet Heart Rodeo."
I hadn't seen her perform in more than a year, and what I found most striking was the way she commanded the audience's attention. The two previous times I caught her, Landes was a more timid live player. That's no longer the case. She seemed far more comfortable, and results showed that.
The highlight of the set came at the right time, when she closed the show with "Kids In A Play." Always leave the audience wanting more, right?
Justin Townes Earle headlined, performing two sets. He played solo, but what's always so amazing about seeing Earle - the son of famed country icon Steve Earle - live is how adept his guitar playing is. Throughout one of his performances, it always seems like there are two guitar players, but it's just him.
Earle's best moment came on the poignant and immediately grabbing "Mama's Eyes," which is off his thoroughly excellent "Midnight at the Movies."
Lucky for you guys, I used this show to try my hand at adult filmmaking. Um, that doesn't sound right. Let's try again: Lucky for you guys, I used this show as an opportunity to try out my new mini camcorder (it even made that photo above!). Here are two Dawn Landes videos, and one from Justin Townes Earle. I think they came out so good, I'm going to start doing this at most gigs. Enjoy.