Santa Cruz Good Times

Oct 07th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size


blog_Dave-RawlingsRawlings imports an element of surprise at Dawes’ recent concert in Santa Cruz

Remember when an encore was something a band had to earn? Most likely, you probably can’t. That’s because a standing ovation or a crowd calling for more, waiting in front of a stage while the rock star at hand walks off to the wings—oh so momentarily, has become a mundane ritual rather than a sign of rare, high regard. I often feel a sense of disappointment at the contrived nature of how show endings go off these days, wondering why bands end a set at all when they (and the rest of us) know that, whether or not anyone asks for it, they’ll pick up the mic and power through their amps for an additional few songs in straightforward form. Why bother walking offstage in the first place?

I can see the tombstone now: Encore as an element of surprise, may you R.I.P.

blog_DawesSo, it was a pleasant refilling of the well-of-faith, when Los Angeles’ The Band-meets-Springsteen-meets-Billy Joel ensemble, Dawes, finished its recent set in town at The Crepe Place on Friday, Feb. 5, with a true show-stopper. In the middle of the emerging quartet’s stellar album closer “Peace in the Valley,” singer Taylor Goldsmith looked to the side stage and said to a hidden figure standing behind a towering speaker, “Come on out here!” Then, like some mystifying ninja cowboy, a grand Dave Rawlings—tall, lean, and sporting his five o’clock shadow and Stetson hat, jumped over the Crepe’s soundboard and partition to land smack in the middle of the Dawes boys. It was certainly a sight to be seen—and heard.

Rawlings, mesmerizing guitar flatpicker and partner of Gillian Welch, had just left The Catalyst where he’d performed his own sweet set as the Dave Rawlings Machine (yes, I am spoiled and was there, too) and had headed to The Crepe Place for this final action of the evening. In rare electric guitar form, usurping Goldsmith’s axe for a searing solo that raised the final song to new heights, Rawlings had us all—even those who were unaware of his imposing status in the alt-country world—united in riled-up allegiance. When Rawlings finished plunging into great musical depths with the rest of the band backing, Goldsmith resumed the mic to announce, “Dave Rawlings—a legend!”

Whether it was all premeditated or not, who knows—it didn’t feel like it, and that’s what matters. It was an electrifying finale that had me smiling like it was my first concert, and I was thankful for the injection of spontaneity that made this encore all the more worthwhile. If there were any skeptics in the sold out venue at the start of the night, by that last song and surprise cameo, Rawlings certainly had them sold.

I headed home to hit my pillow thinking I’d witnessed something truly special, texting enough people along the way to share the moment. And I thought to myself, 'That’s how all show endings should leave you feeling.'

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger


Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share


Making a Scene

As it celebrates its 30th year, Santa Cruz County’s Open Studios is one of the most successful in the country—and a make-or-break event for many local artists


The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program


At Clothes Range

FashionART’s 10th anniversary show introduces a new generation of designers on the edge


A Ritual & Initiation

The Pope has come and gone, but his loving presence ignited new hope and goodness in many. While he was in NYC, China’s ruler arrived in Washington D.C. East (China) and West (Rome), meeting in the middle, under Libra, balancing sign of Right Relations. The Pope arrived at Fall Equinox. Things initiated at Fall Equinox are birthed at Winter Solstice. The Pope’s presence was a ritual, an initiation rite—like the Dalai Lama’s visits—offering prayers, teachings and blessings. Rituals anchor God’s plan into the world, initiating us to new realities, new rules. The Pope’s presence brings forth the Soul of the United States, its light piercing the veils of materialism. The Pope’s visit changed things. New questions arise, new reasons for living. A new wave of emerging life fills the air. Like a cocoon shifting, wings becoming visible. The winds are different now. Calling us to higher vision, moral values, virtues that reaffirm and offer hope for humanity. A changing of the guard has occurred. Appropriately, this is the week of the Jewish Festival of Sukkoth (’til Oct. 4), when we build temporary homes (little huts in nature), entering into a harvest of prayer and thanksgiving, understanding our fragile and impermanent existences. We are summoned to reflect upon our lives, our humanity, our nature, our spirit and each other. Offering gratitude, becoming a magnet for others. We observe. We see the needs. We love more.
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments


What’s your biggest pet peeve?

When people say they’re “going down” somewhere, and they’re actually traveling north. Julia Ragen, Santa Cruz, Psychologist


Downhill Cellars

An easy-drinking Chardonnay from Downhill Cellars


If whales have a message for humans, what might it be?

“Do not come in the water and join us.” Howard Hall, Santa Cruz, Retired


Wargin Wines

The wine world is buzzing about this Pinot Gris