During Chicago summers, Monday nights mean one thing…. Downtown Sound at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park. Yesterday, on July 8th, the humidity was at obnoxiously ridiculous levels, but that didn’t stop an enormous crowd from coming to the Loop for some amazing (and free!) performances.
This week, the stage at Pritzker was home to a group of Chicago-natives, The Cairo Gang, and Dawes. The area started to fill up around 4 pm, and concert-goers looked super pumped (and sweaty). At around 6:30, The Cairo Gang hit the stage. This local group has a very distinct sound. It’s something like lively, classic rock meets British 70s folk instrumentation, and it’s awesome. Their new “mini-album,” Tiny Rebels, is set to drop on July 23rd.
After the Chicago-natives said their goodbyes, WXRT’s Marty Lennartz took the stage to introduce the night’s headliners: Dawes. The band lit up the stage, and the crowd was immediately charged with positive energy.
The band opened with a couple 93XRT favorites, including “From a Window Seat,” and “If I Wanted Someone.” Dawes had an extremely diverse set, featuring everything from upbeat, bouncy tunes to some softer ballads. They focused on their latest album Stories Don’t End, which came out in April, but also highlighted some of their older work.
I think the coolest part of the show was watching how awesome the crowd interaction was. Even though there were a lot of people there, Dawes managed to make the show feel really intimate. The audience was singing along to their favorite songs, with their hands waving in the hot summer air. Best of all, there was this amazing moment when Taylor Goldsmith had the crowd sing acapella to “When My Time Comes.” The band stopped playing; everything was suddenly quiet. As the audience started to sing out, there was this amazing, palpable energy between the crowd and the band.
Dawes performed on David Letterman last week, and you can check that out here. They’re on tour through the end of October, and they’ll be coming back to Illinois for Champaign-Urbana’s Pygmalion Music Festival in the fall.
Make sure you check out the upcoming installments of Downtown Sound, Mondays at Jay Pritzker Pavilion. You can find the schedule here.