Baby Eagle Plays an Early Rockin’ Set at The Dakota Tavern

Date of show: April 9, 2011

As Baby Eagle, who may be known to most people as Steven Lambke of the Constantines, got on stage, he said, “We’re going to break with convention and start with the ‘Last Song of the Night’ and work backwards.” It was an early set, ending around 10pm, yet Baby Eagle still drew a good-sized crowd. The Proud Mothers, who are Shotgun Jimmie on drums and Ian Kehoe (Attack in Black) on bass, joined Baby Eagle for the set. Baby Eagle’s folk rock features Lambke’s off-kilter vocals, which carry a certain charm and a whole lot of honesty.

Most of his 11-song set was comprised of songs from his 2010 release, Dog Weather, including “Day of Our Departing,” “Broken Bones,” and the set opener. Additionally, Baby Eagle treated the crowd at The Dakota Tavern to a few new songs. Things started to heat up when Baby Eagle invited Will Kidman (also formerly of the Constantines) on stage for the last few songs of the set. The result was being completely blown away by Kidman’s effortless wailing on guitar (!) and Jimmie’s badass drumming. Looking at the stage, it felt like a privilege to see such an impressive group of musicians on stage together. The set ended with a banger, “Haybale Song,” with Kidman and Jimmie belting out on harmonies.

It was a special moment when, for the second song of the encore, Kehoe begrudgingly took the lead for a cover of The Beat’s “Rock N Roll Girl.” Before getting the crowd to start cheering, “Kehoe! Kehoe!” over and over, Lambke poked fun at Kehoe’s hesitation, saying, “His fake ID says hesitation.” It ended up being a great cover and fantastic end to the set.

Richard Laviolette

Richard Laviolette’s banter is awkward, charming, and adorable. The Guelph-based singer-songwriter started off by announcing his desire to emulate John Darnielle of The Mountain Goats, who he had seen in concert the week before, with his attire. “I never wear suit jackets on stage,” he remarked, as he introduced a song called “Mountain Goats,” a tribute to the band he listened to after a break up. Laviolette’s folk can be a little more rock driven or a little more country driven, but always at the forefront are his raw twangy vocals.

Laviolette’s honesty continued, as he made his missteps and mistakes known to the crowd, but he also let the audience know about inspirations for songs, including one written after friends were arrested during the G20 Summit. As the set continued, he had started to get the crowd into it by clapping along. A highlight of the set was his One Hundred Dollars cover. Richard Laviolette’s charm is hard to deny, but at the heart of it all is ability to write a great tune.

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Categories: Live Music


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