Boston born indie-folk powerhouse Chadwick Stokes Urmston has made his impact on music over the last few decades. Known for fronting bands such as Dispatch and State Radio, his newest undertaking, touring with musical group “The Pintos” proves to have given his resume further depth and opens a new chapter in his life. Including a Los Angeles leg to their tour, Urmston and company stopped by the historic Troubadour for a night of excitement that went deep into the night.
Colorado-based artist Danielle Rodriguez opened the show with an upbeat and folky set. The long-time singer and strings player for the folk and bluegrass band Elephant Revival eased the audience into a night that would prove to focus on smooth rhythm and lyrical focus. Fans who might have been expecting him to play songs from his homestead band got more than they bargained for when his solo work dominated his set with jams such as “Colorado” and “Season Song.” He eventually ended his set with a rendition of “Sing to the Mountain,” a piece he had originally written for Elephant Revival. Before leaving the stage, he announced that he and his band would be touring with The Lumineers during their upcoming performance in Los Angeles.
At 10:15 sharp, the evening’s main event started. Urmston and his band eased the audience into the night with their 2015 song “Pine Needle Tea.” Comfortable with the crowd, he took every opportunity to address the crowd with a sharp anecdote. Quickly into the band’s third song, “Walter (First Hello)” Urmston stopped the song to tell the audience a story of a fan who once requested the band record a greeting message on his answering machine, replacing the cornerstone line of the song “We gonna reach out today” with “You’ve reached out to Dave.” A request the band happily obliged. He then remarked “I think I like those lyrics better” and proceeded to sing the rest of the song with the alternate line “you’ve reached out to Dave.”
After a lengthy introduction, the band welcomed guitarist “Matthew Embree” of “RX Bandits” to join them onstage. Embree stayed onstage for quite some time and graced the house with several solos that echoed through the venue with great resonance. To compliment his performance, Urmstron exchanged his acoustic guitar for an electric piece with a more DIY look.
While the set focused mostly on Urmstron’s music written with his current band “The Pintos.” It was not without an occasional homage to his earlier projects to the tune of one song apiece, performing renditions of State Radio’s “Calling All Crows” and Dispatch’s “Letters to Lady J.” They even covered some Bob Dylan, performing his classic “It Ain’t Me, Babe.”
It wasn’t until close to the end of their set that Urmston took a moment to introduce the band, particularly his banjo player, ultimately reveling him to be his brother, Willy. Willy was soon revealed to be far from the only member of his musical “family” in the house that night, as Urmston revealed that countless longtime friends and affiliates of his various projects including Dispatch and State Radio were also in attendance that night.
Ending their primary set with “Coffee and Wine” the band left the stage to rapturous applause. After a lengthy period of milking the crowd for their affection, they eventually returned to the stage sporting a fresh change of clothing and renewed energy. Urmston started the encore with a history lesson and told the audience the story of the origin of his song “Second Favorite Living Drummer.” Pointing out that it was the first time the song had been played in the building by which it was inspired by, Urmston regaled the audience with the story of a night where he was able to play on stage with some of his favorite musicians including members of Guns N’ Roses, Rage Against the Machine, Cypress Hill, and the legendary blink-182 drummer Travis Barker. A night that impacted Urmston’s life as well as the lives of those around him, he pointed out that Chuck of State Radio even met his future wife that night. Ultimately, he concluded the story with an explanation of the song’s titular line, claiming Rage Against the Machine drummer Brad Wilk had trouble getting into the venue because the bouncer did not recognize who he was. The band then closed out the night as calmly as they had started with the song “I Want You Like a Seat Belt” letting the uplifting lyrics carry the crowd into the night.