Dan Layus supported LeAnn Rimes on her UK leg of her tour this month. Not new to a UK audience, Dan has played here before as both a solo artist and as frontman of his band Augustana who supported the Dixie Chicks last year.
I went to see Dan at The London Palladium which I was really excited about. My friend and I arrived in good time and were pleasantly surprised to find that our tickets were the front row of the Royal Circle which we were not expecting. To me, these were pretty much the best seats in the house as from our point of view, it seemed that the stalls seats were too close.
The London Palladium is a stunningly gorgeous venue with a lot of history. I cannot remember if I have ever been before but if I have, then it has been a very long time since. The venue was clean, tidy and the staff were friendly.
We sat down in our seats just moments before Dan’s set and were eagerly waiting.
Dan took to the stage with just his guitar and was accompanied by his friend who played fiddle. Having been a fan of Dan’s current album Dangerous Things which was released late last year, I was very excited for his performance, especially since I missed both his solo and band shows last year. Dan was greeted on stage with a very warm welcome and an almost full house which doesn’t always happen when you are a support act, especially if a venue is seated – so the fact the venue was almost at capacity at this point stood well for Dan and I was really pleased as his music deserved to be heard.
The set began with Let Me Lose You – a very traditional country sounding song, this pleased the majority of the audience who were whole heartedly country music fans. Dan’s voice filled the arena with his distinctive, flawless tone which many people commented on via social media after.
The sound was perfect during Dan’s set and the audience were silent, respectful and encouraging. There were huge rounds of applause after each song. Dan’s persona on stage was adorable, somewhat shy and rather eccentric in a wonderful way. I found myself liking him more each time he spoke. When he introduced himself, he spelt his name in air and wasn’t sure if he got the S the right way which was funny. The way he speaks is very quiet yet kind of intriguing. Dan’s love for his wife was something to be admired as he spoke about her often. One of the songs Dan performed called I Fell In Love On A Beach was written about his wife and their first date. He explains how he asked to hold her hand and she replied saying that no one has ever asked her that before. The song, one of my favourites off his album, was one of the most up beat and memorable songs of the evening. With his wife standing at the side of the stage, the song became quite emotional to hear and it pulled at your heart strings.
Dan managed to squeeze in seven of the eleven tracked album titled Dangerous Things which was impressive and a smart move. I can imagine many people downloaded the album after that night, and every night of the tour too. A stand out moment for me was when he performed The Driveway which is beautiful, endearing and heart rendering song. This song was breathtakingly good live. The acoustics filled the room and I had goosebumps. The emotion and passion in this song were really truly believable in a live setting and as the song that introduced me to Dan, I was so happy to have heard it live and felt very privileged.
Dan Layus was so impressive live that I would definitely see him again and would highly recommend him. There aren’t many artists out there like Dan at the moment and he is a natural born musician who, when you see him, you can clearly tell this path was meant for him. I have never seen him with a band so can only go by this show, but I can say that he needs no band, no stage production, no energised performance because in Dan’s case, less is more. I could of happily watched and listened to him play with just his guitar and fiddle player all evening. Maybe one day I will catch a full show and can do exactly that.
As I have previously mentioned, Dan’s album Dangerous Things is out now and it is such a fantastic, beautifully written album with 11 unmissable tracks that are just a pleasure to listen to.
You can download it here;
Dangerous Things by Dan Layus
Let Me Lose You
You Can Have Mine
Only Gets Darker (The Deeper You Go)
Fell in Love on a Beach
Call Me When You Get There