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Chasing The American Dream

April 09, 2007


I'd first heard Augustana about a year ago when iTunes offered “Stars and Boulevards” as the free single of the week. I checked out the rest of the CD and fell in love with the piano-based ballad, “Boston.” It was Dan Layus' piano and vocals that attracted me. I don’t know why it took so long for these guys to make it big, but here it is a year later and now the band has finally come into its own.

Right away, I knew this would be a different show than the Joshua Radin concert. There was a line a mile long to get in and once I was finally able to get into the Culture Room, it was literally standing room only. No nice up-close overhead view this time. Instead I was crammed in on the show floor elbow-to-elbow with hundreds of energetic, boisterous and most definitely young Augustana fans.

Wearing the basic white t-shirt and jeans, Layus and company hit the stage to a raucous ovation. The band displayed creative flexibility during the hour-long set. The songs consisted of a mixture of ballads and up-tempo rock songs off their “All the Stars and Boulevards” CD and a selection of new songs they’re working on for their new CD. Ballads such as Mayfield, Hotel Roosevelt, Wasteland and Coffee and Cigarettes were clear and emotional. You can really hear and feel Layus’ angst and passion in his vocals. I also enjoyed the varied instrumentation from lead guitarist Chris Satchleben as he added a mandolin and slide guitar to the standard electric guitar. The band rocked the house during favorites Bullets, Stars and Boulevards and closed the set with Boston (click youtube). As anticipated, Boston was one big sing-a-long between Layus and the crowd.

During the show, there wasn’t much interaction. Layus didn’t say much and what he did say was pretty much inaudible. He’s very low-key and humble. The band’s music pretty much spoke for itself. Once again, Augustana is another example of just how much great music is being created today. The $10 price tag was an incredible bargain. Great music, an up close and personal view, and extraordinarily cheap. What more could one ask for?

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  • My alma mater is Augustana College. The title of the post surprised me until I realized it was a band!!

    By Blogger Amy, at 2:38 PM, May 04, 2007  

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