Dave Hause is known for his work as the frontman for punk band the Loved Ones, and what he's accomplished with that band is certainly considered a fine body of work. But in the last couple of years, Hause has been earning a reputation for being an extremely talented solo singer/songwriter.
Opening for bands like The Gaslight Anthem, Dropkick Murphys, Flogging Molly and Social Distortion has exposed him to hard rock crowds with a soft spot for captivating lyrics and catchy melodies, while stints on Chuck Ragan's popular Revival Tour also helped popularize him with acoustic folk rock fans. With his powerful voice and passionate performances, it's hard not to be impressed with Hause the first time you see him (which was the case for me back in 2010, when Hause opened for Brian Fallon at the Bowery Ballroom). He may just be a man and his guitar (though plans to play with a full band is rumored to be happening on at least one leg of his upcoming tour), but he is fully capable of commanding a big room's attention even with his simple setup.
This past Tuesday, Hause marked the release of his latest record "Devour" with a special double-header at the First Unitarian Church's Side Chapel in his hometown of Philadelphia, PA. The shows served as a kickoff to a string of American record store appearances this week, followed by a tour across Europe that will see him back in the US come January. It was a hometown show for the Philly native, who realized he had grown up going to shows at that very Church, seeing many bands play there over the course of nearly 18 years.
With a mix of hardcore fans, personal friends and family in the house (including on-stage appearances by his brother Tim during the late show, who is also a capable singer), the show was extremely intimate and sold out within minutes of going on sale. Though the early set had technical problems with an amp borrowed from Hause's Father, the second set went off without a hitch.
Playing the whole album from start to finish, Hause stomped so hard to the beat that you could feel it in your chest, and strummed the guitar so fiercely that his guitar broke a string at one point. Though it was near silent between songs in the small chapel, the audience opened up and let loose when Hause threw in a few extra fan favorites at the end of the later set, playing "Time Will Tell", "Resolutions" and "C'Mon Kid" (off previous album "Resolutions") to a room full of singing and clapping fans. But the highlight of the show was a very moving, intense performance of "Before", off the latest album. Singing "I begged you before, I'm not begging you now" with desperate ferocity, Hause brought chills up and down the spine.