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Concert Review: A night of storytelling and rock and roll with Dan Tedesco

Dan+Tedesco+performing+at+the+Maintenance+Shop+on+March+27%2C+2024.
Liam Brennan
Dan Tedesco performing at the Maintenance Shop on March 27, 2024.

On Wednesday, the Maintenance Shop welcomed Dan Tedesco for an intimate night of storytelling and rock and roll. Tedesco, who is based in Des Moines, last played the M-Shop back in 2017.

As the show began, a small group of attendees settled into their seats, most of the crowd packing it in. 

Tedesco started the night out with “The Days of Rock and Roll,” a bittersweet song reminiscent of the days of his rock and roll heroes. This theme of reminiscing is present throughout the whole set. 

He shined brightest during his fifth song, “Truth,” where he combined personal storytelling with catchy riffs and passionate singing. Tedesco explained that he wrote the song as a reminder to himself and to others to keep living their truth. The vocal performance on this track was the highlight of the night.

The performance fell short when Tedesco strayed away from his storytelling and drifted towards a heavier sound. He would break out into fundamentally sound solos and riffs but with heavier distortion. This would, at times, distract from the more intimate parts of the acoustic set. “Arrow of Time” was an example of a song that missed the mark storytelling-wise, and while it was a solid song technically, it did not pack the same punch that Tedesco’s other originals had.

Around the halfway point, Tedesco covered two classics, Tom Petty’s “Wildflowers” and Neil Young’s “Heart of Gold”. Both covers were crowd-pleasers, with the audience singing along.

After running through the two classics, Tedesco, as well as the crowd, settled into a rhythm of banter and original songs that carried through the end of the night.

Tedesco’s performance on Wednesday may not have been the most packed or exciting show in recent memory, but not every show at the M-Shop has to be. A musician sharing their story to an audience willing to listen is all the M-Shop needs to have a special night.

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