Home Live Review Live Review: Daniel Donato’s Cosmic Country @ Capital One Hall — 2/14/24

Live Review: Daniel Donato’s Cosmic Country @ Capital One Hall — 2/14/24

Live Review: Daniel Donato’s Cosmic Country @ Capital One Hall — 2/14/24
Daniel Donato's Cosmic Country performs at Capital One Hall in Tysons, Virginia, Feb. 14. 2024. (photo by Ari Strauss)

Acclaimed singer/songwriter and guitar virtuoso Daniel Donato recently gave a mesmerizing performance on Valentines Day at The Vault at Capitol One Hall in Tysons, Virginia. Daniel and his band brought a unique blend of what he calls, “cosmic country” to the stage, leaving the sell-out crowd captivated and yearning for more.

I first saw Daniel Donato’s Cosmic Country as the opener for Greensky Bluegrass in January 2023 at The Anthem, an arena-like 6,000+ capacity music venue on DC’s Wharf and was excited to see him again at Capital One Hall for two reasons: It was my first chance to attend a show at this relatively new venue in Tysons, and it was an opportunity to see Daniel perform as a headliner in a more intimate setting. The evening delivered on both.

Daniel is touring in support of his recently released album, Reflector, which was released in November 2023 via Retrace Music. The album is his collection of all original songs and serves as a testament to his evolving musical journey. Produced by multi-Grammy Award-winning producer/engineer/mixer Vance Powell, Reflector boasts an energetic yet vibey sound that encapsulates Donato’s musical prowess. Daniel’s fusion of Southern rock, bluegrass, classic country, and honky-tonk with elements of Southern California folk and Northern California musical exploration, defines the genre he terms “cosmic country.”

Listen to Reflector by Daniel Donato on Spotify:

Daniel is backed on stage by the talented Nathan Aronowitz on keyboards, guitar, and vocals, Will McGee on bass and vocals, and Will Clark on drums and percussion.

With dedication to his craft and unparalleled work ethic, Donato proves himself not only as a singer but also as a monster of a guitar player. He honed his skill and style through years of playing four nights a week, four hours per night at clubs along Nashville’s Broadway since he was seventeen.

Watch Daniel perform “Luck of the Draw” on YouTube with another acclaimed guitarist, Billy Strings, this past summer at the Double E Performance Center in Essex Junction, Vermont:

The evening’s setlist was a journey through Donato’s musical landscape, spanning two sets and an encore. In Set 1, tracks like “Justice” and “Hard to Tell” showcased Donato’s ability to weave intricate melodies with heartfelt lyrics. His rendition of Merle Haggard’s “Today I Started Loving You Again” paid homage to country music’s roots while infusing it with his unique style.

Set 2 continued the musical odyssey with tracks like “Passing Storm” and “Illusions,” each one a testament to Donato’s versatility as an artist. The soulful rendition of “Got My Mojo Working” added a touch of blues to the evening, captivating the audience with its raw emotion.

As the night drew to a close, Donato treated the audience to an unforgettable encore, featuring classics like “The Arkansas Traveler” and Bob Dylan’s “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right.” Each note resonated with passion and authenticity, leaving the audience in awe of Donato’s musical prowess.

If you haven’t been yet, Capital One Hall is a great place to catch a show. The venue opened in October 2021 and boasts two performance spaces: a 1,600-seat main theater and a more intimate black box space called The Vault. The Vault is a flexible space in that its 225 seats push back into a wall like bleachers in a high school gymnasium to create an open space to accommodate a standing crowd of more than 300 people, as was the case for Daniel’s performance. The venue offers a broad range of programming, including Broadway theater productions, internationally touring musical acts, comedy, and local productions by community groups from the greater Northern Virginia area. Check out their website for a calendar of upcoming performances.


Set 1-
Faded Lovin’
Hard to Tell
Freedom Jazz Dance (Eddie Harris cover)
Down Along the Cove
Today I Started Loving You Again (Merle Haggard cover)
Roll Me Over

Set 2-
Passing Storm
Sunshine in the Rain
Got My Mojo Working (But It Just Won’t Work on You) (Ann Cole with the Suburbans cover)
Ten Feet of Rope
Double Exposure

If I Lose
The Arkansas Traveler (traditional cover)
Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right (Bob Dylan cover)

Enjoy some additional photos from Daniel Donato’s Cosmic Country performance at Capital One Hall on Feb. 14, 2024. All images copyrighted and courtesy of Ari Strauss.


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