The Gothamist borrowed this photo. I'm quite flattered since I am not a photographer, and the LCD screen on my camera is broken. Someone at the show looked at the screen and laughed at me.
Trombone intro to "Fools."
Aside from Fleet Foxes, the Dodos are my favorite discovery of 2008. Last night's show at the Mercury Lounge was sold out and the venue was completely packed. AND, it was a Sunday night. I bought my tickets nice and early, because I suspected this show would eventually sell out. The post-SXSW hype surrounding the Dodos is exponentially growing. Also, I suspected that Pitchfork followers would be drawn to the show since Visiter had been listed as Best New Music. So, no surprise that Pitchfork was there last night. Again, I don't really agree with Pitchfork on a lot of things. But, they're sorta right about the Dodos in that they are awesome.
If I could describe the Dodos show in one word, it would "sweat." There was sweat everywhere. Sweat on Meric Long's guitar from his right strumming arm, sweat soaking Logan Kroeber's shirt, sweat dripping down my own face from dancing in close proximity to a lot of people. If you listen to the Dodos' music, it's not hard to see why performing is like an intense cardio workout for these guys. For one, as I mentioned before, Logan does not have a kick drum. Every single drum is on a stand. Watching him play was so jaw-dropping, because it was very apparent how hard it was to play the rhythms that he was pounding out. Even more incredible, his energy did not drop once throughout the entire show. On guitar, Meric Long was also playing fast patterns (Check out "Chickens"), along with some looping. He used three acoustic guitars, no picks. Halfway through the show, I started concentrating on his playing when I noticed that he had very long, acrylic nails on his right hand. I don't think I've ever seen that before, but I can see why they'd be useful for finger picking and strumming. After the show, I went to go shake his hand, but he didn't offer his right hand. Instead, he just awkwardly slapped me a high-five with his left hand. Maybe he sensed that I was going to ask about his nails. Right you were, Meric.
Check out his nails. Acrylic, no? FRICTION agrees.
The Dodos' high-energy show went by quickly, with little to no transition in between songs. I feel like the set was a decent length, at least 10-12 songs. But, they didn't play "Winter," which is one of my favorites. In general, they didn't showcase many slower songs, such as "Park Song" and "Winter." These songs would have balanced out the show a little more, adding some variety to the high-energy set. But, hey, maybe the Dodos enjoy sweating it all out. And, let me tell you, their perfermance was impressive as hell. The way that they were squeezing in the rapid notes and beats reminded me of Charlie Parker's famous improvisations (FYI, Charlie Parker was one of the first so-called hipsters). Meric and Logan are true virtuosos of their instruments.
The Dodos are currently on tour with Joe Haener (on percussion and xylophone) as their third band member. They return to New York on July 19 for the Village Voice's Siren Festival, as confirmed by brooklynvegan. They're also playing Pitchfork Music Festival the next day in Chicago. Man, these guys are busy.
No Kids and Silje Nes opened for the Dodos. I'll be putting up a post on No Kids soon.
If you have the setlist for this show, please leave a comment. Thanks! Check out my past post for more songs.
The Season - The Dodos
Park Song - The Dodos
The Ball - The Dodos
Chickens - The Dodos