On record, The Dodos sound like the quintessential indie band: poppy melodies, mellow vocals and a good beat. Live, they’re far from cookie cutter.
The first thing you notice is the xylophone/church organ hybrid taking up half the stage. It’s a vibraphone, and you can play it with stringed bows, usually reserved for stringed instruments, as well as mallets. The atmosphere just creates itself.
Over an energetic 90 minute set, the band brings out tracks from each of their three albums. “The Ball” with its rousing shout of “we stand worlds apart!” is an obvious crowd favorite. And with its enigmatic “oohs,” “Fools” from sophomore album Visiter is a good dance tune. As is “Fables” from their latest, Time to Die. At one point, the house lights are turned off and singer Meric Long slides brightly colored lights before plucking away in the dark. The set finishes with two encores and there’s several more jams, “Walking” and “Red and Purple” among them.
To punctuate the finish, drummer, Logan Kroeber, savagely attacks his drum kit. First he stabs at the drum skin with his drumstick, wood chips flying everywhere, before he takes his fists to them. Much more rock ‘n’ roll than your usual indie show.