The Dodos at the El Rey Theatre: Live Review

Meric Long of The Dodos
Meric Long of The Dodos
Timothy Norris

View more photos in Timothy Norris' "The Dodos @ The El Rey Theatre" slideshow.

What: The Dodos

Where: The El Rey Theatre

When: April 8th 2011

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On a brisk Friday night the Dodos graced the El Rey Theatre in support of their new album No Color. Before the set started the well-dressed crowd hummed around the bar discussing their work week with their friends or trying to pry into the inner workings of their date's brain (or at least deep enough to see if they had any chance of going home with them.) However the main reason, why they were there was to revel in the hungry pulse of the Dodos set.

The spinal cord of a Dodos' show is located in the fingers of drummer Logan Kroeber. Working without a bass drum he is one of the few drummers who are instantly recognizable to the untrained drum enthusiast. His drum kit placed in the middle of the stage, Kroeber created wave after wave of beats that felt urgent, primal, and alive.

The Dodos
The Dodos
Timothy Norris

With frantic energy, he pounded on his kit that compelled the audience to clap along to his complex rhythms. It was undeniable really. Whether it was "Black Night" or "Fools," they radiated through the floor, through your shoes, and up into your chest where it competed with your heart for dominance.

Contrasting this commanding presence, Meric Long fashioned delicate melodies on his acoustic electric guitar to lay on top of them. His sweet voice hung in the air as a soothing presence over the frantic drumming, occasionally launching into sharp barks like a drill sergeant commanding his recruits. For the most part Long let Kroeber's drumming take the lead, but every now and again he would start a song (as he did with "Companions" or "Sleep" ) with an elaborate guitar solo, as if to let the crowd know it was an equal partnership.

Not that they needed much convincing. By the middle of the set the audience had divided in two. Those who were gaping in open awe and those who were shaking like a message bed in a cheap motel. Unable to deny their urges, pockets of shakers opened up on the dance floor and desperately tried to keep up with the machine gun fire of Kroeber's beat with varying degrees of success. Most of them with giant smiles that radiated into the gloom.


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