On Sunday, November 11th, I took a rest from writing course papers to go see The Dodos at Lincoln Hall hosted by WLUW. I arrived just in time for Pool Holograph’s Wyatt Grant subbing in for Palehound as the opening act. While I was disappointed that I would not see Palehound perform, Grant’s impromptu solo set brought a dreamy lo-fi start to the night. Pool Holograph’s synth-centered songs surprisingly worked without the support of a band.
The Dodos are a duo consisting of lead singer and guitarist Meric Long and drummer Logan Kroeber. This October, the pair broke their three-year-long silence with their seventh album Certainty Waves, although Long has released his own music during the break. Before they went on, I chatted with some local fans who were eager to see The Dodos since their last tour. Overall, the setlist had a mix of previous albums with an arching weight on Certainty Waves. The new record differs from Carrier or Visiter because the melodies are more electronic-based compared to their previous emphasis on electric guitar. The shift in sound meant that I could pick out which songs were on the new album versus older hits.
Nonetheless, their discography fits together seamlessly as a cohesive set. The thing about bands like The Dodos is that their experience is noticeable, and they are skilled in putting on an excellent show. It is quite remarkable that Long and Kroeber can produce their powerful ballads in a band of two. The drums and the guitar satisfyingly contended against each other in “Competition,” named fittingly. The crowd was engaged and started to dance a bit to newer tracks like “If.” Long’s lyrical talent showed through in songs like “Center Of” and “Winter.” In the latter, I was struck by the unique lyrics: “I want a lover and a sister, but we know that’s not right.” I am still thinking that one over.
The Dodos have quite a range of genres under their belt, as I witnessed at the conclusion of the show. I thought that their new song “Ono Fashion” was an interesting fusion of rock and folk, with its soft vocals and contrasting metal guitar loop. The encore song, “Joe’s Waltz,” from their 2008 record, was performed with an air of country twang that stuck with me as they left the stage.
Overall, The Dodos returned to the spotlight with both new and familiar tracks that livened up my Sunday night. A band with seven albums that can find variety in their space in the industry is inspiring. Check out Certainty Waves if you want to jam to some seasoned players in the indie-experimental scene.