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The Dodos Stay Quiet to Play Loud

October 14th, 2009

The Dodos – Music Hall of Williamsburg – October 13, 2009

The Dodos - Music Hall of Williamsburg - October 13, 2009
The Dodos barely spoke. Aside from the usual “How’s everyone doing tonight?” the crowd was an afterthought for this San Fransisco band consisting of Meric Long (guitar and vocals), Logan Kroeber (drums) and Keaton Snyder (vibraphone). In place of banter, the Dodos cultivated intimacy through the passion and focus of their performance.

While the Dodos’ music touches upon freak-folk influences like Animal Collective, it’s with a unique flair: Long used multiple pedals for his acoustic guitar while looping his vocals for a sprawling sound. Kroeber kept perfect time on a drum kit without a bass drum. Instead, he used a tambourine taped to his shoe. And the twang of Long’s acoustic guitar syncopated with Kroeber’s crisp rim shots created an incredible percussive experience. The group’s music also gained depth and complexity with Snyder’s vibraphone accompaniment. At times, he drew a bow along the edges of it for a pure ringing tone.

Songs off their new album, Time to Die, and previous records acted as a conduit for fierce jams and soft ballads. Early on, a roadhouse-blues feel emanated through Long’s battered acoustic guitar. Later, the Dodos played an excellent version of the band’s new single, “Fables.” But the performance’s capstone came with the lights off when Snyder and Long donned glow sticks on their fingers. Only Long’s iridescent strumming could be seen in the darkened room. The Dodos communicated through light and sound what words could only spoil. —Jared Levy

(The Dodos play a sold-out show tonight at The Bowery Ballroom.)

Photos courtesy of Jared Levy