Last night I saw Adem and the Dodos (aka Dodo Bird). I’d been a fan of Adem since I heard/ reviewed Homesongs a couple years ago. My interest has gone in waves since then with an upswing after Love and Other Planets, but after I saw about four songs of his set opening for Badly Drawn Boy at the Great American last Friday, I knew I had to make sure I saw his headlining set at Cafe du Nord.
I arrived in the middle of Black Fiction’s set. They seem to be the band opening up for all the bands I want to see lately (like Rogue Wave was a couple years ago), but this was the first time I actually managed to see them. They had a pretty decent set. They have a wide range of influences that it’s almost confusing to listen to them at times.
The Dodos were up next. The aforementioned Nick had recommended them over on his blog there, so I was intrigued. Their set up is pretty simple: Meric on (mostly) acoustic guitar and Logan on an interesting drum kit (3 toms, a snare, 1 cymbal and a tambourine strapped to his shoe). Right from the get-go it seemed like they were on. I’d heard some songs on their myspace, which were good, but this was a different game entirely. Their melodic talents were supplement by ridiculous energy and shear skill on their instruments. I really enjoyed their set.
After the Dodos, the place seemed to clear out a little bit. I think some of the people were there for the Dodos.
Adem (buy his stuff at insound) came up after a short break. He started his set on acoustic guitar, singing and twisting, contorting, almost squirming while singing along to these delicate songs he’s written. He switched to ukulele (note the two u’s in the spelling) for a Bjork cover, then went wild on the crazy instrument front. Next autoharp, then mbira and guitar at the same time, then hand bells for a gorgeous tune based on a page of a children’s book. By the time he switched back to ukulele for “God Only Knows” I was all smiles.
At a couple points (the middle, the end) he brought on the Dodos to play some percussion. They’d apparently organized this an hour before his set and you could tell it was improvised, but it sounded great. Those were some of the highlights of the set. They finished off the set all together with a great version of “These are Your Friends”.
All in all a really great show: a pleasant surprise and a band that I wanted to be great (that was).
More photos after the break:
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