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Three Takes: Dopapod at Red Square in Albany, February 28th, The Westcott in Syracuse, March 1st and Water Street Music Hall in Rochester, March 2nd

Dopapod is in the midst of a huge tour and made three stops in Upstate New York last weekend. Here are recaps, videos and photos of shows in Albany, Syracuse and Rochester.

Red Square, Albany, February 28th

Review by Pete Mason, photos by Andy Hill

Red Square in Albany kicked off the first of three incredible nights of music as Dopapod swung through Upstate New York with Big Something from Burlington, NC in support. The opener was a new sextet to visit the region and slayed with a great cover of Peter Gabriel’s “Sledgehammer” and uniquely incorporated an instrument I had never seen before, an EWI (an acronym for electric wind instrument), into the show without overshadowing the rest of the music. These guys are worth finding at a festival this summer or the next time they make it to Upstate NY.

Having played with Dopapod at The Big What Festival in North Carolina, the two bands found solid support and kinship on the road. They have a good core sound and layer each instrument on top of one another, leading to thick and complicated jams that ignite the dance fuel in the crowd.

It has been great to see Dopapod grow and develop in the past few years, exciting fanbase no matter where and when they play. With a new lighting setup, Dopapod played to a packed house, tearing through old songs and a pair of new tunes, including “Like a Ball”.

“Braindead”, off Redivider ,was hit with the industrial stick and spiced up a notch. The crowd, 20s-30s for the most part, was full of folks getting down to the set, especially when songs meandered off into the oblivion of improvisational bliss. “Carolina”, a slow rumba if I ever heard one, filled in nicely before the debut of “Priorities”.

Dopapod also announced that night that they would be playing Saturday May 11th at The Spring Revival in Lyons NY, hosted by UpstateLIVE’s own HerbyOne and State Wide Music. There are other area festival appearances this summer, some still yet to be named, but one that is announced is one of UpstateLIVE’s favorite’s, Backwoods Pondfest, located in Peru, NY near the Ausable Chasm. Catching Dopapod is entering another world of jam music, one that combined the best of progressive rock and electronic beats for some heavy duty performances. They are one you don’t want to regret missing.

Setlist: FABA, Like A Ball, French Bowling, New James, Sonic > Braindead, Off The Cuff, Ellemenno > The Chocolate Drum Machine > Carolina, Priorities > Tequila* > Priorities, Bahbi
E: Nuggy Jawson, Trapper Keeper^
*impromptu cover; Rob quoted the first Ninja Turtles movie twice
^dedicated to Jason Gibbs for becoming the new Pope… No one thought it was funny.

Photos by Andy Hill

The Westcott Theater, Syracuse, March 1st

review by Quinn Donnell, photos by Kevin Burke

As Dopapod spent their weekend touring through Albany, Syracuse, and Rochester, the four-piece experimental funk-rock group surely experienced a number of similarities associated with playing shows in Upstate New York. On Friday night in Syracuse, however, an audience dominated by Syracuse University students provided a unique experience for the band. Joined for the first time this tour by The Manhattan Project, a Rochester-based duo whose synth-led jams put the Westcott Theater’s crowd in the perfect mood for a night of groovin’, Dopapod headlined an evening of great jams and great times.

As the Manhattan Project concluded their opening set, audience members who had spent the beginning portion of their evening either at the bar or hula hooping away from the dance-designated pit came together in front of the stage for a performance from their favorite electro-jam band. After a nearly ten minute intro involving beams of light and slow, monotonous bells, Dopapod took the Westcott’s stage. Juxtaposed with their mellow introduction, the band’s opening song, “Bubblebrain,” involved delay-heavy guitar riffs and a booming, tribal-like drumbeat. As Dopapod’s set progressed, their experience as performers who have played over 150 shows every year for the last three years, became apparent. The crowd found its groove and danced under flashing lights with glow-in-the-dark accessories. Playing a cover of Alanis Morissette’s “You Oughta Know,” Dopapod concluded their set to appreciative applause from the audience. As Dopapod continues to tour throughout the country, a future stop back in Syracuse would be greatly appreciated. Check them out in Ithaca on April 23rd.

Setlist: Bubblebrain, Roid Rage, Present Ghosts, Jam > Onionhead, Turnin’ Knobs, Drum Machine > STADA, Trapper Keeper, Weird Charlie, Indian Grits > Psycho Nature

Encore: You Oughta Know

photos by Kevin Burke

Water Street Music Hall, Rochester, March 2nd

Review by Darren Kemp

The Upstate NY Dopapod run continued Saturday with a nearly sold out show at Water Street Music Hall in Rochester. Local band Haewa opened with a scorcher of a set that showed they would not be an opener for long. Dopapod hit the stage around 11 pm for a long two-hour set filled with a nicely selected mix of new material, old songs and a spot on cover of Soundgarden’s Black Hole Sun complete with organ vocals.

Highlights included the aforementioned cover and an absolutely mind-bending “French Bowling” > “Brain Dead” pairing. The band left the stage around 1:15 am to an ear deafening roar and came back to reward the audience with a “Off the Cuff” cover with Fleet Foxes teases. An excellent performance by two bands with bright futures.

Setlist: Priorities, Black and White. French Bowling > Braindead, Black Hole Sun* > Present Ghosts, Sonic > My Elephant Vs. Your Elephant, Vol. 3 #86^, We Are Not Alone > Give It A Name
Encore: Off The Cuff%

*Soundgarden,  ^contained “Rondo Alla Turka” tease (Mozart) %contained “Ragged Wood” tease (Fleet Foxes)

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photo by Darren Kemp

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The UpstateLIVE Music Network was established in 2008. UpstateLIVE.com is your live music source for Upstate NY, showcasing live events with news blogs, artist interviews, band and event profiles, and concert, festival and club show reviews.

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