Capping off back-to-back explosive nights at Brooklyn Bowl, Saturday, March 25, brought the third and final Dopapod show of the run, closing one chapter and marking the beginning stages of their 26-date Spring 2017 tour. The last gig of the trifecta came in hot, feeding off of the energy from their two previous performances which broke out Chuck Berry tribute covers, birthday celebrations and fresh, unheard material from the prog-jam quartet, who recently reunited with their original drummer, Neal “Fro” Evans. As if an original lineup, a newly mapped out tour and debuting fresh grooves to their fans wasn’t enough of a natural high, a smiley Rob Compa, guitarist of Dopapod, dropped the news that he got engaged that very same day—giving a tight-knit Brooklyn Bowl crowd a handful of reasons to celebrate.
Paris_monster opened up the show for Dopapod faithfuls and while they seemed to be an alternative indie group to the naked eye, it became apparent the Brooklyn-based duo thrives in the midst of synth-pop, garage genres. From the second the music began, all eyes were drawn to the pig-tailed singer who exemplified an arsenal of talents by singing, playing the keys with one hand and impressively, the drums with the other. The two took the stage and while the bassist seemed mainly focused on the tunes, the singer’s vocals took command of the entire room, assumingly well-trained and practiced. The vocals shaped up to be that of a hypnotic and spiritual performance with a voice to be heard, climbing to the loudest crescendos and back down to minute whispers.
Their sound in its entirety had the capability of transforming and layering the noises of two men, into what sounded like a room of beaming musicians. Their experimental ties definitely drew to the Dopafans through their naturally unique tastes, although remaining incomparable to the headliner—something the crowd was more than willing to embrace. Once you get past the initial shock value of their arena-like sound and switchboard of genres, you come to realize the extreme talent and precision it must take to juggle vocals and keys while playing the drum with one hand, all while doing so with a picture of ease. Even if the music isn’t your style, you can appreciate the theatrical, confident and encapsulating performance the duo let loose.
Setlist: The Unclean, Hot Canyon Air, Moles, The Cause of it All, Ape, Important, Malcolm Hart, Had Damon Caught His Sloane, I Wanna Know If It’s Good To You, Baby*, A Vision Complete, Grandma, Water to the Well
Ready to close out a glorified 3-night run at Brooklyn Bowl, Eli, Rob, Chuck and Neal walked to their respective instruments and while most were taken by the lingering moment ahead of hearing their favorite tunes, my eyes couldn’t be peeled away from analyzing and chuckling over Chuck’s Led Zeppelin t-shirt, which most certainly was adorned with the members of KISS—a solid wardrobe choice with a clear indication the Boston-born group was ready to rock. The first set rolled out with fan-favorite hits like 2014’s Never Odd or Even tracks,“Picture in a Picture” and “Hey Zues! (Que Tal?)” with an abundance of covers and teases peppered throughout the introductory set. The first tease came upon Rob’s elated engagement announcement. While some heard the news via Facebook, others were delighted with the announcement from the beginning notes of “Here Comes the Bride.” Shortly after sharing the joyous milestone, the group delivered treat number two, which came in the form of a brand new song titled “Mucho.” Bringing their rock roots to the forefront of the famed Brooklyn venue, the group launched into a gratifying cover of Black Sabbath’s “The Wizard” with help from Paris_monster’s vocalist Josh and Jackson from Sister Sparrow and the Dirty Birds on harmonica before closing set 1 with “Blast.” High energy was maintained throughout, as both the band and audience were able to feed off of one another’s positive energy and uncontrollable excitement. Compa specifically had an extra spring in his step, demonstrating impressive vocals throughout the night and absolutely manhandling his guitar. Who can say if it can be attributed to his engagement, raw talent or both- but Compa’s performance easily soared high over a Brooklyn audience.