Happy 15th Birthday, Portland Mercury! A Note from Editor in Chief Wm. Steven Humphrey
A gold dodo! Get it?
The Dodos were great last night.
They really did surpass all the expectations I had for their show, and proved that they are a phenomenal live band. There were a few times, especially during "Jodi" and "Paint That Rust", that the band just transcended the guitar and drums duo thing they have going to make a ton of beautiful, cacophonous noise, with singer Meric Long yelping his way though his second, reverb-driven microphone, and drummer Logan Kroeber pounding away with ridiculous precision and fury. Third man (sorry, I don't know your name) added a ton to the mix, too, with his percussion assistance.
For a "folk" band, they really do some incredible things. I really liked Meric's second microphone, and the reverb-effect that it had on his vocals sounded pretty true to what they do on record. Also, the way he looped his own voice to harmonize with himself was pretty impressive. Hell, as was all he did with the loop pedal, like looping the trombone (it was a trombone, right?) as the back bone of "Eyelids". Also, for sitting down the entire time, they managed to really keep the sold-out crowd fully captivated, which itself is a pretty decent feat.
However, as good as the Dodos were (which they were!), the last two tracks I caught of Au's set completely blew them out of the water. It could have been for a number of reasons (local band versus touring band, pop band versus restrained folk band, etc), but the atmosphere at the Holocene was that of complete jubilation, with Au's music soaring high and everyone smiling along as they went for the ride. It really was fun as all hell, and Au seemed excited to be playing, grinning and clapping and rocking the fractured pop they're so good at creating. Those two songs were as good as I've seen that band, by far, and there was an excellent audience/performer vibe going on that seemed to be feeding both real well.
Had I only seen the Dodos last night, I would've been pretty happy. However, seeing Au made them seem more than a little pale in comparison, which is too bad.
If you're at home keeping score, you can chalk another win up for the home team.