Photos by: Jamie Piazza

The Dodos returned to play the Rickshaw Stop last Wednesday, after an excruciatingly long time. Their homecoming show was not something to be missed, and it felt as if everyone and their mother came out to see what our boys have been up to since recording their latest album Time to Die.

Opening up the show was the band Spency Dude and the Doodles, who though a little under the radar more than made up for their anonymity with a great performance. The three-piece out of San Francisco thoroughly impressed with their quirky and undeniably catchy tunes, and lit up the stage playing what can only be described as brat punk.  Songs like “I Would Never Cheat on You” were catchy and easy to identify with and felt as if they were ripped straight out of the inner monologue of a frustrated teenager.

Then the moment of truth came as The Dodos hit the stage. Meric Long, Logan Kroeber and new member Keaton Synder had their work cut out for them. Did they still have the stage presence and showmanship they’ve become so well known for, or had they gone soft?

Time to Die is a bit of a departure for the band. Recorded with Phil Ek (The Shins, Built to Spill, Band of Horses), their latest album is a bit softer. Even though a lot of the subject matter leans toward the morbid, the sound put forth on the album is relatively tame when compared to some of their previous works.

However, I’m happy to report that they rocked the house. The set list was mostly comprised of new songs and after hearing them play I can honestly say that these songs were meant to be heard live. The drums, which are a bit buried on the album, come out in full force live, making the songs a completely different beast all together. Logan is a machine on drums and Meric’s mastery of the southern picking tradition is still there as well. Simply put, the man can play, better than that… the man can wail. He swaggers back and forth on stage, frantically strumming his instrument and singing, and even takes things a step further by looping his vocals and creating his own backup singers on the fly. Keaton is a master technician of the vibraphone, playing four or five notes at a time and never hesitating to bust out the violin bow, adding a completely new dimension to the instrument.

They came out and they came out strong. The Dodos still have it and I look forward to seeing them again and again in the years to come. Also, there’s some decent YouTube footage from the show, for the very many who couldn’t grab tickets before they sold out: