Progressive rock jammers Dopapod commenced the start of their spring tour this weekend, delivering a huge three night run at Brooklyn Bowl. With bust-outs, debuts, choice covers and more, they have three great shows to their very devoted following. Night two, in particular, was a hot one.
Openers The Jauntee were a perfect musical pairing for Dopapod. Hailing from Boston, Massachusetts, they are definitely ones to keep an eye on as leaders the coming era of new jambands. Jauntee songs are compositionally adventurous, time and again diverting grooves into dogleg directions with the work of four fantastic individual players. But their music also works off of pleasing melodies that win one over just as much as the technical abilities of each member do.
Dopapod’s keyboardist Eli Winderman joined on one of their originals, for what was again this near-whacky, improvisation-heavy tune that was still ear candy and easy to get down to. Winderman laid down some very soulful soloing onto the tune, making for a great collaboration that the ballooning Brooklyn owl crowd was really digging.
Dopapod’s second Bowl throw down started off in cool style, with a surprise for the crowd in the debut of new tune, called “Confabulatuon.” Featuring vocals by lead guitarist and singer Rob Compa, this song centers on a really neat, chromatic melody line.
After “Like a Ball” came a big “8 Years Ended.” Growing out of some fun jamming on “Tequila,” it fleshed out to an awesome early jam for the night. Chuck Jones began to dig into some truly grooving lines, while Compa made a spacey section of the tune gorgeous with some dreamy slide guitar playing.
“Cure” continued the expert playing, proving that all four members were all in very good feel this night. It’s main section built up nicely into this heavy-funk ending that saw more thrilling guitar soloing from Compa, and also had Eli starting to really fly on his keys.
Then the Dopapod family was treated to something that Jones announced they had “never done before.” Rob and Eli left the stage and were replaced with Chuck’s mother on keys, and drummer Neal “Fro” Evans’ mother on flute. They started with a laid back jazz standard tune, with the mothers leading the way and Jones and Evans filling in nicely.
Then Rob and Eli came back out to join the four for a “Freight Train of Moms.” To see this little old lady, towered over by Rob and Chuck, bumping out notes on her flute to the cranking power of this Dopapod tune was something both hilarious and special to behold.
[Pro tip: If you want to be a truly epic rock band, you bring your moms on stage to jam with you.]
“Dracula’s Monk” headed off in their true style, which fans know as the glorious marriage of the heavy and the groovy–monstrous sounding rock that also colors itself with truly groovy, disco and jazz-tinged playing.
To the delight of all present came the best example of this next, in “FABA,” one of the most epic compositions in their songbook. The band took it’s funk-driven middle section for a nice darkly psychedelic ride, Eli at one point attacking and slapping the keyboard like madman in the zone, before reigning it back in for it’s amped up ending.
Rob, who had noted the band’s music education history with The Jauntee, brought up their guitar player Caton Sollenberger for a fantastic take on the Allman Brothers’ “Revival.” Compa and Caton’s intertwining solos linked up really well, and Rob eventually returned to some great slide playing to finish it out.
The band picked their hammer right back up again and brought it down for the last awesome musical stretch of night two. Compa and Jones made “Nerds,” another clear hit with the audience, entertaining off the bat by throwing quotes from the popular YouTube video “Shoes” onto the song’s intro build.
“French Bowling” took on a great and weird kind of improv, with Eli ringing out into the Bowl mechanical waves of pixilated-sounding keyboard soloing. At one point, drummer Evans found a killer groove to match this with, by pounding up and down on his toms in this very cool repeating rhythm.
The band rounded out the night on the heavy side, finishing up with a solid “Braindead,” then encoring with AC/DC’s “TNT,” to one last roar of grateful enthusiasm from the Bowl.
Dopapod Setlist: Confabulation ^ , Like a Ball, 8 Years Ended *$, STADA, Cure % ->, Chuck and Fro and the Mom’s •, Freight Train Filled with Moms •, Dracula’s Monk , FABA, Revival #*, Piazole, Nerds +, French Bowling , Braindead
^ new song; debut
* Tequila teases
$ Carolina teases
% Politician by Cream quotes
• Chuck’s mom on Keys and Fro’s mom on Flute
# Allman Brothers cover; with Caton from Jauntee
+ “Shoes” quotes