I literally had no idea what to expect from The Dodos. All I knew going into their Sunday set at Pitchfork Music Festival in Chicago was that the band is from San Francisco. That's it. They could have been a stoner death metal band of gypsies and I wouldn't have been the least bit surprised.
Fortunately they were nothing of the sort.
In fact, they ended up being one of the most pleasant surprises of the weekend. The Dodos are a three-piece featuring guitar, drums, and an auxiliary percussionist who plays the xylophone and a dented trash can. It's hard to classify them in a single genre; they're equal parts folk, indie rock and blues.
Meric Long, the young-looking lead singer plays a worn looking electric/acoustic guitar that has a perfect, rich tone and he adds just the right amount of reverb to the sound. He played sitting down stamped his cowboy boot-clad foot on the stage, pounding out the rhythm.
What really carried the songs, however was the percussion. It was a deep pitter-patter on the drums coupled with either clanging thuds from the garbage can or the tinkling xylophone. At one point the guitarist adding a tambourine to his foot-stamping, adding another layer to the beat.
The Dodos showed on Sunday they are a very catchy and creative band -- accessible and innovative at the same time. I'd say they're like a cross between LCD Soundsystem and Animal Collective, with vocals not that different from Zach Condon of Beirut. I'll definitely seek out the album when I get home, that way I'll know what's coming if they ever stop by St. Louis.
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