The Dodos at the Metro

June 6th, 2011: As seen on Archive (PDF)

Dodos’s lead singer Meric Long introduced the band to crowd with a “greetings earthlings” one-liner, quickly hunching over his pedals to add some drone to the finger-picking tantrums of “Good,” the follow-in track from their latest, which also features some howls from former Chicagoan Neko Case. Last night, it felt as if the band was still victory-lapping the return to breakout form of March release No Color, which ditches the polishings of producer Phil Ek (Built To Spill, The Shins) for the grainy organics of the man that made Visiter (2008) such a charm, John Askew.

Though Neko wasn’t in attendance for a cameo, the house was more than happy as many audience members at the show were reaping a freebie from a mass ticket-dump at Millennium Park, where Iron & Wine drew sweaty summer crowds in droves. Long and the boys took it in stride, treating the space like a garage session in an adopted home town, rattling off jokes about Hot Doug’s and fist-pumps which became the evening’s official sweaty, drunken show of affection.

And reasonably so—the No Color-heavy set that unfolded came packed with an extra existential thump, drummer Logan Kroeber clobbered the rims of his kick-drum-less-kit for added syncopations, allowing Long the space to turn “Don’t Try To Hide It” and “Black Night” into lofty sing-alongs. Long flickered lightning-crunch riffs in for kicks as the crowd of insiders crooned along to “you had it all” and “don’t try and hide it” couplets.

When Long, Kroeber and touring guitarist Chris Riemer (of Women) did break from the new album format, they dug into old Visiter cuts like “Jodi,” that rarely get played anymore. On “The Season,” they turned the already over six-minute jam into a sprawl with Long slathering reverb and echo over his Jazzmaster, yelping “We can do this on our own.”  A requisite “Fools” encore—sans the horns—but with African-sourced clattering and Morrissey flow, proved the duo called Dodos absolutely could.