Show Review: 10/4 The Dodos w/ Dustin Wong at Drunken Unicorn

Four years ago, as I was scouring the interweb for imminent happenings in the Atlanta/Athens area, I found the Ruby Suns were coming to town. They were opening for a band I had heard of, but never heard; that band being the Dodos. I purchased a handful of tickets in hopes of enticing a crew to make the trip with me, and that was that. In preparation for the show, I figured it’d be in my best interest to at least get an idea of what I was in for with the headlining band. Halfway through ‘Visiter’ (yeah, that’s an ‘er’, peep the back story), I was hooked. By the day of the show, I was no longer going to see the Ruby Suns open for the Dodos, I was going to see the Dodos and just happening to see the Ruby Suns as an opening act (no offense to Mr. McPhun). That show was without a doubt, one of the greatest straight forward, no frills shows I have ever had the pleasure to attend.

Flash forward to present day, and there’s word of Meric and Logan coming to Atlanta on their latest tour, and for the first time in four years it’s to fall on a date I can actually attend. Not only that, but it happens to be at one of my favorite venues, the Drunken Unicorn. Tickets for two please!

The reasons I love the Drunken Unicorn all are based around one basic fact, that being the place is rather small. It’ll rattle your ears and leave you asking ‘What’s that you say?’ for days following, but the intimacy the Unicorn provides is almost unmatched in Atlanta, especially for the relatively large acts often featured.

For a good part of this tour, the Dodos are traveling with Dustin Wong. He was the only other act on the bill on the night of the Unicorn show, and while I had never heard of him before the evening, I certainly won’t forget the name anytime soon. Using guitar pedals galore and looping licks and beats like a mad man, Wong brings an act that has to be seen to fully appreciate. Blending all types of sound I can’t even begin to describe, the primarily instrumentals he creates are something to dance to, something to chill to, and at times get driven to a point were you feel as though you’re in a video game bonus level. He adds to his loops with flourishes here and there until finally crowning the build with that little bit that makes it all realized. It’s like if Bob Ross was a post-rocker. Needless to say, I enjoyed it, and have been on a video sharing rampage ever since.

Then came the Dodos. The Dodos at their core are a duo consisting of Meric Long and Logan Kroeber on guitar and drums respectively. The two often travel with a third and sometimes fourth member (currently the group also features Joe Haege on guitar, vocals, and synth). They recently released their fifth full-length , Carrier, and while their sound is constantly evolving, it’s always unmistakably them (if that makes any sense). As previously stated, the shows are fairly straightforward; no glitz, no glamour, just good ol’ fashioned tunes; and it works.

They opened the night with their latest release’s first single ‘Confidence’, a ~5 min. tune that builds and builds with the last two minutes driving, growling, and wailing. Throughout the night they played songs going all the way back to their sophomore album ‘Visiter’ and a slew of songs from their other works. There were fast songs and slow songs, and at the end of it, all I knew was that I could only hope it could’ve lasted another 4 hours. Leaving somewhat worn from dancing and a little covered in beer from people going nuts to the final song of the night ‘Fools’, I was more than satisfied with it all.

– October 5th, 2013 – Patrick McAfee

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