Concert Review: Papadosio
Going to a Papadosio concert was a multi-sensory experience. Flashing lights of different colors illuminated the four men, painting them in different shades of red, blue, and green. Smoke, partially from the band’s smoke machine and partially from the crowd’s hastily smoked joints, showed trails of red lasers. A hallucinatory slideshow was projected on screens to the left, right, and directly behind the stage. The psych-rock meets electronica sounds washed over me, forcing my body to move without consulting my brain. At one point a drunken, dreadlocked crowd member gave me a hug, asking me to be on the look out for some of her glow sticks (I never found any.)
Originally hailing from Athens, OH, Papadosio are a relatively new band made up of Tony Thogmartin (guitar, samples, synthesizer, vocals), Billy Brouse (keyboards, synth, vocals), Michael Healy (drums), and Rob McConnell (bass, vocals). Their first album, Magreenery came out in 2007, followed by The Light of the Stars EP in 2008 and then Observations in 2009. They have not released an album since, though they played some new material at the show.
While they sounded great, It seems like their live show is more suited for a much larger venue, mostly because of how interested they are in spectacle. All the light shows and lasers were a lot of fun at the Bluebird, but its small size lends itself to a more intimate, personal show, something Papadosio did not explore. They only spoke between songs once or twice, mostly going straight from one jam-heavy song to another. In a larger venue, the distance between the performers and crowd would make the latter focus on the music and the visuals, which seems to be what Papadosio was going for. However, when you’re mere feet away from the performers, its hard not to think about the men behind the curtain, so to speak.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to say it was a bad show. It very much was not. They are all extremely accomplished musicians, weaving together vocal harmonies and complex instrumental backing from various genres to create a wall of sound that is almost impossible not to get lost in. The performers are clearly extremely passionate about the music they create, which always makes for a great performance.
Papadosio is not a concert for everybody; it is more fit for crowd members who may enjoy a little bit of mind alteration. While still absolutely possible for sober people to appreciate, everything from their music to their performance style to their name (Pop a dose, yo!) encourages a little extra stimulation. Regardless, the next time they grace Bloomington with their presence, I will be sure to be there.
By: Will Bray
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