Dopapod again, crushes The National in Richmond, Virginia but this time opening up for
The Motet, The Colorado-based funk act. I have been seeing Dopapod for the past year and I am always super impressed with their set-list, song structures, creativity and originality. Eli Winderman is one of the best keyboard players in the Jam scene today, period. No one can deny that. Rob Compa is a masterful guitar player, showing versatile musicianship and intriguing solos all throughout the evening. Rob brought out his PRS for this show; his Gibson tone is more pleasing to my ears but the PRS does the job. Chuck Jones, bass player for Dopapod, keeps this band in check during their Prog-Rock breakdowns and drummer Neal Evans, AKA “Fro” is unstoppable, pounding the drums, hair wild and untamed. Dopapod is sincerely one of the most impressive up-and-coming Jam bands/Prog-Rock bands in this scene and has always seemed to keep my attention. I heard that they are taking a year off from touring and this could be one of their last shows for a while. I was glad to catch them again for the 6th time this year before they take a much-needed break, if this is true.
The National itself, was far from sold out and the upstairs balcony was even closed off. The rival show at the Broadberry Leftover Salmon, had drawn a larger crowd than those that came to see Dopapod and The Motet but for 25$ I choose to see two bands instead of one. This smaller crowd gave an intimate atmosphere and it seemed only the really strange people in Richmond came out for the show. I have been to The National over 45 times and while it's not one of my favorite venues (Due to security and sound quality) it does the trick and I'm glad to have it in such close vicinity.
The Motet brought their Pop-Funk style to Richmond with wild legs Lyle Divinsky coming out and doing his thing, while the band, including amazing keyboardist Joey Porter, played traditional funk with no real surprises. I am much more into Dopapod but it was fun dancing to The Motet with fellow freaks and forgetting about examining and investigating every nuance of this bands sound. There were some moments within The Motet show that got dark and chaotic but mostly they played straightforward, Pop oriented funk, not much jamming but when they did, it was impressive. If I could impart my improvisational wisdom upon this band, I would only ask that they take more chances and try innovative sounds, integrating not only Pop-Funk but also taking a note from Dopapod and trying progressive scaling and attributes. I can see The Motet gaining national attention from the Pop music scene, given the right song and delivery. It all depends on what direction they want to take it and I think that is one of the novel things about this band.
All in all, it was a pretty good night in Richmond and I look forward to many more. If any of you have any upcoming shows that you would recommend to me feel free to contact me or comment on this post. See all of you out there for the last shows of 2017.
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Editor: Robert (R.A.) Fadley
Freelance Writer, Musicologist, Music Journalist, Music Critic, Music Writer, Author, Musician, Singer-songwriter, Composer, Guitarist.