I’ve taken five showers and have washed my hands too many times to count. I still look like a hot mess covered in fake blood stains from Tuesday nights’s Gwar show. Of course my appearance wasn’t going to stop me from going to another show but I wanted to make sure I wouldn’t see anyone I knew— so I went to a funk show.
The show started right away at 9pm with Boston born, northeast raised Dopapod. With a very jam band yet uniquely diverse sound, Dopapod had me happy I had left my apartment within their first song. Their music blends so many different genres it’s almost impossible to explain. At times their music has a very classic hippie jam band feel but at other times you can catch elements of everything from funk to country to good old fashioned rock and roll. The diversity of the sound made for a set that was dynamic and kept my interest which is typically difficult for a band outside of my normal playlist to do.
There were no intense lights, very little movement— honestly it was everything I typically hate but it somehow worked for these guys. The atmosphere in the Skyway was relaxed and chill. People were doing whatever they wanted and were moving however the music made them move. The relaxation of the crowd was matched by the chill vibe radiating off the stage. When listening to Dopapod, it’s clear that these men are masters of their craft but when watching them, they come off as just a couple of friends messing around on stage. The infectious smiles shared by each of the four members paired perfectly with the silent communication that was happening between them. The whole atmosphere of the show is something that I’m not familiar with as I’m not a typical patron of funk Shows, but it’s something I could definitely get used to.
It sounds like Dopapod will be taking next year off of touring after touring and playing out pretty consistently throughout the past couple of years. What a shame— and I mean that. I honestly probably wouldn’t have given the time of day had someone said to me, “Hey! Check out this funk band I found!” That being said, now that I’ve seen Dopapod live, it’s easy to say I’m a fan and I only wish I had seen them more over the past couple of years.
Closing out the show was Colorado based The Motet. Much like Dopapod. Not quite my cup of tea but after catching them over the summer at the 80/35 festival in Des Moines, I couldn’t resist catching them again on my home turf. Although the laid back atmosphere stayed the same as it had been during Dopapod, there was a new addition of energy to the modestly attended show. The area where people had been nodding their heads along to the beat and tapping their toes along to the music was replaced by a dance floor. Within the first song everyone was dancing. There were people with light up hula hoops along the side of the crowd that stayed in the center of the floor. Other than a couple of other people like me who seemed to just be at the show to check it out, everyone was dancing like a fool with no judgement. It was truly a sight to see.
The seven piece group played in a cohesive way that was truly mind blowing. Although each member of the group seemed to be in their own world, doing their own dance both literally and figuratively, there was this perfect sense of togetherness. Honestly, I was a bit shocked to find out that drummer Dave Watts is the only remaining original member from the band’s conception in 1998. The connection between members was just too perfect and I never would have guessed that some of the members including vocalist Lyle Divinsky had only been in the band for a year or so.
Speaking of Lyle– Wow! What a freaking vocalist. Lyle didn’t step onto the stage until the second song but it was clear that the crowd was just waiting for them as they cheered as he took his spot in the center of the stage. Lyle’s voice is soulful, it’s jazz… it’s really a bit of everything just like the music. The most striking thing about his voice is the fact that it doesn’t really seem like he was trying that much. There are some people in this world that just have a God given talent and Lyle is one of those. The way he would dance along to the music put a smile on my face… hell, if it didn’t put a smile on your face then nothing will.
With a nearly hour and half long set, The Motet powered through song after song. I lost count of how many songs they played or what some of them were but, let’s be honest, it really doesn’t matter. What mattered was the feeling you got when watching The Motet live and just taking in the music and the atmosphere. The positive energy in the room had me completely forgetting about the red dye on my face and the fact that it was nearly midnight. Listening to The Motet and watching them live truly transported me into a different world.
Are you sick of your day to day life? Needing something different– something more? Go to a show you never thought you would go to. It’s like stepping into a different world full of new sights and sounds.