It was a solid Wednesday night for music in Syracuse on September 26th, as Papadosio and Dopapod brought their electro-jam-fusion through our humble city for some mid-week raging! Maybe I’m just getting old (I am), but the crowds these days are getting younger and younger. You’d have thought Minor Threat was headlining with the amount of X’d up hands I saw in the audience, most running to the bathroom to frantically scrub off any excess sharpie ink in an attempt to try and pass as legal. Kids these days. But enough with the editorializing and on to the review.

Connecticut’s Third Nature opened the show this evening to a crowd of about 60 people or so. Their first time in Syracuse, the 3-piece keys/drum/bass outfit started with a super quick and very housey open, adding in some half time and proceeding to mix it up a bit during the track. I really enjoyed the atmospheric changes the band brought into the fray.

The bass was very heavy for their set, completely filling the room with that all-too-important bottom end thump that you can feel. Third Nature is definitely a groove-laden group, and though there was a bit of tempo fluctuation going on at times, the band made it feel good the whole way through their set.

In addition to the jamming, many of their tracks featured groovy breaks that livened up the sparse yet enthusiastic crowd. Though the group rarely used their vocal mics, the group did treat us to a few 3-part harmonies, adding an additional layer of melody to their set. I think I even a mellow dubstep break in there at one point. Man, that shit is everywhere right now. Wobble wobble.

Overall, the band had a good balance of up-tempo bouncy grooves and atmospheric jamming, and it’ll be great to see them back in Syracuse again. Kudos, fellas!

Dodapod

Though I had to take a short break to get a little face time with local busking superstar Elijah Harris, I managed to check the majority of Dopapod’s set, and they should be grabbing the headlining slot in this town soon. With the crowd more than doubled now, there was plenty of space to move around, but it felt comfortably full in the venue.

Starting off on the mellow tip, the quartet opened to dim lights and low volumes during their entrance, a bit of soft keyboard noodling in the background. Then, just a HUGE build into their first song! Though the bass was incredibly overpowering at first, even in the back, the funky, laid back groove got the crowd moving right along to the beat. Let me say again… The bass was thumping.

A constant flow of people continued to enter the venue throughout their set, assuring me that Dopapod is clearly a hit in Upstate NY, and the band means business when they play live. The heavy double bass drum rips were an unexpected treat from the jammers. I guess it’s no longer only for metal.

Wasting no time, the group went directly into a heavy rock tune after acknowledging the crowd. An excellent key lead was followed by syncopated beats with the guitar and drums in tow, and all the while, folks kept filtering in.

At this point, I stumbled upon an artist painting to the music, which is a great way to couple the audio/visual experience of a band performing. This is him, and he looked as passionate and engrossed in his art form as any member of the band. I think I’m going to have to sit down with him in the future, too. I can barely write my name, so it’d be fun to question him with equal parts awe and envy for a session… I’d have bought what he was drawing.

Back to the tunes, Dopapod brings a great groove to the electronic vibe of their compositions. Though elements of both mediums permeate their songs, they are definitely proficient musicians that incorporate, rather than rely, on electronic baking in their music. Proof of this came when the band started to really get down to business by embellishing and make the jams unique to our Syracuse audience, with lots of up and down volumes and multi-instrumental tinkering, still holding it all down with a heavy backbeat. I always dig a band that can sit on a fat groove and make it interesting for minutes at a time. The band is very at ease and comfortable with each other on stage, and everyone in the group is able to read each other well, all the while raging on with very little time to absorb the last track before the next one was played.

Uber-cool points: The guitar player’s mom and gramma, a fresh 96 years of age, were in the crowd this evening. Preaching from the stage, he said that he hoped she brought earplugs, because the next song is gonna be loud. And it was, as they band laid into a thick, chunky groove with heavy organ and vocal harmonies, mostly absent from their set. This goes out to rocking grandparents who support the musical pursuits of their kin… We need more of you out there.

Papasosio

Entering to a comfortably full crowd and hitting the stage at approximately 11:20pm, I knew right then that work was officially going to suck the next day, because I was all systems go and ready for a long night, with a nice buzz, as this beast they call Papadosio hit the stage. We do this because we have to, and sometimes work has to suffer.

The band opened up with “By The Light of The Start,” and it was a nice easy way to begin their evening. A funky fusion chock full of solos, a much better sounding bass tone, and killer fills, I clearly should’ve been watching a long time ago.

Ghost notes and rim shots by the drummer added some great texture prior to a humongous break, followed by another stellar round of guitar solos and drum fills. This was followed by a sick electro-instrumental breakdown that had everyone in the room moving, and directly back into the vocal line to close out the song. This was only the first song.

“The Sum” up next, and a huge thanks to Twitter and Papadosio management for the live show updates… They help a lot when you aren’t familiar with the song titles, though that will undoubtedly change in the near future. This band definitely made a new fan this evening… These guys are spot on musicians!

I took a quick break to meet Neal “Fro” Evans from Dopapod in person and do the late night hang, and walked back in to a 3-part vocal harmony with a film playing in the background. After a few minutes, they hit the one and brought in the beat back in. Meanwhile, the guy patiently drawing a masterpiece from before was still going at it. Since I could barely write my name at this point, I’ll save my envy of his artistic talent and just say the guy is very good, and I hope to speak with him soon.

Exhibiting a wide range of musical emotion from the stage, the band turned what seemed like a dark tonal vibe during one song into a danceably friendly jam the next. All members are clear contributions to the group, and everyone was able to display their talents in earnest. It was easy to pull each member out of the fray and focus on what yet were doing.

At this point, around 12:30am, I just gave up and started listening to the tunes… They were all great. Full aware that work was gonna hurt tomorrow, I set a total of 6 wake up alarms and sis everything I could to forget the horrible morning I would have, and it was all worth it. If you’re an electro-jam fan who hasn’t done so yet, go see yourself a Papadosio show in the near future… You’ll enjoy it very much!