The Dodos play intimate show at Buffalo's Mohawk Place
Indie duo brings warmth to chilly Buffalo with unique folk sounds
Despite saying they would never be back, The Dodos returned to Buffalo on Thursday.
Mohawk Place opened its doors to welcome fans of indie rock band The Dodos, who performed their folk music live in the chill of Buffalo fall.
Originally from San Francisco, The Dodos starting making music together as Dodo Bird in 2005 when frontman Meric Long met drummer Logan Kroeber through a mutual friend. One EP, six albums and a name-change later, the folk duo continues to play harmonious folk music that has gathered a group of devoted, enthusiastic followers. The Dodos launched their North American tour on Sept. 17 in support of their latest release, Individ.
Alex Robnett, a 20-year-old fan from Akron, New York, saw The Dodos for the first time Thursday after almost seven years of loving their music.
“Growing up as a ‘cool and angsty’ teen made it really easy to relate to most of their lyrics,” Robnett said. “They’re just a really special group with a lot of energy and creativity.”
Concertgoers filled the small bar and concert venue Mohawk Place in downtown Buffalo, an intimate setting that facilitated a warm audience-performer connection. Before and after the concert, The Dodos sold their own merchandise and chatted with fans.
Many of those fans happened to be UB students, who ventured from all over Western New York to see the emotional folk-rock duo perform live.
“The energy The Dodos gives off between the relentless attacking of the drums and the intensity of the guitar leaves you captivated with how much is generated from their sound,” said Sophia LaNasa, a freshman nursing major. “Their music is an escape from our greatest fears and an expression of our darkest thoughts.”
Around 8 p.m., local indie three-piece band Moody Cosmos took the stage without a word and began to perform original psych-rock songs reminiscent of individual, passionate 5-minute jam sessions.
After playing for half an hour, frontman Peter Cahlstadt thanked the crowd for “standing around,” and yelled “Buffalo” and “Bills” before the band dismantled their own set and carried their instruments out through the bar, stopping to talk to crowd members and hanging out at the merchandise table.
Just 30 minutes later, Long and Kroeber walked onto the stage and jumped right into “Black Night,” the first track on their 2011 album No Color.
The audience quickly gathered around the stage and started nodding along to the upbeat folk song.
The Dodos are known for pushing out complex sounds with minimum equipment.
Long rotated between electric, acoustic and hollow body guitars, employing a loop pedal to layer catchy riffs, powerful fingerpicking and vocal melodies and harmonizing with his own voice.
Kroeber also lent harmonies to the mix despite professing the chilly Buffalo weather had provoked him into waking up with a cold. He played a drum kit with a tambourine taped to the hi-hat, often using the rims of the drums to make a unique, syncopated percussive sound.
A few songs into the set, Long paused to tell the crowd that an audience member told him the last time The Dodos were in Buffalo, the band said they would never play in the city again.
“I don’t know who said that,” he said, cracking a smile. “But that was a mistake.”
The Dodos ended their set with “Pattern/Shadow,” the final song on Individ, and told the audience to come hang out with them at the merchandise table. The audience chanted and cheered before the band returned to the stage for an encore with “Jodi” from Visiter.
“I'm sorry but I must disappear / I leave you with a song and a tear / Just please don’t wash away,” Long sang to his audience, before he and Kroeber waved to the crowd and departed.
Grace Trimper is a contributing writer. Arts desk can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.