It's JACK not Max: The Dodos w/ Gauntlet Hair @ 9:30 Club 6/12/11

Kevin here. This is the first report of what we hope will be many from our ace contributor Jack. For those of you who don't recognize the name you can see how all this came about right here, but I'll give you the condensed version. Jack loves rock. Jack plays rock. Jack thinks about rock all day. Jack is sort of the embodiment of why this site exists in the first place. Jack is also 15 years old. Everything you read and see from hear on out is unfiltered, unedited Jack and we couldn't be more pleased to have him on board. This is how most of us used to see music, but there's no reason we can't see it this way again. And Jack is here to see to that, so without further ado I give you Jack.

It was a Sunday night, and rather than doing homework and studying for finals, I was doing what any sensible indie-loving child does. I was going to a concert with some friends. At this concert, like at many I’ve been to, I was attending without much former knowledge of the band’s music. The sad thing about this is that if you don’t know the lyrics to the songs… you’re probably not going to figure them out from the show. Clarity wasn’t great. But boy, did it rock.

The opening band seemed to be an odd choice. Gauntlet Hair are a neo-psychedelic band, reminding me very strongly of Animal Collective on Merriweather Post Pavilion, if AC were less into electronics and synths and just played guitars instead, with tons of echo and wobbly effects. The vocals were full of reverb, and like Animal Collective, were used more like an instrument than to convey any message. I didn’t catch a word he sang through their entire set, but was impressed nonetheless. And for a trippy psychedelic band, they rocked out pretty hard. Their drummer (their myspace doesn’t give enough information for me to figure out who onstage was one of the OFFICIAL members or not) was easily the one most into the performance. He told a story about how their windshield wipers broke and had to be manuevered with a shoelace to see throught the storm last weekend, and after a few songs took off his shirt. My reaction: they’re an awfully trippy group to have a shirtless drummer… maybe he’s a fan of Thomas Pridgen (former Mars Volta drummer)? Either way, their set was pleasing and I was impressed enough.

So then we had The Dodos. I was wondering how their set would sound, considering the mix of acoustic and electric guitars on record and drumming that reminded me of tribal music a bit. I know acoustic guitars can rock pretty hard, having seen The Head And The Heart as an opener at the 9:30 before, but I was especially pleased to see singer Meric Long bring out electrics. Their studio performances suggestsed an intense live performance, and that’s exactly what we got. For two guitarists and a drummer, it was a quite loud set, but not too loud that you couldn’t hear the tambourine taped to drummer Logan Kroeber’s left foot the entire night. The energy was evident, and and I loved Long’s use of effects to make noise just for the heck of it, it seemed. Watching the hipsters in blazers dancing their asses off was just as much fun as watching the band. The set ended with an amazing rendition of “Fools”, my favorite performance of the night, and while an encore was welcome they seemed a little tired. All in all, though, it was a great show, and next time they tour I’m definitely going back.

(You can check out the rest of Jack's pictures from the show right HERE!)

The Dodos
Facebook | Myspace | Official Site

Gauntlet Hair
Facebook | Myspace | Official Site