Show Review

Papadosio @ House of Blues 11/25

Nick Lotz

​I arrive late. As in, just in time to see their second song. My friends Mo and Jared, who are attending due to their familial relations with an unnamed member of the band, inform me that Papdosio opened with the Jurassic Park theme song.
Who: Papadosio
What: Concert
When: 11/25/16
Where: House of Blues (Cleveland)
Why: Release of new album Pattern Integrities (tour).
How: After finishing my job in which I moonlight as a pizza delivery driver, I sped haphazardly up 480 and met my friends at the venue (who, by the way, due to their familial relations had much more access than I can hope to have).
Papadosio's performance is unique, much as the nomenclature of their genre (‘space rock’). It’s almost entirely freeform and improvised, with light spectacles enough to inebriate even the most sober of fellows.

It’s also an instantaneously relaxing experience to walk into the venue due to the general feel good atmosphere inherent in the aforementioned band’s shows. With a fairly even mixture of preppy bro Dave Matthews band types and dreadlocked hippies, the mood of the room is just so playful and good that I can’t think of a single person who wouldn’t be lost in its ecstatic nature.
I could sit here and wax poetic about the different songs they played . . . scratch that, I could not. Mainly because their sets, as previously mentioned, are entirely improvised, with song after song blending into the next, with lilting guitar and keyboard riffs and sickly produced electronic tinkerings. Most importantly, with a Talking Heads-esque electronic drums that would put a smile on David Byrne’s face.
At one point Sam Brouse, the organ player, launches into an epic solo. At a different point, there’s a drum and bass vibe to the sound and I look around the crowd and (I swear to Christ), every hippie in the crowd is doing the salmon dance i.e. moving their body in a dolphin kick motion (minus the feet) as though a salmon treading upstream. I can see why this is called space rock. It’s far out.
They have these electronic towers in the background circling their set. Mo explains to me that they’re used for lighting tech and acoustics. At this point, she could have written the review herself, saying , ‘they’re elemental, like deer antlers and grass and dirt.’
Okay, maybe that wasn’t that quotable after all. But next, she says, "I feel like they're riding towards the moon and we're all riding with them."

Now that is damn good. A certain someone might have a future career in music journalism as well.

Then she says, "Even though it's at a big name venue, the concert has this intimate feel where they're creating their own world and allowing us to see into it."

Okay Mo, cut that out, don’t take my job.

Jared leans in and pipes up, saying the drum part to some arbitrary section of the session has reminded him of "Fire On High" by ELO. (At least I don’t have to worry about him).
The best part: despite their crazy high production light show and sick feel good engineered music, they seems so modest on stage. They start with a kind of humility to them and never let the persona of the musician get in the way of their music (which is right now kind of smooth jazz infused).
And then . . .
What the fuck! To quote War, '"that really blew my mind."

They dropped into an electronic southern rock set for a moment. Holy cannoli that was awesome. Never would have expected that.

I wander out towards the end of the night because I have realized that I don’t have enough money for parking. I convince the attendant to let me out despite only having three dollars (thank you, whoever-you-are!). I drive home, content.