It’s a Friday night in Indianapolis and what’s there to do? On normal nights, this inquiry might pose a more serious question. Last weekend, however, the answer was quite simple. One phrase, five words, nothing more. Papadosio and The Main Squeeze. A righteous show, put simply.
For those of you who don’t know, Papadosio and The Main Squeeze are both bands that honed their chops in the Midwest. Papadosio first made their mark in Athens, Ohio before moving out to Asheville, North Carolina. The Main Squeeze are Hoosiers at heart, starting out in Bloomington before picking up and heading up to Chicago, Illinois. Jamtronica and Funk are their styles, respectively, if you could boil it down to one descriptor apiece. An awesome but odd combo for most shows. In this case, epic is the word that first comes to mind. And, on that brisk night, fans made their way to the Old National Centre for their night of festivities and frivolity.
Once inside the venue and two steps down the stairs the temperature change was already noticeable. Hot, humid air that comes to greet you and only means one thing… This sh** is rockin’. Fans showed up early to support both bands, something lost on many of today’s show-goers. It was due to the quality of the music, no doubt.
The Main Squeeze brought it hard and played a noteworthy set, kicking things off with the
fast paced rocker, “Where Do We Go?”, from their self-titled debut album. Moving on to some staple crowd favorites they jammed through two dance-fueling songs that harken back to the good ol’ Bloomington days. After this little funk rollercoaster they dropped a bombshell that nobody was prepared for: Sam Brouse and Rob McConnell of Papadosio sat in with The
Squeeze, cranking out some righteous tunes and keeping the heat wave rolling.
After an interesting interpretation of “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”, they brought out their cathartic magnum opus of a showstopper, “I’ll Take Another”. The feeling of this song live is indescribable; every soul should experience it, multiple times perhaps. Closing out with one final track, they left behind a boisterous crowd that was sweating, screaming, and wanting more.
Then came time for the main attraction. Papadosio, the infinitely skilled and ever exploring quintet, was set to take the stage. The lights dimmed and mouths erupted into one steady cheer as the crowd drew closer. The dance party, my friends, would soon to be at its peak. Dosio (the go-to name for many) surprised fans by bringing them in gently with a slow and cascading rendition of “Right Now”, a synth laden acousto-electric hybrid off of their newest album, T.E.T.I.O.S. Surprises awaited as Corey Frye of The Main Squeeze stepped onstage for the next performance; bringing the house down with an exquisitely brooding and intense version of “T.V. Song”.
After being released from the dark grip of the T.V., the journey continued onward. With their unique blend of electronically driven harmonium Papadosio had the crowd entranced. The intense harmony of both electric and acoustic vibrations, their signature sound, is nearly impossible to describe except that it feels surprisingly at home in the heart and the bones. This writer is currently trying to figure out how to put it to words. One must find it for themself.
As smiles abounded and hugs were exchanged a crowd favorite, “All I Knew”, took everyone by the shirttails and left for another rollercoaster, destined with more peaks and valleys for all to experience. And then it was on to set break. Goodbye. Au revoir. Auf Wiedersehen. For now…
Picking up right where they left off, Papadosio blasted through the second set with an eclectic mix of tracks spanning their entire career: “We Are Water” and “Oracle Theme” from T.E.T.I.O.S., “By the Light of the Stars” and “Unparalyzer” from the By the Light of the Stars EP, “Night Colors” from Observations, and “Taking Turns” which has yet to be released outside of live recordings. Tired and exhilarated, the crowd watched Dosio leave the stage, soon to return with a feverish abandon that only a “Snorkel” encore can muster. An incendiary drumbeat soon warming up into reverb laced guitar lines and soaring synths, the crowd was immediately transported to another planet. The song ebbed and flowed and brought all of the night’s frivolities to a peak, culminating in one final climax. And, with that, the show was over.
In retrospect it was a night well done but over too soon. Friends were made and good times were had. Smiles were served, and all was well in the world. Indianapolis had its own little bit of magic that night. We came, we saw, and music conquered.
T.V. Song (w/ Corey Frye)
You and Yourself
All I Knew
We Are Water
By the Light of the Stars
The Main Squeeze Setlist:
Where Do We Go?
Funky Good Time (Intro)
Loud (w/ Sam Brouse)
Tank X-ing (w/ Rob McConnel)
While My Guitar Gently Weeps
I’ll Take Another
Message to the Lonely
A busy night of music continued as I ventured toward Jake’s, a venue I had not previously seen a show at and the setting for Lotus to play on a frigid Wednesday evening. The evening started off seeing Dark Star Orchestra, but I hastily made my way over to the unfamiliar venue to see one of my favorite bands. I was quite excited to be treated to two sets of music by the group and once the music started my excitement built even more. Initially, the amazingly created and well-executed new light show quickly caught my eye and definitely added to the magic of the evening. Another special component of the evening was being treated with one of the most intimate Lotus shows I’ve seen thus far. It was truly a special treat.
Lotus started the first set with “Massif”, a track off of their recent studio release Build, and one which proved to supercharge the crowd from the get go. “Golden Ghost”, a track off of their self-titled album and one of my favorites from that release, proved to further energize the dance hungry crowd. Both tracks featured the booty-popping bass and dance inspiring synth melodic dance grooves with heavy rock sounds I’ve grown to love Lotus delivering. The heart of the first set featured the non-stop relentlessly hard-hitting rock dance latent grooves of the jam “Intro to a Cell>Triplet>Sunrain”. This concoction of melodically funky yet dark electronic dance music sending the crowd into a frenzy and leaving me bonkers, while setting the tone for the rest of the evening. The first set ended with a bang, featuring “Jump Off”, a fun and furious track further testing the limits of both the music and the dancing crowd. Euphoria had definitely settled in, leaving me and the rest of the patrons hungry for the second set to begin.
After a brief intermission, the second set began, and boy did it begin with a doozy. “Bellwether” was chosen to start and surpassed anything the band had delivered in the first set, which was surprising given the quality of music delivered thus far. Just when I thought my night had already been completed, Lotus blasted me with what was by far the best series of music I’ve seen them play in the six years following the group. This insane concoction of non-stop playing featured: “Did Fatt>Am>Lucid Awakening>Zelda Theme>Lucid Awakening”. They definitely tested the limits of the crowd with this dark and heavy dance rock jam. This was a very special treat for any true Lotus fan with “Zelda Theme” thrown into the mix. Also, I was personally bestowed with something special, this being my first time hearing the Zelda Theme played live. As a big fan of both Lotus and the classic video game, this was merely icing on the cake for the evening.
The second set neared an end and Lotus delivered one last bombshell, playing the fun and funky dance track “Tip of the Tongue”. I felt euphoric as the track test my dancing limits and made me bonkers. The band thanked the crowd and left the stage, leaving me for the first time joining in with the crowd roaring for an encore. After a brief moment, Lotus reentered the stage and began to play and encore which perfectly ended an already magical night of music. The encore featured “The Surf” and “Scrapple”, with the two track encore proving to be another added bonus to the evening. I must note, I have a soft spot for “The Surf”, given the notion that it is one of the few tracks featuring vocals by Lotus. It was a perfect end to a perfect two sets of music. Lotus is one of those bands that reaches deep within my soul and invokes a hungry fire from within. I truly love and respect everything they produce. If you are not familiar with the group, I highly suggest you find a show within traveling distance and go there immediately. Click here to check out more photos from the show
Written by: Alex Toy
Photos by: Aaron Lingenfelter, Wide Aperture Images
Combining elements of funk, rock, blues, and even electronica Dopapod was able to wow the crowd with their intricately smooth jams. Honestly, I can’t wait for this group to start headlining their own shows, because they are quite worthy of any fame and fortune they come across. It will surely be a treat when Dopapod comes to Indianapolis for an Indy Mojo event on March 8th. When their shortened set came to an end my excitement to see Dosio was at an all-time high, with the intermission lasting far too long.
When the intermission finally came to a close Papadosio finally took the stage and began to play one of my favorite sets of music I’ve witnessed in my entire life. They started the evening off with an unbelievable version of “The Cue”, a track off of their recent studio album T.E.T.I.O.S, and one which proved to kick the evening off with a bang. Often times during their initial jam I found myself amazed at the direction of the song. Next, the band took the set in an incredible direction, playing a Dosio class “Oracle” directly into a new song “Taking Turns”. “Taking Turns” was highly impressive, showing the positive direction the band is going, while also showing a stark contrast to their “normal” sounding tracks. As always, Anthony Thogmartin moved me with his heartfelt falsetto singing. Honestly, I was blown away with this new track, it showing maturation and a positive evolution of direction Papadosio is going toward. The next portion of the set was the heart of their set and easily my favorite throughout the evening. It consisted of an all-out rock improvisation consisting of “Method of Control>Improv>If it Wasn’t For You”. This section of the set was a relentless in-your-face jam that seemingly went on and on. It was truly magical and left my mind and heart fluttering. Also, it featured another new track, “If it Wasn’t For You”, which showed many elements of “old” and “new” Dosio. Another special treat during this period of the set was hearing Robert McConnell step to the forefront and takeover lead vocals.
As the set wound to a close, Mike Healy (drums) completely took over control of the flow of the set. Songs like “Puddles for Oceans” and “Monochrome” typically feature a collaboration of all artists banging out in perfect harmony, but Healy forged through, taking the sound to new heights and making the crowd go bonkers. The set came to a close and in typical fashion the crowd roared for one more song. The encore featured an amazing rendition of “All I Knew”, a lyrically lovely song with amazing music to add the luster. My body tingled as Papadosio blasted the crowd with a final musical bombshell. All in all, this was by far my favorite Papadosio show, no easy feat for my favorite band. My heart and soul yearns for more and I can absolutely not wait to see what these guys have in store for the future. Click here for more photos from their show at The Bluebird.
Written by: Alex Toy
Photos by: Aaron Lingenfelter, Wide Aperture Images