On Saturday night, after more than a year away, Dopapod returned to the stage at The Capitol Theatre for a celebratory headlining performance. The show marked the band’s first performance together since New Year’s Eve 2017-2018, and fans from all over converged on the historic theater to watch guitarist Rob Compa, keyboardist Eli Winderman, bassist Chuck Jones, and drummer Neal “Fro” Evans link back up after their 2018 sabbatical.
With a subtle yet powerful rendering of the band’s logo adorning the back of the stage, the band took their places just after 9 p.m. to a chorus of cheers from the packed house and dove into “Vol. 3 #86”, which in turn segued into “Nuggy Jawson”. “Mucho“, a track off the band’s late-2017 release, MEGAGEM, was up next followed by the one-two punch of “French Bowling” > “Braindead”. After an ethereal run through “My Elephant vs. Your Elephant”, the band capped their first set with a raging, extended take on fan-favorite, “Trapper Keeper”.
Following a half-hour set break, the band returned to the stage with the live debut of “Numbers Need Humans“, the recently-released single from their forthcoming new studio album, Emit Time. Another pair of Dopapod fan-favorites followed with “FABA” and “Onionhead”.
Next, Chuck Jones stepped to the microphone to explain that the band’s lighting designer, Luke Stratton, has been on tour with Smashing Pumpkins. As a nod to Stratton’s new gig—and as a surprise to Stratton—the band got their grunge on with a sing-along cover of Smashing Pumpkins’ “Bullett With Butterfly Wings”.
Now fully locked in, Dopapod continued to take the crowd on a mind-bending ride from there, working through creative and flawless renditions of “Super Bowl”, “Roid Rage”, “Plaese Haalp”, and “Cloud World”. To close the performance, the band offered up the live debut of a new song with a familiar name, “Never Odd Or Even”, followed by a set-closing “Bubble Brain”. Finally, the band returned for a “Freight Train” encore to send the adoring Capitol Theatre crowd home happy.
As Eli Winderman explained in the band’s announcement of their impending hiatus back in 2017, “Following seven years of ceaseless touring, the sabbatical is a blueprint for wellness borne from love and mutual respect amongst old friends. It’s a pre-emptive move of self-preservation inspired by the TED Talk, ‘The Power of Time Off’. Every seven years this guy closes his design firm and everyone who works for the company works on their own projects for the year. When they come back, everyone is inspired and working with a newfound sense of excitement.”
Throughout the performance, the band was locked in and perfectly in sync, playing as if their time apart had achieved exactly the desired results. Smiles beamed from each of their faces throughout the excellent show, and the audience buzzed with appreciation for the return of this incredible band—a group that can deftly move from complex, classically-oriented compositions to dark, ambient boils to high-octane rock and roll with the greatest ease, creating a sound that’s thrilling, unique, and all their own.
The band is back and sounding fantastic, and the sky is the limit from here. Dopapod fans, rejoice!
Below, you can check out a gallery of photos from the performance courtesy of photographer Andrew Blackstein.
Setlist: Dopapod | The Capitol Theatre | Port Chester, NY | 4/28/19
Set One (9:10 – 10:33): Vol. 3 #86 > Nuggy Jawson, Mucho, French Bowling* > Braindead, My Elephant vs. Your Elephant, Trapper Keeper
Set Two (11:03 – 12:30): Numbers Need Humans^, FABA, Onionhead, Bullet With Butterfly Wings+, Super Bowl, Roid Rage, Plaese Haalp, Cloud World, Never Odd Or Even^ > Bubble Brain
Encore (12:33 – 12:50) : Freight Train
*Nana nana boo-boo teases
+Smashing Pumpkins cover