Papadosio rang in spring with a four-night run through the Northeast this past weekend, playing a string of shows that took fans from Harrisburg, PA to Philadelphia to New York City, closing the weekend with an intimate set in Bridgeport, CT.
Opening the first three nights was Philadelphia-based 5AM Trio, featuring producer Sam “5AM” Andrus, drummer/artist Aaron Harel, and its newest member, guitarist Keith Wadsworth. Each night, the trio showcased its eclectic skillset, warming the crowd up to a palpable receptivity for Papadosio’s main act.
On Thursday, at XL Live, Papadosio opened its set with “PsyPoly”, a decelerated live variation of Magreenery’s classic “Polygons”, segueing first into a funky “Geoglyph” and again into the sweet sounds of “All I Knew”. Old fans were dunked right into a Dosio they’ve known and loved for years.
The crowd calmed, and the livetronica quintet set into “Reishi” from 2020’s Microdosio, featuring a fast-paced arcade jam led first by the mysterious sounds of synth-player Billy Brouse before growing tight and jazzy with a solo from keyboardist Sam Brouse and returning to its main theme.
Visual designer/lighting operator Dustin Klein projected pulsing images of turquoise geometry onto five LED screens as beams of magenta cut across the room, giving the first taste of a Pynchonian color scheme that was to carry through the night with disorienting beauty.
A unique XL variation of “Bypass Default” followed—curiously notated with “(idea)” on the band’s written setlist. It broke from its traditional form with a dark percussive thunder from drummer Mike Healy and a rhythmic burrowing of deep vibrational riffs from bassist Rob McConnell. Embarking on an experimental expedition, the room was catapulted into an ecstatic delirium of attuned movement.
“You’re A Catman” zipped through space to its viscous drop and sprang back to warp speed with a liquifying solo from guitarist Anthony Thogmartin. Slipping, then, into an ethereal, piano-driven segment, it built back up and segued into another recently released track, “Not Just A Word”.
“Cloud Found” transitioned into “By the Light of the Stars” and quietly shifted into a spooky, crawling version of “Holy Heck” before closing the set with a layered and triumphant “Paradigm Shift” that took listeners deep into the depths of the Dosio dreamscape. Returning to the stage, the band performed an encore of “The Eyes Have Eyes” from 2009’s Observations to end the night on a note of frantic release.
Setlist: Papadosio | XL Live | Harrisburg, PA / 3/23/23
Set: PsyPoly > Geoglyph > All I Knew, Reishi > Bypass Default , You’re A Catman > Not Just A Word, Cloud Found > By The Light Of The Stars > Holy Heck, Paradigm Shift
Encore: The Eyes Have Eyes
Friday, at Brooklyn Bowl in Philadelphia, 5AM Trio opened with a bumping hometown set and welcomed collaborator Maya Elise onstage to sing on their new track “Feelin”.
Papadosio took the stage at 9:30 p.m. with a novel uptempo variation of “Euclidean Lights” tickled with seamless improvisational loops between Thogmartin and McConnell, followed by “Write Sing Play Mix”. Klein’s visuals inundated the stage with a sanguineous storm of patterns and light.
At this point, Sam Brouse stood from his keys, donned his guitar, and introduced long-time friend and Dopapod keyboardist Eli Winderman to the stage to sit in with Papadosio on a melodic, full-bodied rendition of “Spinning”, the band’s most recent track, released on March 3rd. This was only its second live performance, but the band already showcased a newfound deconstruction elaborating its theme.
Papadosio, Eli Winderman – “Spinning” – 3/24/23
[Video: Zoe Codd]
Eli left the stage and the band set into “Monochrome”, a danceable “Threes”, and a version of “Lion’s Mane” that ran the whole gamut of a classic Dosio jam, jolting the pit into a flurry of animation. Bird samples chirped into “Cue”, and “We Can Always Come Back” built with heavy momentum before a smooth but shocking drop into “Dare You”.
The first jubilant notes of “Find Your Cloud” filled the room and a euphoric web of tempestuous improvisation ensued to seal the set before the band returned for a hypercharged and uplifting encore of “New Love”.
Setlist: Papadosio | Brooklyn Bowl | Philadelphia, PA | 3/24/23
Set: Euclidean Lights, Write Sing Play Mix, Spinning , Monochrome, Threes > Lion’s Mane, Cue, We Can Always Come Back > Dare You, Find Your Cloud
Encore: New Love
 w/ Eli Winderman on keys
On Saturday, at Sony Hall—a majestic and surprisingly intimate prohibition-era venue in the heart of NYC’s Times Square—following another contagiously funky set by 5AM Trio, Papadosio opened its set with “Cubensis” segued into “Versicolor”, two songs “about mushrooms” from Microdosio.
Introducing the next song, Thogmartin brought attention to the bowels of the beast we stood in, sharing this subterranean space of present musical connection beneath the hustle and bustle of Times Square. He reminded us that the hectic and ever-luminous goings-on above our heads “…is always here. You might be out in a Kansas cornfield, but this is still happening. And the cornfield is always happening, too.” The band then proceeded to play a tumultuous, swingy version of “Zoom Out” that developed into the comforting nebulosity of “Mr. Turtle’s Cloud Kingdom”.
“Dream Estate” took the crowd on a somnambulant journey full of textured drips and sonorous hypnagogia, followed by the dark spiraling funk of a dance-inducing “Cordyceps”.
Tinkering with the glitchy intro to “Snorkle”, Papadosio dove into its aquatic underbelly but resurfaced as Sam stood to welcome another friend to the stage, TAUK keyboardist A.C. Carter., for a midsong sit-in. Elated cheers filled the room, and Carter set into the keys with natural grace. His intuitive communication with the quintet was self-evident as the first tentative notes quickly formed an extemporaneous fabric of sound woven with an intricate range of emotional threads.
Performing another version of “You’re A Catman”, replete with fitting elements of avant-garde jazz notorious to the downtown NYC art scene, the band transitioned into “We Are Water” from 2012’s T.E.T.I.O.S., featuring a highlight solo from Mike Healy that brought the set to a wall-shaking finale. Dosio took its leave but returned in minutes with a stunning encore of “Utopiate” to send everyone back into the chaotic streets of Manhattan with a lingering sense of collective resilience.
Setlist: Papadosio | Sony Hall | New York, NY | 3/25/23
Set: Cubensis > Versicolor, Zoom Out > Mr. Turtle’s Cloud Kingdom, Dream Estate, Snorkle , You’re A Catman > We Are Water
 w/ Alric “A.C.” Carter on keys
Sunday, at Park City Music Hall, an intimate venue in Bridgeport, CT, began with a dance party curated by resident DJ and Bridgeport local Doey Joey.
Papadosio opened the set with a spacy, amphibious “Lack of Everything” that merged into a liminal mad scientist rendition of “Hippie Babysitter”. “Fly Agaric” developed jazzy, buoyant edges, transitioning into “How Not to Float”, a dark jam laden with scrambled synth, and back to “Fly Agaric” for the final bite of a crunchy sandwich that caused the venue to erupt in raving delight.
As the first notes of “Method of Control” echoed across the room, Thogmartin took the mic and said, “Hey, I know you can’t afford your rent. But at least we bailed the banks out, right?” With that, the quintet broke into the dubby caresses and primitive howls of its song about waking up to political/social structures designed to maintain a sense of confusion and static among the working class.
Playing “Madre de Dios” next, a song from T.E.T.I.O.S. born in the Peruvian Amazon, Papadosio wove its hypnotic dance with frightening transformation into the unbridled mayhem of “Improbability Blotter”. The band then dropped into the soft cradle of “Obove” from 2015’s Extras In A Movie and played “Dare You”, “Stick Figure” and the classic “The Bionic Man Meets His Past” to bring the night, and the whole four-night run, to a powerful and resonant close.
Papadosio resumes its tour on April 6th, 7th, and 8th, with shows in Pittsburgh, Buffalo, and Syracuse. Visit the band’s website for tickets and a full list of upcoming dates, including the next installment of its annual hometown throwdown in Asheville, Summer SEEquence, announced last week.
Check out some image galleries of last week’s Papadosio run courtesy of photographers Noah Fense and Alex Torres.
Setlist: Papadosio | Park City Music Hall | Bridgeport, CT | 3/26/23
Set: Lack of Everything > Hippie Babysitter, Fly Agaric > How Not To Float > Fly Agaric, Method of Control, Madre de Dios > Improbability Blotter, Obove, Dare You, Stick Figure, The Bionic Man Meets His Past