Noise Pop: The Dodos and Magik*Magik Orchestra @ the Palace of Fine Arts 2/25/2010
For a supposedly sold-out show, there were an awful lot of vacancies at the Palace of Fine Arts Theatre last night. Perhaps it was high ticket prices, or the fact that the show was excluded for badge holders, but those who were there scurried to their seats, and anticipation mounted as Magik*Magik soloists strutted their stuff one-by-one on the big stage. At first suspiciously resembling soundcheck, a cello and a marimba collided for an entrancing 10-minute experimental piece, followed by percussion, piano and culminating into an orchestral collaboration featuring Minna Choi (Magik*Magik’s mastermind composer) and none other than John Vanderslice on vocals.
A very brief intermission, and The Dodos took their turn playing an acoustic set. Piecing apart and slowing down hits such as “Fables,” and “Fools,” where singer Meric Long took up an obsession with his looping pedal for an excellent effect and a beautiful breakdown. Though the set was fairly quick, The Dodos played solid the entire way through, feeding off the crowd love where awkward silences during tuning transitions were replaced by “Meric! I love you,” and “How do you guys do that? No, really!” and emphatic “Dodos,” chants.
One last intermission, long enough to get up and walk around, but short enough that everyone was slamming beers at the bar, and then it was the moment everyone was waiting for. A beautiful violin intro and backing vocals from the lovely Magik*Magik ladies complimented Meric’s acoustic, making “Walking” a truly special, and subdued version of the Visiter album starter. The night progressed with seamlessly integrated strings, backing percussions, tambourines, chamber choir, and brass â€“ the works. Highlights included “Red and Purple,” “The Strums,” and “Ashley.” Surprisingly, the best arranged song of the night was “Two Medicines,” a so-so song on their newest album Time To Die, but it was almost as if this song was made to be played with an orchestra. In fact, we like the album version a little less now that the Magik*Magik collaboration version was so unbelievably incredible. After all the composed songs were through, Meric added an impromptu duet with composer Minna Choi for a heartbreaking version of “Undeclared,” concluding the night on a strong note.
The Dodos have well-established their reputation for an incredible live show. Adding this high-profile collaboration, and pulling it off without a hitch, adds even more to their never-ending resume. The future is looking pretty bright for these local superheroes.
More photos by SPENCER CROOKS here: The Dodos and Magik*Magik Orchestra