Alex Fredkin, Arts Editor
The ever-evolving Oneonta Theatre transformed into a hippie paradise on Saturday as some great jam bands took the stage. Student group Squid Parade started off the show with progressive sensibility and some impressive musicianship. Picking up where they left off, Consider the Source ramped up the energy even more. With expert instrumentalists and insanely mind-bending time signatures, Consider the Source played the music of every nerdy musicians’ wet dream. The trio shredded guitars, slapped basses and smacked drums like the best of them. The highlight was the spaztastic bassist who had the skills of Les Claypool’s long lost cousin. Adding to the weird-factor, the band brought Middle-Eastern influences and psychedelic tones to their sound.
The headliner of the night, Dopapod, came on next. The quartet featured a guitarist, bassist, drummer and keyboardist, and made the most out of their four members respective sounds. Dopapod played music in the vein of Phish and String-Cheese Incident that would make any Dead Head proud. They started by warming the crowd up with eerie effects and sparse guitar work. Building and building the tension, the set crashed into full force as the drums hit and the band engaged in the grooviest space funk you have ever heard. Dreadlocks went flying and glow sticks were waving as the crowd jumped and moved to the beat.
Continuing the trend for the unusual, a spontaneous limbo line formed as two people suspended a cloth in midair, enticing people to try their best. Singles as well as groups of up to four people were going back and forth, showcasing their best slow-mo Matrix impressions as the limbo line was no match for the dedicated Dopapod crowd.
Although jam band is a pretty loose term, Dopapod embodies it as best as anyone. There was no telling where one song ended and another began as the group fluctuated between quiet and loud, fast and slow. Sometimes the band would mellow things out with a bluesy jam, while other times the band brought the funk, utilizing the keyboard and bassist to full effect. With fantastic key solos and organ melodies, the man certainly knew how to get the most out of his 88 keys. Occasionally Dopapod let loose their rock genes with some hard riffs and bombastic drum fills. No matter what style the band played, the orchestrated light show always followed suit. Changing from red to blue, green to purple, and anything in between, the spectacular lighting added a whole new dimension to the show and definitely kicked the experience up a notch.
Dopapod’s brand of vibe rock was well-liked by many at the show. Some enjoyed showing off their fancy dance moves and standing out. Others engaged in subdued enjoyment, and bobbed their heads to the beat. And last of all, some simply enjoyed their own realities and let the experience consume them. Either way, the show was a great success. The members of Dopapod are certainly not newcomers to the stage at Oneonta, and they showcased their talents in full display on Saturday.