w/ Adam Melchor
September 7, 2019 at House of Blues
Back for another round, dodie performed a dazzling sold-out set at the House of Blues for her “Human: tour. She brought her soft vocals along with her signature singer-songwriter style to deeply connect with the audience in a very personal way. On stage, she demonstrated how much she has grown as an artist from her Youtuber-musician roots. Whether she was performing her new music or giving old favorites a fresh take, it was clear that she meant every word that she sang as she opened up to the audience more and more with every song.
The night started on the right note with dodie’s opener, Adam Melchor. He came on stage with a guitar and a spotlight. He is a singer-songwriter who did not need extra frills to communicate his message and emotions. Although his instrumentation might have been simple, his vocals were anything but. He impressed the audience with his incredible range and the passion that he put into his performance. He was able to put the audience in the right mood with his very personal lyrics and charming personality.
After Melchor’s set, the audience cheered in anticipation for dodie to come out. She appeared as a silhouette in the back of the stage with a solo spotlight; singing the opener to her EP “Arms Unfolding.” She then brought the room’s energy up with her hit “Monster.”
dodie structured her set in such a way to smoothly transition between and highlight the various different styles that she has. She quickly moved from upbeat and drum-heavy songs like “Monster” to some of her slower and softer songs. Playing into her singer-songwriter nature, dodie demonstrated her instrumental range as she played piano or baritone ukulele for these songs. “Human”, “If I’m Being Honest” and “6/10” truly demonstrated her emotional side as she sang layered and heartfelt lyrics over beautiful live instrumentation.
One of the defining elements of dodie’s style is her use of strings. She is able to incorporate them into most of her softer songs and use them in various ways. Sometimes they function as a counter melody while at times they provide depth and substance to the track. Her heavy use of strings is a fairly recent practice (only in her last EP or so). However, during this show she was able to incorporate them into some of her older songs as well, which gave them a completely new feeling. Songs such as “Sick of Losing Soulmates” and “6/10” had strings added to them which breathed new life into old songs. This shift in dodie’s style with these classic songs demonstrated her progression as an artist.
A concert ukulele used to be a staple dodie instrument in her classic days. She brought this instrument out for one song only, “Absolutely Smitten,” the oldest song that she still performs. It almost felt strange to see her up there with that small, simple instrument. This truly demonstrates how much her style and ability has shifted since her humble beginnings.
The show itself was especially spectacular because of her use of the stage lights. Not only was there a sign illuminating dodie’s name and large hanging string lights across the stage, the lighting overall specifically helped to convey the different emotions of each song. The projections were so diverse ranging from bright happy lights illuminating the entire stage during upbeat songs such as “Would You Be So Kind” to haunting purple spotlights providing an eerie and pressured vibe during “Burned Out”. The lighting during this show was key in getting the right feeling across to the audience and setting the mood.
Overall, dodie’s strength in this concert was connecting with her audience. Her words about love, loss, and heartbreak resonated with the crowd. In addition, dodie addresses very important issues relating to mental health in many of her songs such as “Secret for the Mad” and “When”. This is something that is not common in the music industry and because of this, she is able to connect with her audience in ways that most other artists may not be able to.
After performing “Guiltless” towards the end of the show, dodie walked off the stage as the song started to fade. After great cheering from the crowd, she came back on and began her encore set. Bringing back her upbeat songs, she closed the show with her hit “In the Middle”. Being playful with the audience one last time, she did a cartwheel and then a handstand. The energy was electric in the House of Blues as dodie and her band took their bows.