Sunday, March 23, 2008

The Dø @ La Cigale March 20.08

When I first posted about The Dø I tried my best to describe what I feel is fairly indescribable, and a band for whom comparisons may be just as misleading as helpful. They continue to grow in popularity and notoriety, which for an inherently non-mainstream sounding band seems a bit odd (especially given the French love of regurgitating and rehashing old/popular favourites). So I thought that there must be something else, a missing element, an undiscovered country - and so there was ....

The Dø are one of the more interesting, charismatic, flamboyant and energetic groups that one could hope to see. Olivia exploded onto the stage wearing a tiger-print unitard (a leotard with arms and legs) and a gold tutu-esque skirt. She danced, gyrated and gesticulated with grace and enthusiasm without the smallest glimmer of fatigue. It was almost like she was in character, playing a role (though I think that she is really like that - all the better, I say).

And the staging and aesthetics were also pretty remarkable and original. Five panels on the back wall displayed different lighting throughout (I liked the tiger-print lights because it matched Olivia's outfit). The drummer was housed in what looked like an over-sized backyard garden ornament with metallic panels hanging down. David and Olivia used the entire stage, moving backwards and forwards, and sometimes kicking or hitting some homemade percussion instrument attached to the floor.

The visuals were nearly as good as the sound. Olivia's voice is more resonant and harmonious live with less of the ear-irritating transitions that can be a little difficult to handle. What struck me most was how easily she was able to sing a variety of kinds of songs and moreover how no two songs during the whole set sounded like one another. They did a cover of 'Crazy' by Gnarls Barkley, which was fantastic, and brought the opening Eastern European brass band (their choice, obviously) back on at the end to do a rap number.

I don't know how often such multi-talented and musically multi-faceted musicians come along, but The Dø are a wonderfully bizarre, shiny example.

[mp3] on my shoulders
(which when heard live made me think of Rob and his enamourment with the lyric 'why do I always help you carry your boulders?')

[mp3] at last

I'm not sure where you can pick up their album A Mouthful yet, except iTunes.

No comments: