The pros and cons of the prog-rock group's latest show.
Charlotte N.C. — The prog-rock group Papadosio played to an enthusiastic crowd late Thursday evening at the Underground here in Charlotte.
Since 2009, the group has put out four studio albums; however, many music listeners might find themselves unfamiliar with the group’s work. That’s where I was in visiting the Underground for Papadosio’s performance.
And so, totally unfamiliar with the group, I wondered what sort of musical experience I had gotten myself into.
The group took the stage with four members: a drummer, guitar player, bassist and keyboardist. To my surprise, the show was highly enjoyable. With great energy, thunderous guitar solos and a dash of funk one might find on a Prince record, it was a thrilling experience to watch this group, that I had previously been unaware of, take my breath away.
There was only one problem, the group I was watching was not Papadosio. Yes, after a few sets, the slice of garage-rock bliss that I was watching revealed themselves to be the opening act Backup Planet.
It wouldn’t be until around 10 p.m. that Papadosio finally took the stage. By that point the audience in the Underground had grown from around fifty to a couple hundred people. Perhaps this group was not as unknown as I had imagined.
So, what was Papadosio? For one thing, the group’s music is largely free of words. They are more concerned with just well crafted jams than any kind of lyrics.
Around the room, individuals began to dance. A young woman in a backless dress, scarfed hood and squirrel tail pranced around the room. The songs all seemed to blend into each other in an effortless stream of music.
This is the kind of music that would be great for studying or relaxingly catching up with friends. As far as musicianship goes, these guys are very talented and, while interaction with your audience is a key component to almost any concert, there is something kind of nice about a band just going on stage, giving you the music and letting that be the experience. After all, the music is what you came for.
However, as much as I admire the musicianship of this group, I’m afraid I am not their desired audience. I couldn’t help think back on that opening act. Yes, I understand that there can be different types of performances, but I felt there was a connection with Backup Planet.
Listening to Papadosio was just listening to music; the audience reacted to what was being played rather than the energy of those who played the instruments. Isn’t that why we go to concerts to see music live? So we can have a shared experience with not just those around us but somehow feel connected to those that perform?
Papadosio seemed as though they were there to play music, what we as an audience did with that music was up to us. With Backup Planet, I felt as though I was watching musicians who wanted to create an experience and relationship with their audience, allowing us to join in the fun they were clearly having.