Dopapod Brought the Heat to Park Street Saloon

April 8-9, 2016, Columbus, OH

Written by Elisha Gud

Photos by Brien Vincent

The beginning of spring is an odd time here in Ohio when it comes to the weather. You honestly never know what you should plan for, one day it will be a high of 70 degrees and the next a low of 28. But that never seems to matter for all of the music lovers that can be found here. If you tell me there is going to be a two night run of music at one of my favorite venues, I’ll immediately reply with—I’m there; before I even ask whose playing. Last week I was wearing shorts and sunglasses, this weekend it rained and snowed, the sun even decided to come out and play at one point. At once it even happened at the same time. But none of that mattered to me, I was enjoying two nights of Dopapod at Park Street Saloon in Columbus, OH.

One thing I love about this venue is that it makes it so incredibly easy for visual artists and flow artists to feel welcome. Essential Productions encouraged fans to vote for their favorite visual artists to come and join in the fun and display their artwork each night. The right side of the venue was covered with artists such as Manda Muench, Isis Cuzzone Creations, Blake Bower, Natalie Brainard, Peter Wilke and Patrick Milescu. Right next to all of the artists and artwork on both nights you could find the Share Your Cloud booth where you could donate to the Cloud Forest Conservation Initiative and win donated artwork that was up for grabs for a raffle. In the back of the venue where you first walk in there were vendors and merchandise waiting on your arrival to sell you anything such as your next favorite band hat and t-shirt, or some new festival wear and jewelry. With the entire back space filled with hoopers and flow artists dancing along to the music, it felt kind of like an indoor festival fairytale.

Friday night it got warm real quick inside the venue. The night started off with Aqueous from Buffalo New York. Unfortunately I didn’t make it there in time for their set but I managed to hear at least ten people say that they were on fire in the time it took me to walk in the door and find the perfect spot to shed all of my winter gear. I was saddened to hear I had missed Eli Winderman sit in with Aqueous as they covered Steely Dan’s, Peg.  Shortly after I had gotten there Dopapod came on stage. They started off the set with commentary from Tim and Eric-The Universe Which then proceeded into Turnin’ Knobs which got the crowd moving and at once you could see everyone that had been hanging out In the back of the bar during set break race up towards the stage. As the band played Weedie Rob welcomed everyone to the show and went on with playing one of my personal favorite songs to dance too; Present Ghosts. The energy in the crowd was incredible. Smiling faces everywhere you turned too, and every single person was grooving. As the first set was well underway with jams like Cure, TOT, and Dracula’s Monk being played. My excitement for the second set grew even bigger. My thoughts were ‘Wait, this is only night one? This is incredible, amazing. I love this band.”

Dopapod came back on for their second set with an Onionhead intro and then teased the crowd with a little bit of Get Ready for This; one of my favorite childhood memories from Space Jam the movie. You could hear the crowd singing and shouting “are ya’ll ready for this!” as the song progressed and went onward back into Onionhead. From there Dopapod played Super Bowl, and invited Dave Loss; guitarist in Aqueous up to sit in while they played Off the Cuff, where you could see Rob in awe as he watched Dave play the guitar with them up on stage. Towards the end of the set while the crowd was still going wild Dopapod played a little bit of a teeter totter by going back and forth between the songs Piazole and French Bowling before giving the crowd a little bit of Braindead and some more Jock Jams and ending the night with Give it a Name and an incredible encore of the Donkey Kong theme. ‘Twas the end of night one of a two night run of Dopapod in Columbus, OH and all I wanted was more.

The beginning of the second night, I was positive I wasn’t the only one still reeling from the excitement of the first night on this epic two night run. I got to the show early to catch the Peridoni set; a band out of Cincinnati, OH that never ceases to amaze me. After a short break Sassafraz took the stage, a local Columbus band that has been on their spring tour since late February. With their new bassist Doni Jai I wasn’t sure what to expect. But, what I can tell you is that I was amazed. The energy in the crowd was incredible and the fans loved it. With an incredible sit in by one of Sassafraz’ original members Eric Turner for ‘Welcome to A-Town’ they brought excitement and a bit of nostalgia to the stage. I was impressed, but what I was most excited for was still yet to come.

There was a quick set break and all around you could see people mingling and interacting. In this short period of time I witnessed one happy fan run up to the Share Your Cloud booth in excitement for winning one of the raffle prizes. Right after, Dopapod came on stage—music to my ears; immediately the first thing I noticed was Eli Winderman wearing a Bernie Sanders shirt which of course brought extra conversation throughout the crowd. The set started off with some Ozze Weapon, Nuggy Jawson, and a Derek and the Dominoes cover; Keep on Growing. The band then played a new song called November which had strong lyrics and hooks that made you want to dance.

I had a feeling that they second set was going to start with Trapper Keeper, and it did. In one second the venue turned from set break to school break as three stilt walkers from The Amazing Giants dressed as school girls danced through the crowd with trapper keepers, and rulers. It was at this moment I stood in the back looking in the mirrors that covered the entire left side of the venue, I could see the lights bouncing off of them and back onto the crowd. With Luke Stratton in charge of lighting, the visuals and lasers were top notch. I looked to my right and saw a friend from out of town singing along and of course couldn’t help but join in the fun. From there Dopapod continued playing Vol. 3 with a little bit of Billy Jean teasers and Upside of Down; ending the night with Weird Charlie and a Freight Train Filled with Dynamite.

You never would have guessed that Dopapod had just taken a three month break. Just because your favorite band takes a break doesn’t mean that they aren’t practicing or playing. It just means that they are simply getting better at what they do so they can come back and amaze their fans at each and every show. Essential Productions, Aqueous, Peridoni, Sassafraz, and Dopapod didn’t just bring the heat to a chilly weekend in Columbus, OH this past weekend. They set the bar for what this summer’s up and coming festival season has in store. With full tours lined up and plans for multiple music festivals I cannot wait to see what these band have in store for us.