A packed house anxiously awaited the experimental funk rock sounds of Dopapod at (appropriately) Boca's Funky Buddha Lounge this past Friday night. The Brooklyn-based act has spent ample time in Florida, having played at Bear Creek and Aura Music Festivals and numerous other venues in our strange state over the past several years.
The band's following was out in full force to enjoy an opening session by local act Fusik and Dopapod, of course, whose set lasted an overwhelming two plus hours. The show was produced by Brotherly Love Productions, who heavily influence the South Florida jam scene by booking diverse national acts year-round.
Dopapod's Eli Winderman on the keyboards
The Funky Buddha's daytime table arrangements had been completely cleared out to make room for the crowd. In one corner, a Dopapod merch table was flanked by an exhibition of St. Pete-based artist Dean Arscott's work. He was on-hand with some live painting during Dopapod's set. Arscott already has a working relationship with the group, having provided the cover art for Dopapod's latest album, 2011's Drawn Onward.
Fort Lauderdale-based Fusik got the show underway at Funky Buddha on Friday.
Fort Lauderdale's five-piece Fusik, led by an extremely soulful Antonio "Sanchez" Rivera on guitar and vocals, hit the growing crowd with an hour-long set of rootsy funk. After their performance, the keyboardist, Chip Gardner, commended local scene makers, Brotherly Love Productions, for booking Fusik with like-minded acts such as Dopapod. Gardner credited the production team for its work around these parts.
"I've been playing in this area for over eight years, and the feeling of truly being part of a well-connected, thriving scene arrived when we began working with BLP," he said.
Dopapod's Neal "Fro" Evans on the drums
By 11, the crowd was hungry for some Dopapod. They slide between a classic funk (think New Mastersounds) and more experimental electro-rock (think Disco Biscuits) sound within any given tune without skipping a beat. A lot of this seamless transitioning between genres lies in the serious skills of keyboardist Eli Winderman. He's on top of both a keyboard and a Moog synthesizer, simultaneously, jumping one from the other and back again with a slight swivel of his chair. This is rounded out by Rov Compa matching every move on guitar, Neal Evans on drums and Chuck Jones on bass, each one a master of his instrument, creating a product that is as well-polished and controlled as it is unpredictable.
Eli, Rob and Chuck of Dopapod
The group has been touring relentlessly this fall. Friday night's show marked only one of eight concerts Dopapod is playing in Florida within just 10 days. And that's just in the Sunshine State.
"I live to be on the road... It's what we do best. It's natural," said guitarist Rob Compa. Despite the late conclusion of the show and a concert the following night in Gainesville, Rob and his bandmates continued the festivities with local organizers and concertgoers, while we, well, opted to go to bed. Lame.
And this won't be the last we see of them in the short-term. Toward the conclusion of their set, Dopapod took a moment to give a shout-out to Brotherly Love Productions, as well, and Aura Music Festival, for which they are confirmed to play later this year.
Check out Dopapod's website, and download Drawn Onward for free, kids. Fusik's next appearance will be at Hurricane Lounge in Delray on October 21, as a part of Brotherly Love Productions' regular event Rock Out With Your Cookout.