By: BoB Mandich
Saturday night (or EARLY Sunday morning) the city of Chicago got dosed! No, no, not like that. Dosed as in Papadosio. What’s a Papadosio you may ask? Papadosio is a jamtronica band based out of Asheville, North Carolina that have been moving feet with a message for the past 8 years. Their fan base can easily be compared to that of The Grateful Dead or Phish in terms of devotion to the band and it grows by the day. Their message is simple; We are all one and we have the power to change things. We just have to want to. You really get the vibe at a Papadosio show that most everybody in attendance is on the same page and Saturday night in Chicago was no different.
There was no opener for their late night performance as Taking Back Sunday & The Used performed in Concord earlier (I know of at least 5 people who went to both shows). Talk about a serious shift in performers. It was very fitting then that they opened with “Paradigm Shift.” They took the stage a little later than the announced time which was smart because it everybody a chance to file in without missing any of the set. Towards the end of last summer Papadosio started to play around with their sets a lot more by splitting songs in half, having the first half lead into a different song then that song lead into the 2nd half. It always makes for a more fun set and shows off a bands’ skills to an even greater degree. When it’s done with “Paradigm Shift” as the opener you know you’re in for a very special set. You could feel the electricity through the crowd as Paradigm flawlessly shifted into “Find Your Cloud”, causing a huge eruption of approval. It is very rare when a band’s biggest and most loved song happens to be the same but you could make that argument for “Find Your Cloud”. The entire crowd was singing along to the short and sweet lyrics, indeed finding their clouds in that exact moment. “Garden” tantalized everyone with its smooth bass lines while “Dream Estate” took us on a ride with its deep synths and shredding guitar riffs. “Method of Control” saw things really pick up with crazy electronic breakdowns that made the crowd roar and shake our collective booty like the sun wasn’t coming up anytime soon. An improv jam led into “Cue”, a very uplifting and feel song, something Papadosio seems to have a lot of. “Cue” led into another little improv jam to close out the first set.
The 2nd set opened with “Smile & Nod”, a song with a tropical vibe that could also feature some ballroom dancers in the background and feel like a 100% natural fit. “Cloud Found” was next and as the name would suggest it is indeed a follow up to “Find Your Cloud”. This song basically is talking about now that you’ve found your cloud just where are you going to go from here? Even when you’ve achieved greatness there is still more to be done. You can never become content or complacent because those feelings can be our own worse enemy. The powerful chords and breakdowns are enough to make a grown man cry and believe me when I say there was plenty of that going on inside Concord Music Hall. “The Bionic Man Meets His Past” is another beautiful song that features a slow, heavy build with a climax that could be best described as sunlight bursting through a storm cloud. It received one of the loudest ovations of the night. “Advocate of Change” is the equivalent of a showdown between titans of the universe while lightning bolts rain down like hail. It is intense. It is epic. It is Papadosio being Papadosio. Advocate led back into the 2nd half of “Paradigm Shift”, thus completing the very rare and very special Paradigm sandwich. The 2nd half of “Paradigm Shift” or just Shift is where the song really picks up steam. Another slow burning build climaxes with incredibly heavy synthesizers that just climb higher and higher and higher. It’s the type of soundtrack you would have in the middle of profound life moments. Imagine yourself reaching the top of Mt. Everest, throwing the game winning touchdown pass in the Superbowl or having the best sex ever. The shift is what would be playing because when putting music to moments there is no better comparison. It was a ferociously high note to close out set 2 and the “Improbability Blotter” encore sent everyone home smiling, nodding, riding a cloud and, most importantly, dosed.