The Dodos Massey Hall, Toronto ON, May 9

The Dodos Massey Hall, Toronto ON, May 9
Photo: Shane Parent
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The Dodos originally piqued the interest of fans and critics with their tightly syncopated, energetic, acoustic guitar and drum-based pop sound. They were like a stripped-down and punk-y version of Paul Simon circa Graceland. Last night at Massey Hall, in their opening slot for Neko Case, they retained little of that spark. It might have been a problem with the venue's PA, but Meric Long's electric guitar sounded thin and tinny, a shell of the full and percussive acoustic sound that is the band's trademark.

Logan Kroeber's drumming seemed distant, serving as a complement to Long's playing instead of a vital, locked-in element of their songs. Massey Hall's cavernous expanse was perhaps not the best space for them, and in any case, the stage had clearly been set for Neko Case. This was obvious not least by her massive backdrop hanging over them. The Dodos aren't extinct, but this just wasn't their night.