Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The Dollyrots @ The Record Collector - Bordentown, NJ 09/10/14

There are times that you like a band but you don't truly love them until you see them live.

That is the case with The Dollyrots.

I hadn't really heard of The Dollyrots before until Randy Now's Man Cave had booked them for an intimate show in his store.  When I learned of the show I quickly looked them up and queued their new album 'Barefoot and Pregnant'.

I don't remember  a recent album that was this much fun.  It was fun, catchy, energetic with smart lyrics.

"Drew a pic of you
in my sketchbook
It’s existentialist
Your heart’s outside your chest
Have you ever been kissed
by a girl in a Guy Fawkes mask
I bet you’d like that too
Cause you’ve got real issues"

This is another instance of me wondering how the hell I had never heard of this band.  Even one of my best friends followed them on Twitter.  The Dollyrots are the Power Pop Punk, husband and wife team of Luis Cabezas and Kelly Ogden. They have been around for over 10 years so apparently I am late to the game.  I listened to them, liked them, and never made my way to buy a ticket.  Then I saw on Facebook that the show was now a sellout.  I had missed my opportunity. Life goes on.

A few weeks back I had stopped by to see Randy and to buy some vinyl.  As I was checking out he asked if I wanted to see The Dollyrots.  Say What?!?  I said yes, but that I knew it was a sellout.  He then told me that he had one ticket left.  At 8 dollars it seemed like a steal.  I was now going to see The Dollyrots!!!  Their show at The Man Cave was to be an acoustic set and an electric set.  I was excited as all hell.

Not everything always goes as planned.  About a week before the show Randy announced that he was no longer going to be able to have concerts in his store.  I was crushed.  Speechless.  Shortly after Randy posted that the show had been moved to the Record Collector.  His competitor that is on the same street that he is on.  A classy move by Randy.  He wanted what was best for the band.  I had never been to the Record Collector so this night was going to be filled with firsts.

The Record Collector has been in business for over 25 years.  Not many independent record stores can say that.  They specialize in rare and hard to find vinyl from all eras.  They boast having over a million 45's, LP's, and CD's in stock.  At any given point you could walk in and find something unique, like and autographed Ramones LP to a rare Frank Sinatra 45.  The cool thing about this venue is that they also have live music on the weekends in the back of the store.  This would be the venue for The Dollyrots.

I arrived a little early and was waiting outside to get in so I made the best of my time and grabbed a Dollyrots Tour Poster from the window.  This would be a great piece to have them sign.  The line started to grow and we could hear the band sound checking from outside.  When they let us in most of the crowd went to pick up their tickets.  I had mine in my hand and was able to walk right in and sit directly in front of the stage.  AWESOME!  I went and checked out the merch table and then settled in for the show.

Because the Record Collector was a little bigger of a venue they decided to rock out in all electric.  The band took the stage and started to laugh because they had forgotten their setlists.  Luis had Kelly go and get them.  She joked that she was going for a pack of cigarettes and wasn't coming back, just like Luis's aunt had done.  While she was getting the setlists Luis told the story how his aunt just left one day, left all of her stuff behind and never came back. 

They were recently going through the attic and found all of her stuff from the 90's.  The concert hadn't even started and I was in love with this band.  Their banter and their joking were a sign of the fun that they were having. It was also a sign of the fun that we were going to have watching them.  You could tell how in love these two are.


After Kelly came back they kicked in with 'Hyperactive' and 'First World' Anarchist before hitting us with a punked up cover of Melanie's 'Brand New Key'.

The in-between song interaction was very cool and very charming.  Kelly was joking that we were so close that she has never had to worry about her breath before.  After accepting some Listerine spray from the audience Luis kept joking that it was LSD.  They kicked back in with the music and played the wonderful 'Stupidly in Love'.

Luis realized that he hadn't tuned his guitar.  Kelly asked if he had tuned her bass.  Then they fought over the tuner.  I think I smiled the entire concert.  To see a band like this have fun in an intimate setting was killer.  They introduced their new song 'Bury Me In Ireland' by telling the story about looking for the burial grounds of Kelly's ancestors every time they play Ireland.  They didn't realize at the time of writing it how offended the Northern Irelanders would be by being lumped in to Ireland.  They vowed to fix it this night by throwing in Northern Ireland occasionally.  Luis asked if Kelly could tell him where so that they could be in sync.  Kelly said

After that they continued on, sometimes switching the order of the playlist.  They mentioned that this was their first time East of the Mississippi since they recorded the new album 'Barefoot and Pregnant'.  The title coming from Kelly being pregnant.  They had their new baby boy River with them tonight as well.  The set was killer.  They played my new favorite 'Get Weird', the classic 'Jackie Chan' and others.  Before I knew it the set was over.

To our surprise they came back on and said that many had come tonight to see them play an acoustic set.  They were going to take three requests.  That is, if Luis could remember how to play the songs. 


The first track was Hysteria.  Luis was trying to remember it and Kelly guaranteed that it wasn't more than four chords.  Half way through the song Kelly handed me he Shaker and let me played along.  They joked that I could be their new drummer.  The drummer position has long been a revolving door job with them.  For the second song there were no suggestions coming in so I asked them to play a cover.  They did their version of 'Be My Baby'.

For the last song Kelly suggested she pick 'Nobody Else'.  It was a fitting way to end the night.  Kelly stood up and said lets hang out.  She went to the front of the store.  I grabbed the setlist from the stage and headed up.  I was the first to Kelly.  I had her sign my tour poster and sticker.  I was going to ask for a photo but she grabbed her son and I felt that might be inappropriate.  Luis then signed my stuff and said his new thing is to date everything to make it more meaningful. The couple hung out laughing and joking with everyone.  It was a perfect night.

I had liked this band but now I love them.  As I left I just kept thinking how lucky I am.  I have a lot of special nights like these.  I am always happy that I can share them with you as well.  Go see this band.  They will win you over.  I have no doubt.

See you at the next show!


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