Sunday, February 5, 2017

Concert Review: The Dollyrots - Live, Acoustic, and Awesome! @ Randy Now's Man Cave Bordentown, NJ 08/25/16

Imagine you got to see one of your favorite bands perform live in your living room. Only 25 other people on the guest list, and afterward the band hung out to mingle and eat cupcakes. Yeah, that’s right. It happened. Not in my living room, but at a record & consignment store. This past summer, The Dollyrots performed an intimate acoustic concert at Randy Now’s Man Cave in Bordentown, New Jersey, and it was AWESOME!

When I say intimate, I mean that as the audience settled into their seats, Kelly Ogden and Luis Cabezas were handing their son off to the babysitter. Once they knew the son was settled and in good hands, they began the gig. My two younger kids were in the front row, and my oldest son and I sat behind them as Luis strummed his six string, and a pregnant Kelly joined him on bass. And yes, you read that correctly. Kelly was seven months pregnant with Dollyrot #2, rocking out in the record store.

Each song was performed with high energy, great vocals, and the crowd was easily infected with their optimism. Songs included, "My Best Friend’s Hot", "Weird", covers "Brand New Key", "Da Doo Ron Ron", and "I Wanna Be Sedated". Closing out the set was "Because I’m Awesome".  Why? Because they’re awesome. I’ve included a photo of the complete set list for your viewing pleasure.

Just as enjoyable as the singing was the banter between Kelly and Luis. These two have known each other since 8th grade, so the chemistry was natural, humorous and engaging. (One of my favorite stories was about their awkward photo-op with Billy Idol.) There was never a lull in the evening, as the conversation always kept the show moving forward. Even when items hanging on the wall (such as an Elvis clock) would distract Kelly, the dialogue never felt forced. It felt like two people chilling in the kitchen, eating ice cream, discussing what happened earlier in the day.

After the concert, the audience had the privilege to meet The Dollyrots duo. And here’s where the unexpected highlight of the night came. This wasn’t some “set up a table and we’ll sign an autograph on your merchandise” meet and greet. It was like a party at one of your favorite relatives. Kelly and Luis were so gracious, and could not have been nicer.

One audience member had made cupcakes for them. I’m talking fancy, with The Dollyrots logo on each one. Kelly and Luis were more than happy to share those cupcakes with us. (Or perhaps they may have felt the cupcakes were poisoned, and offered me one to see if there was a side-effect. The only side effect was delicious creaminess.)

For at least 45 minutes, Kelly and Luis had conversations with each person. My daughter noticed California Beach Boy was on the setlist (one of our favorite songs), but not played. So we asked what the chord progression was. Kelly handed me her water bottle, picked up her bass guitar and showed us the chord progression. My son leaned over to me and said, “Dad, the person that wrote that song, is showing you how to play it.” I replied, “I know, and that may never happen again at any concert you ever attend. Enjoy it.”

It’s been months since the concert, and my kids and I are still glowing about seeing The Dollyrots perform live. We wear their t-shirts at least once a week, and the autographed posters hang on their walls. We don’t appreciate just their music, but also how nice they are. They treated everyone at the performance (before, during and after) with dignity, respect and graciousness. If you are looking for a new band to check out, I highly recommend you take a listen to The Dollyrots. And if you get the chance, check out a live performance. 

Visit for more information, music and upcoming tours.

“And remember, absurdity is the most real thing in life.” – Michael Roche

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