With Brooklyn’s Grand Victory stage decked out in a colorful backdrop, L.A.’s The Dollyrots roared through tracks from their four albums like a speeding locomotive. The pop punk band, consisting of new parents Kelly Ogden (bass, vocals) and Luis Cabezas (guitar), is so sure-footed that one would never guess it shreds through drummers as it does songs. The band has had five drummers since its inception in 2000, and on this night, they borrowed Mel Funk from New York’s Jackknife Stiletto for the set. Regardless, The Dollyrots’ live show radiated energy and life, which enabled the audience to turn a blind eye to the venue’s unfortunate, atrocious sound mix (read: incomprehensible vocals) and simply let it rock.
Kicking off with “Hyperactive” from the 2012 self-titled album (released on the band’s own Arrested Youth label), The Dollyrots showcased its polished pop gems that shone like a rare diamond. While songs from this year’s Barefoot & Pregnant were peppered into the mix, favorites like “Brand New Key,” a reimagining of Melanie’s 1971 folk ditty “Jackie Chan” and “Feed Me, Pet Me” swept up the crowd that savored them like a honey lick.
About halfway through the show, the magical mayhem of the evening was elevated further when a man took to the stage and crafted balloon animals. The Dollyrots have long incorporated bunnies into their album artwork so it was no surprise when the balloon artist produced and doled out perfectly-shaped bunnies to two lucky fans. And when the band played the tremendous crowd pleaser “My Best Friend’s Hot,” from 2007’s Because I’m Awesome (find it on Joan Jett’s Blackheart label), the balloon bunnies hit the dance floor in full-force amidst the crowd.
Later when the band launched into the title track of Because I’m Awesome, the audience exploded into a pogo fiasco and unabashedly threw themselves into one another in a display that might best be personified by the Fraggle Rock theme song “Dance Your Cares Away.”
The Dollyrots’ set concluded with another track from its self-titled release, the blistering meditation on life “Starting Over Again.” And just like that, the show was over. No encore, no weepy goodbyes, just in and out, lickety split.
The Dollyrots’ North American tour has now wrapped, but catch them in the United Kingdom this October. More info here.