A Love Letter To Live Music

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dodie // Manchester Academy, 2019 – Alice Hiley 

I tend to feel I’ve suffered through a gig rather than enjoyed it. I spend more time glaring at rude audience members than watching my beloved artist, and leave tense after dodging beer spills and shrinking away from groping hands. dodie’s calm, brightly-coloured show was like something from a dream, then. It might have helped that the audience couldn’t legally drink and had eagle-eyed parents watching down from the balconies.

dodie’s known for her whispering, lispy voice—the YouTube videos that kickstarted her career are part song, part ASMR. So no, her words didn’t carry well in that large room and yes, technically we couldn’t actually hear her. But it didn’t matter—this was less of a concert and more of a communion. Her doting fans’ voices were a concrete wall of sound, and it never faltered. Except when one man talked through a quieter song and ten people promptly told him to “shut the f*** up”.

During ‘She’, the rainbows drawn in glitter on faces were joined by rainbows boldly projected on stage, and as thousands of us softly asked “Am I allowed to look at her like that?’, most of us had tears in our eyes. 

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