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dodie with Lizzy McAlpine at The Riviera

On February 20th, 2022, dodie, and her opener Lizzy McAlpine, performed for a packed audience at The Riviera Theatre in Chicago. 

I arrived at The Riviera Theatre, to find a line of jittering fans wrapped around the corner. It was in the mid 40s, but spirits were high. People buzzed excitedly all around me in line; discussing which songs they hoped to hear and where they wanted to sit or stand. Delightedly, the line moved quickly and I spent no more than 20 minutes shivering outside. 

Once inside, I headed up to the second floor balcony area and grabbed a seat. Ornate gold and purple detailing line the ceilings and walls, giving the theatre an eclectic and quirky feel, perfect for dodie and McAlpine. 

Lizzy McAlpine

courtesy of Lizzy McAlpine

At exactly 7:30pm, Lizzy McAlpine ran out onstage and was instantly showered with electrified cheers. After a quick hello, McAlpine went straight into her act, beginning with “doomsday” and “all my ghosts”, two singles from her upcoming album five seconds flat. She followed with “ceilings”, an unreleased track. The crowd lost their minds as her gentle and melodious voice filled the theatre singing, “You kiss me in your car and/ It feels like the start of a movie I’ve seen before/ But it’s not real.”

McAlpine played a couple of crowd pleasers, including a cover of Wheatus’ “Teenage Dirtbag” which fit her voice perfectly and included a number of gorgeous riffs. She ended her set with fan favorite “Pancakes for Dinner” a slightly cheesy, but adorable, farewell. McAlpine had such a natural and warm stage presence. The stage was bare save for her and her two guitars, but there wasn’t a second when the audience wasn’t completely enraptured by her. She was youthful, humble, and real; a true gen z star.

Lizzy McAlpine’s setlist:

  1. doomsday

  2. all my ghosts

  3. ceilings

  4. Angelina

  5. Teenage Dirtbag

  6. erase me

  7. Apple Pie

  8. Pancakes for Dinner


courtesy of Sheri Tarrer

After a short intermission, the curtain that stood behind McAlpine the entirety of her set lifted to reveal a full band (a drummer, a violinist, a cellist, and 2 guitarists that doubled as pianists) and an illuminated sign that read ‘dodie’. Tonal humming began to play and then slowly shifted into a recorded version of “Air so Sweet”, the first track on dodie’s latest album Build A Problem, for which the tour is named. Once the song reached its end, dodie herself ran out onstage and the crowd erupted into floor shaking applause and cheers. She made her way to the center of the stage and just stood there for a minute, taking it all in. She welcomed the audience and thanked us for being there then said, “We’re gonna go through some feelings tonight,” before beginning her set with “Cool Girl.” 

courtesy of Sheri Tarrer

The beginning of the show included cut down versions of a few favorites, including “Party Tattoos,” “I Kissed Someone (It Wasn’t You),” “Guiltless,” and “Human.” Dodie came alive on the stage – dancing and skipping all around while not missing a single note. A third of the way through her set dodie performed “Special Girl,” a personal favorite of mine; she broke out her clarinet for a solo and then proceeded to be rolled on stage in a bed moments later. In between songs, dodie would take a moment to chat and joke around with the crowd. From the beginning, she had such natural and playful banter with the audience; it felt like a private concert, something only she and us shared. 

courtesy of Sheri Tarrer

While dodie’s set up was simple – an open area downstage for dodie to run around on and a smaller, portable stage for the band to stand on (though they often ventured downstage to dance with dodie) – her lighting added a whole new dimension. Small groupings of Edison bulbs were scattered above the stage, customizable light beams hung behind the band, a colorful light strip was positioned at the head of the band’s stand, and of course spotlights (of all different colors) were utilized. Dodie played a mixture of old favorites and new classics, offering the audience different interpretations of songs they knew and loved, keeping the set fresh and interesting. Near the end of the show, dodie took another moment to share some intimate and inspirited words about the past, love, and growth with the audience.

The concert felt safe and comforting, dodie expressed so herself near the end of her set. There’s something so special about being in a room full of strangers that all share a common love. The concert ended with a standing ovation after dodie performed “Hate Myself” while dressed in her iconic police woman outfit from the music video. 

dodie’s setlist:

  1. Cool Girl

  2. Party Tattoos

  3. I Kissed Someone (It Wasn’t You)

  4. Guiltless

  5. Human

  6. Special Girl

  7. Would You Be So Kind/ 6/10/ You/ Secret For the Mad

  8. Sick of Losing Soulmates

  9. Four Tequilas Down

  10. Sorry

  11. When

  12. Before the Line

  13. Rainbow

  14. She

  15. If I’m Being Honest

  16. Boys Like You

  17. Monster

  18. In the Middle

  19. Hate Myself

Dodie’s North American “Build a Problem” Tour with support from Lizzy McAlpine continues until March 25. If you have the opportunity to see dodie and McAlpine live do not hesitate, I promise you’ll have the night of your life. Tickets can be purchased here, run don’t walk!


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