Technology with attitude

Review: Thomas Dolby at the Showbox

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Thomas Dolby, of ‘She Blinded Me With Science’ fame, stopped in Seattle at the Showbox at the Market on his Time Capsule Tour on April 11th. It was kind of reminiscent of a VH1 Behind the Music. In between songs Dolby gave backstory and told anecdodes about the songs, where he was when he wrote them, and what they mean to him.

For the first time to the best of my knowledge, the Showbox had chairs set up in the area that is typically the dance floor. This makes sense though, considering that before his release of A Map of the Floating City it had been two decades since a Dolby album. Having chairs set up kind of impeded dancing, but overall I’d say it was appreciated.

You know his hits, but you should really check out his new album. It’s cheeky, and deep, and as autobiographical as an album can be. After giving a listen to the album, maybe playing the MMO created in its honor would be your next step for you Dolby completists out there.

There were lots of charming touches to the show, not the least of which was when Dolby had his teenage son come on stage and play drums for the song ‘My Evil Twin Brother’ off of the new album. His son was in time and in control. Afterwards they high-fived. Going on a rock tour with your dad has its benefits.

The music was itself a time capsule. The synthesizer sounds that were once so new and fresh have been since been appropriated by too many bands and genres of music to list. Watching Dolby perform you could see that he’s still experimenting, even with songs from the 80’s. He loves the oscillators, the knobs, the pads– he loves to sing, and he loves it when the audience lets him know how glad they are that he’s there on stage after all these years.

The Time Capsule in question was parked directly in front of the Showbox on 1st ave. It’s an old teardrop trailer that’s been converted into a place where fans can record a message to the future. For more on that, check out CulutureMob’s recent interview with Dolby.