The Trocadero is a grand old burlesque house in Philadelphia; its cavernous feel and fading greatness made it a perfect host for a band like Doves. The evening began as a soundscape table was set and Doves were hungry, as they filled the stage with the new song “Jetstream” to start the show. With three members, one would think that would be difficult, but vocalist/bassist Jimi Goodwin and the brothers William (Jez on guitar, Andy on drums) have seemingly mastered the art of crowding a space with lush atmosphere that pulls apart traditional Britpop schematics.
Touring behind Kingdom of Rust, their fourth album in nine years, the Manchester trio (and traveling keyboardist Martin Rebelski) have breached new, musically organic territory and bridged a sonic gap between their roots in an embryonic second-wave Manchester scene and the mesmerizing pop of the new album. As they traversed effortlessly through “Winter Hill,” Goodwin’s crooning baritone honed in on brooding lyrics that suggested he would hang on to the memory of a love found in a small town and lost to the time at hand.
A trance-like spirit blanketed the Doves crowd. The revelers seemed to have the safety on as the only shouts fired were requests for more reflective exuberance from the band’s back catalog. Favorites like “Rise,” “Black and White Town” and “Almost Forgot Myself” were cast like lush spells over an eager audience. The set was finalized by a four-song encore including massive UK charters “Last Broadcast” and “There Goes the Fear.” The concert simmered to a close under the reverberating vaulted ceiling of the theate, the crowd released into an illuminated and re-energized night.