Online sensation Dodie, also known by her YouTube handle ‘Doddleoddle’, breaks the stigma and proves that YouTubers can have a successful career out of YouTube! As a fan since 2014, I was eager to see her as she came to Nottingham’s Rock City on March 20th in support of her new album ‘Human’.
As soon as I arrived, the queue was already up the street and around the corner! Observing the crowd, I saw teenagers with hair of every colour, a lot of Doc Martens and flower crowns. Needless to say, I felt nostalgic for my fangirl years and reminisced about the time I too would get there as early as possible to see my favourite artist. A group of girls in the queue were playing their favourite songs and singing along; I knew this gig would have a great vibe.
After two incredible support acts warming up the audience, Orla Gartland and KAWALA, (read our interview and review for KAWALA here at The Mic!) they were buzzing for the 23-year-old artist to take centre stage. “God is a Woman” started blasting through the speakers and the audience was instantly singing along. As it finished, the room fell dark and Dodie appeared on a single lit stage and performed her first song, which was the quiet and gentle “Arms Unfolding”. Her second song, “Monster”, saw the rest of her band joining her, in which includes a cello and a violin; quite unfamiliar for artists nowadays!
Whilst going in-between performing on her piano and guitar, Dodie talked to the crowd almost like they were her friends. Whether it was telling them about her breakdown 3 years ago, jokes about her ex-boyfriend, and even about some bad reviews she’s gotten (I ducked my head down a little at this point), it felt like a lovely connection that she had with the audience.
With her being so used to ‘talking’ to them on YouTube, I imagine she feels incredibly comfortable with it, and it’s nice for her to put faces to the comments she reads under her posts. I think what made this gig so special was the connection Dodie and the audience had. The people there have essentially watched her life bloom from being a YouTuber in her bedroom, to releasing her album and going on numerous tours, all whilst growing up themselves. Dodie isn’t this untouchable presence whose life seems perfect 24/7, she comes across as a down to earth and kind person, and this vulnerability is what her audience resonate with and love her for.
Also showing how much her audience love her, Dodie made a mistake during her song “Secret for the Mad”, but did the audience boo? No! They laughed with her and cheered with support. She makes mistakes, like all of us! Also, during this song, I noticed a lot of people getting emotional. Two girls in front of me were shedding tears and hugging each other, which I thought was a beautiful moment.
This gig wasn’t just about Dodie, it was the experience you have with the people beside you and how you connect with her songs. Earlier during the night, a fan had printed out coloured flowers and handed them around the crowd so we would hold it up to our phones’ torch during Dodie’s song “She”, and sure enough as she started to play it, a sea of multicoloured lights appeared and lit up the room. When she finished the song, Dodie just stood back and smiled then said “I don’t say this enough, but thank you”.
A stand out moment for me during the gig was in the middle of the perky song, “You”, Dodie’s violinist played a beautiful solo, which isn’t heard on the original track. I hope she is more experimental like this in the studio in future as I thought it was really nice and refreshing, and the crowd loved it. To finish, Dodie played “In the Middle”, which without doubt was the best song of the night. From the start the crowd were dancing, and like during the song “You” from before, Dodie included a very funky instrumental where she thanked each member of the band, and we were treated with a disco like bass solo and a brilliant drum solo. After this she got the crowd to kneel down then jump back up when the song peaked. Such an incredible note to end on!
Dodie only has one more gig on her UK tour, so if you’re in London, grab your tickets! If not, I’m sure she’ll be back very soon as we will be hearing from her again.