(Fox Theatre, Detroit, MI - June 6th, 2004)
Electronic pop chanteuse Dido may well have entered London's Guildhall School of Music at age six, and therein by the time she'd reached her teens had already mastered piano, violin and recorder, but tonight it was her voice that enraptured the sell-out crowd.
As her five-piece backing band strike up, Dido appears from stage right to rapturous applause and kicks off the 80 minute show with 'Don't Leave Home'. Wearing a simple white top with simple blue jeans, 'Here With Me' comes next. Clutching the mic stand with her hand as if using it as a crutch, Dido doesn't move around the stage until we hit the third song. "Hello, Detroit," she beams broadly to the crowd. "It's lovely to be here." Further explaining that the next song was a direct attack on someone she knew, 'See You When You're 40' is brought to the fore.
Lit by a backdrop of a black cloth with three hanging square lights in blue, Dido and the stage are flooded in the color as she runs through 'Life For Rent,' 'My Life,' and 'Hunter'. It's during the latter that the drummer Alex comes center stage and bangs out the back beat on his tom-toms to the delight of the crowd. Not to mention that Dido's excellent guitarist begins to sing 'into' his actual guitar!
"Some people think this next song is a love song and it's not," Dido explains as she introduces 'Don't Leave Home'. "It's about addiction." With the stage bathed in a truly beautiful indigo light, lights beam down on the beats onto each seperate performer during the bouncy 'Who Makes You Feel'. "This is the first song that I ever wrote," Dido then goes on to explain."Well, that you'll ever hear" she laughs. This turns out to be 'Take My Hand' which is followed by her turn on the guitar for 'Mary's In India'.
As we head into the final beats of the night, it should be noted that throughout the entire night Dido's vocals, even the reverbs have been perfect, that the production was clean and that the dance beats were fresh, tuneful modern folk-pop. "I wrote this next song in the bath," she admits as she then breaks into 'Thankyou', following that with 'Sand In My Shoes' and the set closer, 'White Flag'.
Coming back three minutes later with a solo performance of just her and her keyboard for 'Do You Have A Little Time', Dido ends the night with 'All You Want' from No Angel. Dido's music is highly listenable, atmospheric, seductive, and beautifully produced and you could far worse than to spend a night in her musical company.
Reviewed by Russell A. Trunk