Dotan w/Ben Folds + yMusic | 11.17.15

live dotanDotan played melodic ballads full of arpeggios and even a touch of percussion.



The Pageant, St. Louis


It’s autumn and the skies are dark, but in one of the brightest places in St. Louis, it was difficult to discern the rain, the wet, and the dark. As always, the Delmar Loop was abuzz with excitement and teeming with people off to buy records, hit a hookah bar, pop back a few beers, or see a show.

At The Pageant, Ben Folds and yMusic were bringing their new album to the masses, but before that, the Dutch-born Dotan took the stage.

Seeing Dotan was a bit of a thrill becausee I knew nothing of him other than his name and face before he took the stage. There was a slight apology, because normally there are six, including himself, on stage, but on this tour, it was only him and another guitarist.

They played melodic ballads full of arpeggios and even a touch of percussion. Dotan, like Ben Folds, likes to tell a few stories between songs. Sadly, as it was pretty loud in the club, I won’t be able to share any of them with you.

Dotan and his compatriot delivered a loose and enjoyable set. They sat in folding chairs and just played for themselves. At times, it felt like we were invited over to his house to watch him and his friend jam. There was a strong communal feeling to what we were singing.

The story of the night though, was Ben Folds + yMusic. They’ve recently just released an album together and this is their tour in support of it. yMusic played an overture before Folds took the stage, appearing very scruffy indeed. After joining the New York–based ensemble, they began playing several tracks off their collaborative album, So There.

This is the part where I think back to when I saw Folds and the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, and get a little confused. For the first 30 to 40 minutes of the set, the songs were long and languid and the stories weren’t terribly compelling. It was only the second half of the set that there were more classic songs. That’s when the energy, the tomfoolery, and the fun of seeing Folds in concert finally came out.

In the end, it wasn’t what I was expecting, but I was singing one of the songs he played when I was brushing my teeth before bed. Who could complain about that? | Nik Cameron

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