Dynamo kicks off Doudna season

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Rob Le Cates

Dynamo’s lead singer Jonathan “Jay” Hoard sings during Doudna Fine Arts Center’s first concert of the year.

Ryan Meyer, Multimedia Reporter

They play fast. They play slow. They’re Dynamo.

The Doudna Fine Arts Center held its first concert of the 2021-22 school year Wednesday night, hosting the Nashville band Dynamo.

Bombastic drums, funky guitars and horn breaks could be heard leaking from out of the Dvorak Concert Hall, and upon entry, one would see eight talented musicians all in worlds of their own, only emerging to fall back into a song’s main melody.

The songs were a mix of the studio versions and extended jams, with each band member having a turn or more at demonstrating absolute mastery of their instruments.

Dynamo, according to their website, “fuses jazz, rock, and funk with elements of soul and R&B.”

The funk especially shone through in guitarist Adam McPhail’s rhythm playing, and the rock presented itself in his ripping solos.

Ryan Connors, Dynamo’s keyboardist and music director, said that the band only rehearsed for roughly three hours prior to the show, their first show since November of 2019.

It didn’t show in their musicianship nor band chemistry.

Savanna Wooten, a junior music education major, said she thought the performance lived up to her expectations.

“I thought it was fantastic,” Wooten said. “All of them had great energy, especially the lead singer. Great energy. And all of the music was just fantastic.”

Anakin Weston, a senior English major, also enjoyed the concert, his first at Doudna since before the pandemic.

“I think it was really awesome to hear the music, it was in a style that was really cool and it was just a great opportunity,” Weston said.

Wooten’s highlight of the show came at the end with Dynamo’s closer, “Dream.”

“I really liked that last song, ‘Dream.’ I thought the beginning was really great and different, and it really ramped up at the end,” Wooten said.

Connors noted the band’s high energy stage presence, saying they don’t need a crowd to have fun on stage.

“The first year or two that we toured, we had so many experiences where the venues that we played were just empty,” Connors said.

“Three people and the sound guy,” Kevin Gatzke, Dynamo’s saxophonist, added.

Those days were a distant memory on Wednesday evening, as Doudna’s Director of Programming, Publicity and Promotion said they gave away all 50 of their allotted student rush tickets.

Doudna’s first event of the semester ended with a group bow and a round of applause from the audience, many of whom were likely seeing their first concerts in a long time.

The next event is Le Cirque: Spirit of the Machine. The event will be held on Tuesday, Sept. 28 at 7:30 p.m.

Ryan Meyer can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]