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The Dollyrots celebrated the Year of the Bunny as they hit the stage of the Knitting Factory NoHo on Friday night. The crowd was filled with those who have followed the band since the Zen Sushi / Kiss or Kill days to teenagers who had an “X” on their hand to kids who proudly wore Dollyrots T-shirts and bunny ears while filming the set with their parent’s iPhone.
Touring just as they announced that their ninth studio album, “Night Owls,” will be out Oct. 13, the married couple of Kelly Ogden and Luis Cabezas kicked it off with “I Do.” Cabezas leaped into the air immediately. If the Knitting Factory didn’t have a “No Stage Drive” rule, one had the sense that he would have jumped into the crowd on song one. With Aixa Vilar (Go Betty Go) setting the tempo on drums, Ogden’s fingers hit the bass strings as least as fast as any bassist in Los Angeles and, mid-song, she gave nods out to familiar faces in the crowd. The band then belted out a favorite “My Best Friend’s Hot” with the fun lyrics, “My best friend’s hot / My best friend’s hot / No matter what I do you love me not / Woah oh oh, woah oh oh. Na na na na na not / You love me not.”
Ogden mentioned that in the early days, the band often toured with male-fronted bands and that she was often the only female on the tour. Then she let out, “Tonight, all the bands are female fronted — by accident.” Cabezas teased, “You’re just a coathanger, Kelly.” She retorted, “A great band, by the way.”
The band’s “I Know How To Party” proved relatable and catchy. “City of Angels” is about how they moved from Florida to Los Angeles. It felt like it was a shout out to the Zen Sushi crowd in the audience. As the band is on the back half of their tour, it was mentioned, “We did laundry in the middle of the night. It doesn’t matter to us, but it matters to you.”
The Dollyrots are also a family affair, with children River and Daisy getting to join in on the fun for a song. Daisy hit the drums. River took on guitar duties. The parents gave encouragement by singing out, “Rock the show.” Afterwards, River took command of the stage by showing off his yo-yo tricks.
The band closed out the night, and how can it be otherwise, with “Because I’m Awesome” (2007), which set the crowd in motion. Ogden walked off the stage with, “I’m going to go pee and then you’re all going to sign my jacket.”
Tour mates Dog Party is a two-piece band consisting of sisters Gwennie and Lucy Giles. The band played their punk-rock country with joy. Spotted was drummer Lucy Giles playing with boots to the side, left foot without a sock, right foot with a sock. Broken Baby’s Amber Bollinger had the “Blade Runner” style going while wearing the words, “Busy being make believe.” When it came to their recently released song “Beautiful Voices,” Bollinger had the following to say, “We put this song out a month ago and we don’t care about it anymore.” Rocket opened up the night with abandonment, enjoyed by the sizable early arriving crowd.
Dollyrots setlist: I Do, My Best Friend’s Hot, Everything, Twist Me to the Left, Too Fun for My Health, I Know How to Party, Hey Girl, City of Angels, Brand New Key, Dance Like a Maniac, Jackie Chan, Satellite, Animal, Because I’m Awesome
Photos and recap by Notes From Vivace