Dodie’s biggest fan live in concert

Kelley Peters, Staff Writer

If you told fifth grade me that I would one day see Dodie Clark in real life, I would have probably said that you’re lying. To say I was (and am) obsessed would be an understatement. I’ve watched all of her YouTube videos, have committed every song she’s ever released to memory, and have declared my undying love for her since discovering her music all those years ago. Let’s just say that I was ecstatic when I found out she was going on a 2022 U.S. tour for her new album, Build a Problem. 

Of course, I begged my mom to go with me – she’s always been my concert buddy, even back in middle school when we went to Warped Tour every summer in the blazing heat – and, bless her, she agreed. The months passed by in anticipation, and before I knew it, we were in Nashville, Tennessee, heading to the Ryman Auditorium for the show. 

Even before stepping foot in the building, I automatically knew that the concert would be a very safe space. Surrounding me were people of all backgrounds, but I was not the least bit uncomfortable, which is really saying something considering how anxious I am. It also didn’t hurt that everyone in attendance seemed to be decked out in different eras of Dodie fashion, myself included. I received as many “I love your outfit”s as I gave out, and after standing in the mile-long merchandise line for what seemed like forever, I was ready for the best time I’ve ever had to begin.

Opening for Dodie was the musician Lizzy McAlpine, who is as adorable as she is talented – which is to say, very. Though I had never listened to her music before this event, I found myself able to nod to the beat and immerse myself in the incredible atmosphere that she created with her songs. My favorite part of her set was when someone in the crowd screamed out, “Lizzy, will you be my valentine?” and Lizzy giggled and blushed as she replied, “Sure!” 

When Dodie came on stage, I’m pretty sure my soul left my body. Like I said before, this is a person that I have looked up to for the majority of my life. Her music has helped me through every seemingly unending struggle, and I feel like I have grown and matured with her because of this. Though I know this sounds a bit dramatic, seeing her in real life felt unreal. She’s a real person? What? No way.

Dodie’s stage presence was amazing. Leaping out from behind the curtain, she beamed in the spotlight, spreading her arms wide, and I felt like I was being embraced by her voice, her presence and the beautiful live music that was played by her incredible band. The concert was organized perfectly, each song meshing into the next with soaring chords to give the band extra playing time while also giving Dodie a chance to address the crowd, explaining what the next song would be and cracking a joke every now and then. Her joy was infectious, and I found myself smiling uncontrollably, grooving to the beat with her as she danced around the stage freely. 

Though I knew her voice was amazing from watching her YouTube videos and listening to her songs, I was not prepared for how ethereal she would sound in the historic venue. Her vocal skills were no joke. Everyone in the room was hanging onto her every syllable, and for good reason. She’s exquisite. I never knew her music, which already meant so much to me, could take on an entirely new, otherworldly quality when performed live. It’s safe to say that I had not truly lived before hearing my favorite songs played right in front of my eyes. There were a few moments when, as she danced around the stage, she stopped right in front of and sang directly to me, making eye contact and everything. It was probably the coolest thing that’s ever happened to me.

My favorite moments of the night were hearing Dodie’s music. However, following closely behind are the moments when she spoke directly to the crowd. Before singing the songs “Rainbow” and “She,” which she wrote about her experiences with being bisexual, Dodie stood very still, a small smile on her face. 

“You know, it sure is nice to see so many gay people in a church.” She said. The crowd screamed in response, laughing as she winked rather conspicuously. “I can’t explain why. I just feel very safe here.” 

The opening notes of “Rainbow” had started, and when she reached the chorus, rainbow lights shone across the stage, lighting the room up. 

Later, when she sat at the piano that was on my side of the stage, she began speaking to the crowd as the music died down. Pointing over the top of the piano to my general area, she said, “A massive apology to anyone over here who can just see my feet,” and proceeded to tap her toes on the ground under the piano and wave over the top. 

More than anything, it was an unreal experience just to be in the same space as a person who I have looked up to for so long. Though I have written quite a bit about this concert, to borrow from Dodie, “I have no words,” at least not ones that can completely encapsulate the night for all that it was. However, I am very happy to say that I got to live out my fifth-grade self’s dreams.