The eccentric, environmentally conscious jamtronica group Papadosio is looking to blow minds and have good times Thursday night at the Majestic Theater. The opening act, EarthCry, is lead singer Anthony Thogmartin’s solo project, so prepare for a healthy double-dose of rocking, face-melting electronic jams and chill, groovy progressive tunes.
Formed back in 2006, the members of Papadosio met each other in Athens, Ohio, where a couple members attended Ohio State University. According to the band’s drummer, Mike Healy, the origin of the band’s funky name actually came from nowhere.
“[We wrote] a bunch of names on a chalkboard, and Papadosio just stood out to us,” he said. “I feel like the deciding factor back then was we looked it up online and nothing came up. That was really unique.”
Unique is one of the many words that could describe both the band and its musical style. While it may be easy to write the group off as just a jam band, Papadosio reaches across many genres.
“Psychedelic rock and roll, elements of electronic music, funk, folk and super awesome improvising mixed throughout — we’re all over the place,” Healy said.
Mixing progressive rock, electronic keys, guitar, bass, synths and live production affords the band loads of creative freedom on stage, so don’t go in expecting one sort of genre. Everything is fair game.
When asked about the band’s major influences, Healy had this to say: “I grew up on Radiohead, Tool, Pink Floyd, Nine Inch Nails, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Bob Marley. A lot of us are all influenced by similar things.”
Healy also said that the group continues to be influenced by new music and groups currently on tour (like Tame Impala, for example). This idea of continuous influence and growth syncs up well with the band’s take on their shows and performances.
“We are always trying to keep it fresh,” Healy said. “We try to take people on a musical journey. We have a pretty interactive visual and lights display intertwined with all of the music to try to engage the audience more than just rocking out and shredding our faces off. A big aspect of our live show is improvising in and out our songs and creating new segues that really keep the audience on its toes.”
In addition to contributing to the music and festival scene, Papadosio is also very committed to giving back to the community and the environment. The band does fundraising for an organization and research center in Peru that helps fight against deforestation and preserve the Amazon rainforest. On top of that, Earthcry, Thogmartin’s solo project, will open. Half of the proceeds from T-shirts and merchandising will go to select charities of Thogmartin’s choice.
Odds are that Friday’s audience won’t have to wait much longer to see Papadosio again. This is the band’s fifth appearance in Madison and certainly not the last.
“We love Madison. It’s always a fun time playing here,” Healy said. “We always try to make it here at least once or twice a year.”
This year alone, the group played approximately 25 festivals since the start of springtime, including its own festival, Rootwire Music and Arts Festival, in Logan, Ohio. If you love live improvisation, cross-genre musical experimentation and artists that contribute more than just music, put Papadosio on your list of “must-see” concerts.