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CHAPPO's cosmic concert, live at The Doug Fir

CHAPPO live at the Doug Fir, Portland Oregon, February 18, 2014
CHAPPO live at the Doug Fir, Portland Oregon, February 18, 2014
Pat Herrera

CHAPPO live at the Doug Fir


Brooklyn’s psychedelic alt-rockers, CHAPPO, showed off their charismatic vibe at the Doug Fir February 18. Sharing a co-headling bill with New Orleans-based Royal Teeth, they treated the crowd to a tightly played 12-song set that featured new songs from the soon to be released full-length sophomore effort, Future Former Self.

Lead singer/guitarist/ and ringmaster, Alex Chappo, got the night rocking with a pulsating new track, I’m Not Ready, fashioning a driven 80s new-wave dance beat in a tale of dizzying reluctance, and then quickly segueing into Shot’s Fired, casually introduced by Chappo as a song about paranoia.

Both songs were perfect examples of the displayed ease in which CHAPPO shifts from polished alternative rock to the kaleidoscope of spacey psychdelia. Chappo smoothly accomplished this with the solid backing of Chris Olsen on keyboards, Zac Colwell on drums, and Dave Feddock on guitar.

Shifting into upbeat yet relaxed groove, the band played two more new songs, the dreamy pop of Hang On and the pliable space-funk of I Don’t Need The Sun. Both songs are pieces of the puzzle, and part of the bigger picture, that is Future Former Self, which follows one man's journey through space to a black hole to help save mankind, while he struggles with the abstract concept of time and its fleeting nature. A psychedelic adventure performed with a playful knowingness.

As the band busted into the charging beat of Hell No, the dramatic Chappo stepped into the unsuspecting crowd, with mic in hand, and playfully bulled through the crowd with his head down, singing, “You know you caught my eye, you know it’s just a show.” His roamed freely as far as his mic chord would allow before wandering back on stage, singing the reminding chorus and urging, “Be in the light.”

Back on stage, Chappo artfully surveyed the lounge with a lost, gazed look into the crowd, appearing to be caught in a zombie-like trance before snapping into 5-0.

The set continued with one of the stand out tracks of the new album, the infectious Mad Magic. Led by Crowell’s syncopated rhythm guitar, the song bounced along with a funky groove, getting the crowd moving. The main set ended with their most notable song to date, Come Home, with its rocking, bouncing dance beat that has kept many an Ipod listener shuffling along.

Urged by the crowd and drummer Colwell, Chappo and the rest of the band returned to conclude the evening, and interstellar adventure with Sunblades and Moonwater.

The evening was opened by local band The Adam Brock 4 and New Orleans-based, energetic alt-pop group, Royal Teeth.

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