By: TJ Liebgott
For lead singer Matt Drake there is no choice; his band Dodger must succeed in the music industry. After all, Drake has the band’s name tattooed across his forearm. For most people that kind of commitment may seem foolish, but after witnessing Dodger play live for their CD release party at Lee’s Palace, it made sense why Drake had fearlessly inked the name.
Before the show even started, the tone for the night had been set when a yellow school bus packed with Dodger fans from Hamilton came roaring past Lee’s. Every fan aboard was there for two reasons: to party and to pick up a copy of Dodgers debut album Musth produced by Jagori Tanna.
Bolton’s Skye Sweetnam started things off playing with her new band. Her set started off rather confusing with the song “Into Action”, which for the most part reminded me a little too much like Sam The Shams classic “Wooly Bully.” However, after that Skye and company kicked things up a notch with her brand of power pop punk. With her raw charisma it was obvious why this girl was signed to a record contract at the tender age of 14.
By the time Burlington’s Walk Off The Earth took the stage, more people had milled into Lee’s. Walk Off The Earth’s vibe of Bob Marley meets Dave Matthews was unfortunately treated as background music to most, possibly since everyone was anticipating Dodger hitting the stage.
Dodger was well worth the wait. Their version of ska/reggae/hardcore rocked the full house at the Palace. By the time they played their single “Stomp” the place was being torn apart. Between songs crazed fans chanting “Dodger, Dodger, Dodger” and the chanting became louder after every song. By the time Dodger had finished their set, the crowd still hadn’t had enough and they were already screaming for an encore. Even though they had been rocking out for over an hour and were drenched in sweat, Dodger came out to do a few more songs for the rabid crowd.
After the work, money and dedication that went into recording Musth, Dodger couldn’t have asked for a better record release party. Even Mista D from the Salads tried to catch as much of the band as he could before rushing off to play his own set at The Funhaus. Its no wonder why he almost missed his own show, Dodger really did rock the shit out of Lee’s Palace.