A review of her show at The Paramount in Seattle, WA May 19, 2004
By Melody Alderman
"When you're stoned baby and I am drunk and we make love, it seems a little desolate," were the first words to escape Dido's lips when she opened the first show on her US tour with "Stoned," a song from her latest release Life For Rent.
Dido's a gifted songstress who seems unafraid to take risks when it comes to her music. She wrote one of her most dynamic and emotive songs when she was only a teenager. "Take My Hand," a song that is multi-dimensional with an all encompassing calmness, was re-worked with a heightened dance-style tempo. This was the case with many of her songs. "Skin" (which was re-formatted to include a Jimbe), was given a more evident musical heartbeat that brought the songs to life in front of a live audience. There is this feeling you get as a listener that you're secretly reading from the pages of her diary. I was curious if Dido's songs would work in such a voyeuristic setting. This is where the re-worked versions provided an escape from stagnation.
Dido has a perceptible reserved quality that is contradicted with the courageous honesty in her lyrics. It's a combination that makes her fascinating to watch as she carefully reacts to every word that is yelled out to her from the audience. "I love you Dido!" a crowd member declared. Dido responded, "Wow, I'm doing really good. I've pulled a lot tonight." She paused, "I have a Jacuzzi in my dressing room."
Dido's sense of humor is evident in her responses and anecdotes. It seems that some in the crowd weren't sure how to take her humor. There's a very 'girl next door' appeal to Dido with an underlying special, maybe even angelic quality. She's a unique artist who has mainstream appeal based solely on her music. It seems as though her audience isn't sure of how they should react to her personality. A slightly uncomfortable moment in the show came when a fan loudly declared their adoration and Dido responded with an authoritative gentleness, "Please don't interrupt while I'm talking."
Other songs in the set included "See You When You're 40" ("This is one of the nastier songs I've written"), "Life For Rent" ("This song changed the way I live my life"), and "Don't Leave Home" ("Some people think this is a love song, which scares me.... It's actually about addiction.")
For the encore, Dido came out absent of her band and played "Do You Have A Little Time" on the keyboard. It was one of the show's highlights as the live version easily surpassed the beauty of the studio version. She confessed to the crowd, "I wrote this for someone special and even left it on the kitchen table as a little note. Then, about two years into touring, I realized it was more about me than anyone else."
The evening ended with "See The Sun," a song about friendship. It faded out into a vapor of bright yellow lights that resembled prodigious sunlight. It was the ideal conclusion for an artist who has achieved artistic heights without trying to be anyone other than who she is; an authentic, talented songwriter and musician.
so easy and free
Could walk away, not think ahead,
and had no plans to keep
No hand to told,
no one to bring down with me
I wouldn't see the worst
and it only hurts me"
Song * Everything To Lose
Album * Sex and The City Soundtrack
clocks will carry on
Flowers won't be left in parks,
work will still be done
People won't be dressed in black,
babies will be born
No flags will fly, the sun will rise,
But we will know that you are gone"
Song * The Day Before The Day
Album * Safe Trip Home
destruction to come back again
And I caused nothing but trouble
I understand if you can't
talk to me again
And if you live by the rules of
then I'm sure that that makes sense"
Song * White Flag
Album * Life For Rent