Papadosio Curates Artistic Audiovisual Apex at Mission Ballroom

Article Contributed by Maddy Crandall | Published on Monday, December 6, 2021

Papadosio, five-piece improv-based jamtronica, curated a comprehensive audiovisual experience to stimulate a full-sensory empiricism. Papadosio was supported by a stellar musical lineup (Random Rab, Atyya, Blossomn), all facilitating the appearance of a hefty Denver-based live painting lineup (Emily Kell, Jake Amason, Krystelyez, Morgan Mandala, Mr. Melty, Peter Westerman, Randal Roberts, Seth McMahon, Stephen Kruse, Sweet Melis). The righteous audio lineup was partnered with stage visuals from Videometry & Nedriod of Microdose VR, along with a pop-up Virtual Reality experience that was offered to attendees in the concert hall. Papadosio’s latest album Microdosio was exemplified throughout the atmosphere of the evening, showcasing the importance of visual representation and immersive creative spirit.

“Our goal is to create a truly unique auditory and visual experience; highlighting the co-creation of all artists at Denver’s newest and hottest venue, the Mission Ballroom,” Papadosio manager Jake Ottmann said in a statement.

Mission Ballroom | Denver, CO

And boy, did they succeed! Walking into the venue, the conceptual experience was already ignited, as attendees were instantly presented with live painters lining the walls. Very distinguishable Papadosio and local arts fans absorbed the entire optical experience, including the ecstasy associated with an event fueled by unique collaboration. A sense of comfort filled the air, as attendees felt the sacredness of a space driven by creative expression, musical discord, and community.

Mission Ballroom | Denver, CO

Blossomn ignited the night with his intentional electronic music rooted in sampling, instrumentation, and experimentation. Blossomn allowed for an audio gateway for a night of incredible music, as well as held the space for attendees to attune to the visual sensations of the gigantic screen projections behind him.

Atyya followed with his legendary heavy bass tunes and layered downtempo vibes. Fans who have followed his musical path for a while were pleased with the wide range of mysterious and anecdotal tunes he played. He tapped into the audience with a cover of Drake’s “Behind Bars,”  ricocheting a whole vibration throughout the crowd.

Random Rab | Mission Ballroom

Random Rab came out next with a sparkly sequined jacket patterned with a musical rig resembling a “one-man-band” setup. His establishment as a distinguished producer was evident throughout his set, as the Mission Ballroom began to fill. Random Rab carried us throughout the beginning of his set with deep tribal-like beats, which translated into groovy melodies. The surrounding visuals heightened the tone, and the instrumental rhythmic flow enchanted the crowd. Random Rab gave a shout-out to Emancipator for a new track they produced together, as well as announced that they are releasing a collaborative project called “Dose.”

At this point, the bass was vibrating throughout the crowd’s chest bones. Random Rab premiered a track he pronounced he wrote the day before, which was then followed by a cameo from Lxdy’s Kathlyn Hooper. The track consisted of her strong, powerful vocals, which was coupled with a speech about how, while the overwhelming feeling of the earth deteriorating can be a lot to take on, you should “never feel bad about feeling good.”

Papadosio | Mission Ballroom

Papadosio then took to the stage and congregated into the middle of a beautifully devised stage plan. Their huddle centered around a main synthesizer, where the band members theatrically played around with the sound modulation, embarking a fierceness throughout the venue. The initial sounds curated were ominous and mysterious, enveloping the crowd.. Stage visuals allowed for Papadosio to be pronounced in their initial synthesized huddle.

The band hit a consistent groove as they repositioned themselves back on stage. Anthony Thogmartin led the way, creating a shrill of audio that was contemporaneous with the stage’s growing visual projections. Papadosio placed notes in a lively, improvisational manner that we all know and love. As they dove into their custom sound, there was a tangible presence from the crowd as everyone began to absorb Papadosio’s sounds of the night. They truly owned the stage with their comfortable and explorational groove.

Papadosio | Mission Ballroom

An emancipation was felt throughout the audience as they shifted into their first sequence led by Microdosio’s “Chaga > Dream Estate.” The familiar guitar riffs and lyrics allowed for attendees to completely let loose and fully engage the dance party mode for the first time. Not enough recognition can be given to the simultaneous visual experience taking place. Each band member had an individual LED screen behind them, both accentuating the talent behind the visual projections, and physically showing the musician power taking place. The harmony and kinship between the audiovisual interrelation was just the right amount of stimulation.

Thogmartin led the way into “Smile and Nod,” as the crowd sang along with the proposed lyrical question, “If you know just that you know, how could you know what way to go?” Billy Brouse was on keys, his keyboard scaling producing an unmistakable and legendary jam session. The band worked together, providing heightened summits of sound in a collective buildup that the audience could not get enough of. Their musical skill sets were striking, and their collaborative experience allowed for an enticing journey to unfold.

Papadosio | Mission Ballroom

Papadosio then gave a shout-out to Denver and a big, warm, excitement-filled hello. They called out the power of mushroom medicine and the ancestral knowledge associated with the movement, showcasing the theme of the night Microdos(io).

Papadosio | Mission Ballroom

Following was a hefty “Cubensis > Versicolor” that started with a slow intro, coupled with extraterrestrial sounds. It took the shape of a more tribal melody that was littered with dramatized samples and complementing back lights. The keyboard led the way, and each band member emphasized each note. The band was acting in totality; a true sense of teamwork and equality was established for a very respected overall tone. A true power ensemble was seen and appreciated from the audience. Their playfulness and teasing nature was heard and felt.

Papadosio | Mission Ballroom

Ecstatic and elated soundscapes were produced from the extended sequence of “Unparalyzer > Shiitake > Unparalyzer”, a true Microdosio sandwich was produced and fully devoured. Their comprehensive sound was groovy and natural, much like the powerful effects of psilocybin, and the sonic journey unfolded. The dance floor was at its peak during the “Unparalyzer” jam, and a trifecta of bass, jams and funk formed accolades of sound. This sequence allowed for a much appreciated familiarity of old soundscapes meeting new explorations from the band. It was a proud moment for long-time Papadosio fans.

Papadosio | Denver, Colorado

The party continued with another Microdosio album track, “Lions Mane.” Not once did the band’s power dwindle as they reached the end of their set. Flowing between peaceful melodies and potent jams, Papadosio concluded the set with a valued “We are Water,” leaving attendees speechless and out of breath from the dance floor’s constant groove.

Papadosio then encored with a lengthy “Find Your Cloud” to cap off a perfect evening of expression.

Mission Ballroom | Denver, CO

It is beautiful to note there are three superfood mushrooms featured in the setlist: Lions Mane, Chaga and Shiitake. Mushrooms have potent medicinal properties and are commonly known for their therapeutic properties. Mushrooms not only act like loving and careful creatures but they also help other organisms grow. Similar to the artistic and holistic community present at the show, mushrooms breathe and consume life forms throughout their root system called the “Mycelium Web,” the root system beneath the earth. These root systems can become quite large depending on the amount of nutrients that are needing to be shared. Similar to the mycelium network, the ever-evolving and growing fan community at Papadosio shows, are consistently looking for ways to provide “nutrients” to aid in each other’s growth. Gratitude was in the air for the band for curating a night that contained the spirit of the plants throughout the entirety of the Microdos(io) show.