LIVE REVIEW: Dot Hacker – Los Angeles, CA – 8/8/14

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Dot Hacker

Last Friday, The Echo was brought alive by the musical prowess known as Dot Hacker. Formed out of conversations between Clint Walsh, Josh Klinghoffer and Eric Gardner whilst on tour with Gnarls Barkley in 2006, they added Hella bassist Jonathan Hischke. Before long, a band was formed, a record was made, and friendships were born. In 2009 Josh joined the Red Hot Chili Peppers and began work that would make releasing and promoting Inhibition difficult at that time. Though all members are constantly working on different things, sometimes together, sometimes apart, Dot Hacker has found a way to exist.

Enjoying the company of their friends that were gathered at The Echo, when it came to be Dot Hacker’s turn to play, they grabbed their instruments and immediately came alive. Opening up with a cover of Broadcast’s song, “Until Then,” they locked eyes with each other as if in agreement that the stage is where they were meant to be for the night.

It seemed as though some songs bled into others as Josh’s warped guitar riffs kept going when everyone else stopped. After playing “Idleidolidyl,” off their debut album the band played the entirety of their sophomore album, How’s Your Process? (Work), in the exact same order as the track listing. When they started playing opening of the first track “Aim,” I found myself starting to move to the music, but my trance was disrupted by my friend finding me in the crowd to make sure that I knew it was his favorite song by the band, and I could see why. To Dot Hacker, it was all about the music they were giving to the crowd, the feelings that they wanted to portray and share. Their goal was to make the audience feel how they felt and at that moment – I felt passionate. I think I got it right.

They glided through the rest of their album which included a bit of head banging by everyone surrounding me (okay, fine, I was doing it too) when the strong opening vocals for “Whatever You Want” came through the speakers and bounced off the walls. The only other things bouncing in the room were the bodies of Josh, Jonathan and Clint while they kept nearly missing each other while swinging their instruments around. They felt the music, which, in turn, allowed the audience to feel the music as well.

The juxtaposition of songs intended to make the audience move and songs intended to make the crowd listen intently almost gave me whiplash, but also kept me engaged in the entire performance. Going from “Order/Disorder” to “Inhibition” almost forced me to enthrallment. As I looked around, I found that the feeling was mutual.

They ended the night with Inhibition track “Discotheque,” the band didn’t seem tired in the slightest. I’m sure they could have kept going all night. They said their thank you’s and continued to be surrounded by fans waiting for a chance to talk to their favorite musicians, and the band did not disappoint. One of the most humble and appreciative bands I’ve ever experienced, Dot Hacker tackled that show with strength, passion, and a dash of class for just being some of the most down to earth men I’ve seen. I feel quite lucky that I got the chance to see such great musicians and it was definitely a performance I won’t forget.

In addition to How’s Your Process? (Work), the band is releasing an accompanying album of equal length How’s Your Process? (Play) on October 1. While you’re waiting for the new release, get obsessed with the first half, (Work), on iTunes here.

Photos by Rachel Martin / Review by Christina Rapport