Dodie Rocks at the Union with Opener Lizzy McAlpine


Dodie performs at the Royal Oak Theatre in Detroit. (Photo by Tess Crowley | The Michigan Daily)

By Hannah Keating, Arts Editor


On the North American leg of her “Build A Problem” tour, musical artist Dodie headlined at the Union Event Center on March 14, with rising, yet prolific, singer-songwriter Lizzy McAlpine opening the concert.

Cool Girl

Dodie, stylized in lowercase, is a UK-based artist who started their musical career in 2011, writing songs on the ukulele and posting videos to YouTube. Now, their channel “doddleoddle” has over 2 million subscribers, the same number of monthly listeners they have on Spotify. Their second album “Build a Problem” was released in May of 2021. 

This isn’t Dodie’s first time on tour, or in Salt Lake City. Traveling to perform their debut album “Human” in 2019, the artist got bronchitis before performing at the Depot. Apparently, 2022 is no different — the singer had bronchitis again on Monday. “Why is that?” she asked the crowd, to which Utahns were all too eager to reply about the poor air quality and elevation.

If I’m Being Honest

Despite feeling under the weather and carrying a mug of tea on stage, Dodie’s performance was unaffected and electric. On streaming platforms, their music may seem dulcet and soft, but their live arrangements amp up every aspect of their musicality. The harmonies, sung in tandem with long-time bandmate and fellow artist Orla Gartland, resonated through the hall. The bass-lines rumbled, the drums shattered, the strings took flight over the simplistic, yet heartfelt lyrics as Dodie herself jumped from microphone to piano to ukulele and back again. At one point, Dodie whipped out her clarinet, channeling Lizzo and her flute.

I never realized just how Dodie’s music is meant to be sung in a group setting. The genius of their writing begets crowd participation — songs like “Guiltless,” “Monster” and “Hate Myself” end in layering lines where the audience can latch onto a repetitive bridge while Dodie’s improvisation patter can dance overhead.

In the Middle

One of the highlights of the night was Dodie’s ability to interact with the crowd. Especially as an artist who has been so open about her life and identity online, songs like “She” and “Rainbow” spoke to the young queer individuals in the audience. “I’m going to ask a question, but I know the answer. How are the queer people doing in Salt Lake?” she asked, met with nothing but cheers. Salt Lake was so invested in Dodie’s concert that the artist commented on it, saying, “Y’all are definitely the maddest crowd.”

And the night wouldn’t have been the same without Lizzy McAlpine to open the show — the crowd was as excited for her entrance as they were for Dodie’s. I was introduced to the Berklee-trained singer-songwriter through her song “Apple Pie,” released on her debut album “Give Me A Minute,” before following her TikTok and diving into her discography. In anticipation of her third album “five seconds flat,” McAlpine sang several newly-released singles, including “doomsday” and “all my ghosts.”

McAlpine is a lyrical wordsmith and is mastering her own musical niche through haunting chord progressions and some of the most jaw-dropping riffs I’ve ever heard. I can’t wait to see how the energy of her live performances is transformed with a little more comfort with the crowds — she’ll be headlining her own tour soon enough.  


The energy that Dodie and her band bring to a venue is worth seeing. Simply watching the artist as she dances across the stage with fairy-like and fancy-free abandon before settling back at a stand mic and handing over her heart, feels magical, making one of the most heartfelt concert experiences I’ve had. 


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