On the heels of a newly released album, The Dip toured at The Guild Theatre, which recently underwent a $35 million renovation. The septet played many tracks from their newest album, “Sticking with It,” including “Vacation” and “Paddle to the Stars,” to the crowd’s delight, while still rocking classics like “Sure Don’t Miss You.”
Lead singer, Tom Eddy, frequently engaged the crowd. During “Paddle to the Stars,” he asked the audience to join in on backup vocals in a touching moment during the performance. He even gave context behind the song, explaining that “Paddle to the Stars” is what it feels like when your lover needs something and “is drowning, but you can’t swim, but you swim anyways.” Eddy had time to “talk” with the crowd built into the setlist.
After playing “Paddle to the Stars,” The Dip played “Sure Don’t Miss You” and walked off stage, only to come back to cheers of “one more song.” In the end, the crowd got two more songs including “Adeline” which many in the crowd had been clamoring for.
As a septet, it is impressive how dynamic the band’s performance remained throughout the night. On stage right, the three horn players would take frequent breaks from performing together to give each other occasional solos. The lighting was right each time, allowing the show to highlight the talent of each individual horn player. Once their respective solos were done, their fellow horn players would step back into the light (and join in playing) to the roar of the audience.
The lighting was also brilliantly used. When blending two songs back to back, the lighting helped the audience distinguish the start of a new track. With the use of traditional red, blue and purple lighting, the tones would sometimes shift to a more lively yellow and red. Purple and yellow lighting at times gave more of a royal vibe to the artist. These strategic choices enhanced the show experience and blended well with the music.
Since its debut album, The Dip has honed in on a throwback sound that melts soul, R&B and pop. Although it has an old-school feel, the band is still very present with today’s trends and sounds. And they had a fitting venue to match. The Guild Theatre closed down in 2019 as an old movie theater to reopen this past February as a live-concert venue. It is now a not-for-profit music and event performance space. Although renovated and modernized, the interior lighting, curtains and architecture transport you to the world of Gatsby. With polished wood, comfortable seating and bars on both floors, The Guild Theatre also feels like a throwback. The venue was so nice that the lead singer of The Dip, Tom Eddy, said that it is “one of the most beautiful buildings in the country.” Considering that The Guild Theatre is one of the last stops in their tour so far, this should be considered high praise.
Jennah Bell opened for The Dip and was an excellent choice to kick off the performance. As an R&B/soul singer, Bell’s vocals filled up The Guild Theatre and captivated the audience very early on. After listening to “Another Louisiana” and “Chapter 3: The Hatchet” live, I immediately saved the songs and found that her live and studio renditions are almost indistinguishable from one another.
It was a good night for soul and R&B lovers in Menlo Park.
Editor’s Note: This article is a review and includes subjective opinions, thoughts and critiques.