Monday, March 21, 2022

Monqui Presents


Build A Problem Tour

with Lizzy McAlpine

COVID Policy
6 pm doors, 7:30 pm show

$29.50 advance, $30 day of show

All ages welcome

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"Building a problem" is a line from a song on dodie's second studio album. She found herself with a bit of a problem because she'd already named her previous EP Human, and the songs she found herself writing for the album really added up to the same idea; the flawed, emotionally erratic, wondrously complex conundrum that is being alive - and Human was taken. But this line, from a song named ‘Hate Myself', seemed to add up to a similar concept; the moments and actions in life that build within us all problems that we don't even realise we have until we look back and go, "Ohhhh, that's where that came from." dodie, whose past is still infiltrating her present and her future, explores all of this and more on her musically ambitious and dreamily intimate record named - what else? - Build A Problem.

At just 25, dodie has already done a lot of living. Some of that has played out on camera as she made a name for herself as a singer and writer online, amassing millions of fans with her disarmingly honest videos and affecting, intimate singing style. She headlined and sold out London's Roundhouse before her first album was even out, played the Hollywood Palladium and Terminal 5 on the other side of the pond and scored two top-ten EPs. dodie doesn't tend to rest on her laurels. "I think for some people if you kind of boiled down an idea of me, it might be ‘just a girl with a ukelele' which I'm really bugged by," she says of her online beginnings. An understandable irritant when you delve into her work; on Build A Problem she has matured into an exceptional musician, using eldritch modes (for example, Lydian mode - a seven-note scale that originated in ancient Greece and underpins many Gregorian chants), writing complex string arrangements and imbuing each song with a sense of charming intimacy.

She wrote most of the songs on the album over the past two years. "I think I was going through a crisis actually," she says now. "I was very unsure of who I was and I was trying to figure it out in music. So I think it's quite unstable of an album - but it's definitely honest." Being too honest is something dodie has struggled with on social media, realising that she needed to create more boundaries between her public and private selves ("I think it's to do with the fact I really didn't have any boundaries growing up") but songwriting always comes from a place of truth. "This is going to sound insanely pretentious," she laughs, "But with art I do believe there are no boundaries. I feel like I'm being very, very vulnerable. But hopefully, the music will protect me..."

Friends asked her, for instance, if she was sure about including the song ‘Four Tequilas Down', a misdirectingly sweet song about an illicit, ill-advised liaison, "a mistake", held between two instrumental tracks that were too painful even to put a name on; they are titled ? and . "I wrote question mark as an idea a while ago; I wanted to sing in a mode called Lydian, it sounds quite old, almost like a warning to me. I added more harmonies and the string tremeloes which are kind of like a rumble underneath. I wanted that song to be like, inception of an idea. An unhealthy idea." The unhealthy idea is expounded on in Four Tequilas Down then reckoned with in . [full stop], which she describes as "a very sad sort of realisation and acceptance."

The painful work on herself that went into the record is echoed in the often sparse, frequently painful arrangements. She found herself scoring the string parts on her laptop "on planes, in random places", trying to get the midi playback to communicate the emotions she was feeling. When she finally heard the 13-piece string orchestra playing them in the studio she was overwhelmed by tears. "I was supposed to count them in and I just... couldn't," she says. It's work she is intensely proud of but very nervous to share. "I listened to the whole album and I'm like, maybe this isn't a great thing to share. But it's a beautiful reflection of the dark things I feel."

dodie has been very open about her mental health; she has suffered from depersonalisation disorder for eight years, many of which she spent desperately searching for a name for what was wrong with her. "It feels like living in a daydream," she says. "But it's all the time." Though there is no real treatment for the disorder, she has found support through her charity, Unreal, and simply knowing what it is and that other people understand has helped. Managing her depression, which is triggered by the disorder, has also become more of a priority; regular therapy and writing are all part of that. "Mental health is something we all carry with us," she reflects. Though she tries to be positive and accepting of it, the songs on Build A Problem have allowed her to work through the negative feelings that come with it too. "It's so much healthier to be like, I accept it. Whereas I think in songs I'm sort of like opening another door in my mind and being like, this is really bad and I hate it and I hate living with it."

In 2017, dodie came out as bisexual. She did it, of course, in song titled to dispel any ambiguity: "I'm Bisexual". Though she was nervous of the reception a mere glance at the comments relating to the video reveal that such a public coming out helped others to do the same. "I think when I was coming out I wanted to talk about it all the time because I wasn't allowed to," she says looking back. "I was expecting people to look at me like, what?" But the song felt freeing. "It felt like I could talk about this taboo thing and not have any solid consequences. And it felt great! I was getting all this love and praise and it felt so good." Like much of her reflection in the last two years, dodie is now figuring out what about her personal life can be kept a little closer to herself. But now it's not because of shame or fear; it's her choice. "I think sexuality can be whatever you want it to be. And for me, Ithink I want it to be a little more private; I'm sort of feeling the aftermath of coming out and dealing with some internalised feelings. So yeah, perhaps if someone asked me and I fancy sharing about it [I will], but mostly, I think now I'm gonna be a little bit more to myself."

She's also working through a lot of family issues. She talks around her upbringing, the root of her issues with boundaries and it's clear that there are still very emotional elements that it's hard for her to discuss. She alludes to the building of problems starting when she was very young and frank when says that mistakes were made. Her relationship with her parents is something she and they are still working on; sometimes apart, but often with her mum, together. "I've spoken to my mum about it a lot," she says. "We've been working through it together, helping each other to process. She has gone through her own journey of accepting and understanding who she was and who she now is. Mistakes were definitely made, and boundaries were crushed. A lot still are." Therapy, she says, has helped (but it's also "really fucking hard"); songwriting helps too. "A lot of them are about my parents and [me] being written wrong, and trying to navigate life with that." Though the themes are very heavy and the music is at times painful, Build A Problem is not a difficult album to listen to. The way that dodie crafts songs means she is meticulous about what she puts into a piece; she's not a throw it all at the wall and see what sticks kind of songwriter. There is a vein of hope running through the record, a way of dealing with the hard emotions at play. "It sounds so lame," she says of what she wants the album to achieve, "But what I really hope for is understanding. I would love people, whoever they are to listen to this album and be like, I get it. I relate to this."

dodie may be a work in progress; problems have been built, mistakes have been made. But with an album like Build A Problem under her belt, she's proven that she can turn pain into art and do it with a smile.


The Crystal Ballroom

1332 W. Burnside
Portland OR 97209

(503) 225-0047
Contact us

Where On Any Night, Anything Can Happen!!

In these walls...

The historic Crystal Ballroom -- now over a century old -- is one of those rare concert halls that can point to a proud, diverse history while also laying claim to an ongoing musical legacy. Every time you enter this majestic ballroom, let your imagination sense the tremors resonating from a century's worth of gatherings, and realize that you are joining a thriving, generations-long procession of show-goers. Welcome!

Looking for your Crystal Ballroom Passport Stamps?

Crystal Ballroom, Lola’s Room & Crystal Brewery Tour occurs daily at 2 p.m. - meet at Ringlers Pub (street level below the Crystal Ballroom.) The tour takes about half an hour to complete. Any questions may be directed to the Crystal box office, 503-225-0047.

Stamps for the Crystal Ballroom and Lola’s Room are also available when you see a show – ticketed or free – in either venue.

Please note: Due to private events, concert setup needs and brewers’ schedules, not all spaces are guaranteed to be available to tour daily, but our staff will give it our best shot and show you the spaces that we can.

Tech Specs

Floor and stage plan
PDF download

Lighting diagram 
PDF download

Sound manifest
PDF download
Lola's Room: 
PDF download

Technical and logistical packet
For Crystal Ballroom & Lola's Room
PDF download

Ballroom height and beam-to-beam dimensions
16' 11" from beam to floor
19' 11" from floor to ceiling
14' 6" in between beams

Promoter Info

Rental Expenses To Outside Promoters

$365  PRODUCTION MANAGER ($54.75/hr OT)
$255  STAGE MANAGER ($38.32/hr OT)
$255  FOH TECHNICIAN ($38.32/hr OT)
$255  MONITOR ENGINEER ($38.32/hr OT)
$255  LIGHTING DIRECTOR ($38.32/hr OT)
$150  HOSPITALITY ($20/hr OT) [mileage is 33 cents per mile]
$1,000*  SECURITY ($100/hr OT)
$100  BOX OFFICE STAFF ($20/hr OT)
$ ----  CHAIR RENTAL ($2 per chair)
$ ----  BOX OFFICE CREDIT CARD FEE (3% of Box Credit Card Sales)

* Security cost is an estimate. Additional security may be required depending on the nature of the event. 

Overtime: All expenses incurred by the Crystal Ballroom for Catering, Advertising, requested stagehands, overtime (anything over 10 hours), backline, barricade, risers, etc. will be added to total rental rate.

Deposits: A non-refundable 50% room deposit and a $2,500 'untenured promoter fee' (UPF) is due immediately in order to secure the room. If ticket sales exceed 500 the 'UPF' will be refunded; if ticket sales are below 500 the room keeps the entire $2,500 to make up for less than 1/3 capacity and corresponding lack of sales. The 'UPF' will not be refunded if the event cancels within 60 days of the event.

Settlement: Venue will pay renter with a company check at the immediate conclusion of door sales. Venue will not provide any cash at settlement.

Late Night Fee: There is a $1,000/hour additional fee for any events after 3 a.m. We may also require additional security for events of that nature.

Merchandise: Merch rate is 20% they sell. We can provide a seller with advance notice and will keep 30% of sales. The outside promoter will receive no revenue from the merchandise as that is the prerogative of the house. House keeps a percentage of all transactions.

Tickets: All tickets must be placed through the venue onto the Cascade Tickets system. All comps, label buys, and holds must be approved by the venue. There is a $2/ticket venue fee at the Box Office.

Refunds: All refunds will be directed to the outside promoter. In the absence of an outside promoter representative, the venue shall use its own discretion regarding refunds and all refunds shall be deducted from settlement.

Insurance and Licenses: Renter must provide liability insurance not less than $1,000,000 for any single occurrence naming McMenamins Inc. d.b.a. Crystal Ballroom as additionally insured. Tickets will not be placed on sale until binder is received. Promoter is responsible for all ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC fees.

Production Advance: Performers or their representative must contact venue's production manager 5 days prior to the event in order to advance production needs, otherwise runner will arrive at 6 p.m. and all rider items/requests will be greatly limited if provided at all.

Layout: The Crystal Ballroom is located on the 3rd floor. The first floor is Ringlers Restaurant and the 2nd floor is Lola's Room, both of which may have a public or private event simultaneously with the Crystal.

Cancellation/Postponement: The contract covers the specified event for the specified date. No substitution will be accepted for a cancellation. If the event is postponed the room deposit will be transferred to the date of the new event but the $2,500 'UPF' will be applied toward the date of the originally scheduled show and an additional $2,500 will be required in order to reschedule.

Capacity: The venue's capacity is 1500*. All artist and promoter guests and comps will be deducted from sellable. Comp and guest space must be reserved in advance. House is entitled to 20 guests. House guests will not effect sellable. Promoter must have guest list to house no later than 2 hours prior to doors. VIP cap is 25.

* Seated capacity is 850. Seated shows must be 21 and over. There is a $2/chair rental fee.

Venue and corporate sponsor banners may be present during event.

Marketing your event at the Crystal Ballroom

Please contact Mike Walker for information about marketing your event through McMenamins resources.

Box Office

Please note! Both the Crystal Ballroom and Lola's Room specialize in open-floor shows with a very limited amount of seats. The rare seated events will be clearly denoted as such, within the event description on our schedule page.

Box Office Information

Tickets for all McMenamins shows are ticketed by Cascade Tickets, and may be purchased at the Crystal box office (located under the Crystal's awning) and McMenamins Edgefield, by phone at 1-855-CAS-TIXX, or by clicking the "Buy Tickets" link located at the event listing on our schedules.

Tickets bought directly at the Crystal box office or any of our four ticket outlets will only incur a $1 facility charge. (Please note! Tickets to Edgefield Concerts on the Lawn will incur additional service fees.)

Crystal Ballroom Box Office Hours 
Daily, 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The box office is open later on nights when there is a performance.

The box office accepts cash, VISA, MasterCard, American Express and DiscoverCard.

Will Call

Will call is located at the box office.


All ticket purchases are non-refundable.


There are three pay lots nearby, and street parking is available.


Those with disabilities may call (503 225 0047) or email in advance to arrange early admittance.

There is an elevator located in the lobby.

Hold your Private Event at Crystal Ballroom

Weddings  Meetings  Social Events

The Crystal Ballroom is a truly awe-inspiring venue with its vaulted ceilings, grand chandeliers, giant wallscapes and famous "floating" dance floor. Accommodating groups from 100 to 1000 people, this 7,500-square-foot space includes access to the Ballroom's classic corner stage, floor-to-ceiling windows, swooping balcony, and full bar service.

Tucked in the Crystal’s second story is Lola’s Room accommodating events of up to 200 guests.  Lola’s comes with a handsome fully stocked bar, original artwork, and a floating dance floor all it’s own.

For overnight accommodations, our Crystal Hotel is just a block away!

Contact our sales team to inquire or book your event.
Get Started Here


Artwork plays an important role in the character of McMenamins locations throughout Oregon and Washington. We believe art makes life richer and more enjoyable. So, you'll often find paintings covering our walls, ceilings doors, overhead pipes, and equipment -- works as diverse and entertaining as our places for family and friends. Many artists have contributed to this vast variety of delightful eye candy. Jump in and enjoy some now!




Explore the Crystal Blocks

Our Crystal Hotel and legendary Crystal Ballroom are just across the street from each other, each offering their own unique spaces for live music, Northwest style fare and McMenamins hand crafted beverages.  Explore these properties and all they have to offer. 

*Get 15% off room rates at Crystal Hotel, Sunday through Thursday with a ticket purchase. (Must mention at time of booking, must verify ticket at check in for discount) *restrictions apply. 

Crystal Ballroom Property

Crystal Ballroom  Lola's Room  Ringlers Pub  Crystal Brewery

Crystal Hotel Property

Crystal Hotel  Al's Den  Ringlers Annex  Zeus Cafe

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