The first time I heard the name Dr. Dog – I think it was at a festival – and I just assumed they were a jam band. Then I heard some tracks off Fate and decided they were not a jam band. I got an advanced copy of Shame, Shame and over time was drawn in by the album’s Sgt. Pepper-ish approach. It felt very rock ‘n roll Beatles with well constructed songs, great musicianship, harmonizing vocals, and held together with a pop sensibility. Shame, Shame ended up being one of my favorite records of aught 10.
Though I’d missed them many times before I was now caught by Dr. Dog’s powerful mojo and made a point to see this show. They were downgraded at the last minute from The Beacham Theatre to The Social, but kept stadium volume despite the diminutive digs. I did not anticipate Dr. Dog being one of the loudest shows I’ve seen in a while. The powered through an eclectic set, an equal mix of their various albums and EP’s. They do have Beatle-esque quality with shared duties at front man. Both have incredible and distinct voices and both are equally great on their instruments – the fedora’d Toby Leaman on bass and Scott McMicken on lead guitar who was looking a little Franky Goes to Hollywood for some reason.
In front of a series of stained glass panels Dr. Dog unleashed on The Social. The crowd was loud and knew every word of the setlist. They weren’t even thrown off by the Architecture in Helsinki cover of “Heart it Races.”
Some of the catchier songs like “The Old Days ” and “Unbearable Why” were played at an amped up pace and with a punk-like tenacity. There were moments where the soaring duel guitars, country jam overtones and unique vocals sounded something like the child of Blind Melon and the Smashing Pumpkins. It was weird, they were able to channel some serious rock fury through their delicately arranged combination of jam, country, and pop / alternative rock.