By David Courtright
I saw Dr. Dog about five years ago at the late Tasty World in Athens – one of the more respectable dives back in those days. A friend of mine asked them after their set, “Hey, how do you guys sound like that?” to which a member replied, “Listen to all Beatles all the time.” That was right around Fate, which even they will admit, gives plenty of nods to the Fab Four. But as their career has progressed, and certainly with their latest Be The Void, they’ve crafted a sound entirely their own.
Their live show was tight then, and is ever now. Their art direction and stage design could use some work – it felt a bit like the set of “Growing Pains,” but the sound was good, and they’ve got the whole three and four (and five, etc.) part harmonies down pat. I can’t imagine how hot they get up there with those wool hats on.
The Philadelphia sextet played a lot of favorites to the nearly full floor. The energy they bring to their performance can really be contagious. As they hop and careen across the stage, you find yourself suddenly moving more, feeding off their exuberance. They chose not to play some of the softer numbers, which left the set feeling a bit monochromatic after and hour and a half. Despite that, it was a real treat to see a band from the distant past making out there on the road with persistence and hard work. Hats off to them.