Dr. Dog kicked off their long winter tour Saturday night with a rollicking set of fluid playing, supporting the group’s diverse catalog. After taking a break in December from the road the group showed no rust and hit its stride in support of their most recent effort B-Room.
Opening things on this national tour is the New Jersey based Saint Rich. The 5 piece played a mix of theatrical indie rock to the full house with frontman Christian Peslak flailing around and at points laying face down on the stage. The group’s recent release Beyond The Drone was showcased and the closing “Officer” received the biggest ovation as its three guitar rave up ended their set. Dr. Dog and Saint Rich have also recently released a four song EP together via the free download site Noise Trade.
Dr. Dog’s stage setup was supposed to resemble an outdoor amphitheater complete with an old drive-in theater sign pointing the way, but with the frigid weather outside, summer festival season can’t come soon enough. Starting off with “Ain’t It A Shame” the group began their set with ease which was needed as the band offered up a whopping 22 song set on this night growing in structure, confidence, and energy.
An early highlight was “The Truth” with vocal harmonies soaring through the club before the old nugget of “Oh Me Oh My” was dusted off and expanded. The theme on this night seemed to be the deep grooves that the band would dig into, examples being the electric riffs on “Cuckoo” and bass bumps on “Rock and Roll”.
The six piece locked in tight to develop a very jamband like build during “Heavy Light” which had many of the fans in the sold out crowd cheering. The horn players from Antibalas made a surprise appearance, amping things up for “Long Way Down” and accentuating a show stopping version of “The Beach” that was a swirling mix of dangerous foreboding and sexually frustrating rhythm.
The group was flying as they performed their pitch perfect cover of “Heart It Races” and tore through the band’s ode to their home town of Philly with “Shadow People” before an encore highlighted by “The Breeze” and dynamic take on the powerful “Too Weak To Ramble”.
Ain’t It Strange
That Old Black Hole
Oh Me Oh My
Rock & Roll
Long Way Down (with Antibalas)
The Beach (with Antibalas)
Jackie Wants a Black Eye
Heart It Races (Architecture in Helsinki cover)
Too Weak to Ramble