Dr. Dog and Deer Tick
April 30, 2010
Better than: Dr. Dog's last two shows in the Metroplex, which featured cramped conditions (Lola's) and bad sound (the Lone Star Room at Gilley's) nearly as memorable as the band's actual sets.
By the time Dr. Dog took the stage Friday evening at the Loft, the place was as packed as I'd ever seen it.
Luckily, there was still plenty of breathing room in the back, where I watched as the band ripped into "Stranger"--the opening track from their new album, Shame, Shame--sending the crowd into a frenzy of drunken dancing and fist pumps that had the entire room shaking, 'causing singer/guitarist Scott McMicken to remark "it's like playing a show on a trampoline."
Dr. Dog's had a similar effect on nearly every audience I've ever seen them play for, but if the giant sound coming from the stage was any indication, it seems the combination of new material and new drummer Eric Slick has pushed the band's live show to ever further heights--though the giant color-changing spotlights flashing behind the group couldn't have hurt, either.
The sing-a-long portions of "Mirror, Mirror" reached "More Than A Feeling"-levels on the rock chorus meter, while the sticky sweet smell of Mary Jane that wafted through the air during "Shadow People" only added to the '70s stadium rock feel.
By the time the band closed their set with the bedroom vocals and Harrison-esque slide guitar of "Shame, Shame," I was astonished to look down and realize that the band had already played 19 songs--with scant banter and nearly every song rolling directly into the next, the set never came remotely close to dragging. And though the band largely ignored its earlier material for most of the set (save a scant two tracks off We All Belong), I'd be surprised if anyone left disappointed given the chants of "Dr. Dog! Dr. Dog!' that filled the room before the encore.
Once the infectious handclaps of "Jackie Wants A Black Eye" caught on with the crowd to start the encore, one thing was abundantly clear--if you slept on this show and ended up without a ticket, I really, really feel for you, 'cause it's probably the last chance you had to see Dr. Dog in a room this small for a long, long time.
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Personal Bias: My wardrobe features weekly appearances by a Dr. Dog t-shirt bought off the band on the We All Belong tour, and I've been a fan ever since the band's page sent a friend request on MySpace way back in 2005--which is pretty much the only time that marketing strategy ever worked.
By The Way: I've never really understood the appeal of Deer Tick, who opened this show. Their opening set was rowdy and fun to be sure, but I honestly can't remember a single one of their tunes to save my life and I've seen them twice now--if the band was from Dallas, I'm pretty sure they would have spent Friday playing for frat boys at the Barley House instead of warming up for Dr. Dog. It seemed fitting then when lead singer John McCauley introduced a new song ("Me, Me, Me") from his upcoming trio collaboration with the lead singers of Delta Spirit and Dawes, two other bands that people seem to think are a lot better than they actually are. Apparently it was originally slated to be a quintet, but the Avett Brothers were busy that week.
Random Note: The Dr. Dog merch table is a sight to see, especially now that the band also sells the neon truck stop sunglasses favored by McMicken and guitarist Frank McElroy.
I Only Wear Blue
The Old Days
Army of Ancients
The Rabbit, the Bat and the Reindeer
Where'd All The Time Go?
The Way The Lazy Do
Jackie Wants A Black Eye
Heart It Races (Architecture in Helsinki)