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- Posted on May 14th 2010 1:04PM by Justin Jacobs
After releasing 'Shame, Shame' in April -- a victorious follow-up to the band's defining album 'Fate' (2008) -- the show last night was filled with old heads brimming with adoration and new fans in awe of the electric energy, note-perfect music and undeniably joyous vibes filling the venue.
Dr. Dog's set was heavy on new tracks, a fact that fans of the band's long-gone lo-fi days would bemoan. Musically, though, their sound inhabited the opposite end of that spectrum -- each song, even the older gems, was given a stadium rock treatment: cranked up guitars, tightly-wound harmonies and enough bass power to fill a room twice the size. The whole thing sounded big and clean and tight. Considering Dr. Dog made their name playing sloppy and silly, the show felt like a new and improved version of the band.
Bouncy piano ditty 'The Old Days' was transformed into a slow, regal march; a full orchestra wouldn't have seemed out of place. The usually hard rocking track 'The Ark' was stretched out and turned up. 'Shadow People' -- a plaintive, floaty song on record -- was utterly jubilant. It was as if all of Dr. Dog's quaint and quirky tunes were run through an arena rock filter. This was the band's Queen moment; for a night, they were the Rolling Stones. The stage was filled with smoke, lights flashing, crowd bobbing relentlessly.
"My parents would love me to talk up here," said bassist Toby Leaman. "I'm overcome with emotion." Sure, that admission was a bit tongue-in-cheek. But that's always been Dr. Dog's style -- stunning music with a sly grin. A run of new tunes just before leaving the stage threatened to alienate the band's most dedicated fans, but an encore of old favorites, including a snippet of 'Mystery to Me,' from Dr. Dog's largely overlooked first album 'Toothbrush,' pulled everyone back in, ending the show with a huge, unabashed and overjoyed toothy smile.