Dr. Dog at Boulder Theater, 2012-10-09, by Brad Hodge for Honest Tune

Dr. Dog blooms in Boulder

Written By/ Photos By Brad Hodge

Dr. Dog
Boulder Theater
Boulder, CO
October 9, 2012

 

 

From the opening notes of “ How Long Must I Wait” the city of brotherly love’s Dr. Dog, the five piece collective that hails from the City of Brotherly Love (by way of West Grove, pop. 2600)  aimed to mesmerize the thousand-strong capacity crowd that filled downtown Boulder, CO’s Boulder Theater. A band of experimental, inventive and progressively talented musicians, Dr. Dog has been a band of enormously popularity  in town filled with Buffaloes, their darling status only catapulted by a 2011 Pearl Street Music Festival performance that was hailed by many as a highlight of the annual event.

In somewhat shocking fashion, the band opted out of offering material from their highly publicized forthcoming EP, Wild Race, in spite of the fact that many have become familiar with the material, courtesy of a pre-release stream. (see below) Rather, they stuck to tried and true selections primarily culled from 2010’s  Shame, Shame and most recent full length release, 2012’s Be the Void, the album from which the current tour derives its name.

Straying ever so briefly from the aforementioned two-album formulary, the quintet got things underway with “The Ark” (Fate), a brilliant tune that was delivered on the on the heels of the swirling pleasantries that “The Old Black Hole” set free. As a result of the dynamic song duo, the Boulder throng had become fully committed, primed and ready for every bit of the rock ‘n roll that the night would bring.

From a live perspective, Dr. Dog’s onstage efforts are fanciful, exhibited on this night through pristine execution that perfectly captured the careless and laid back attitude that the band’s material inherently possesses. This, paired alongside a healthy dose of talented play and song,  resulted in something completely grand. Take “Do the Trick” for example.  As the tune lumbered along with a groovy bass line and the perfect amount of cowbell, the fruition came when the frolicking keys joined in perfect supplementation. The consequence was abounding harmony; each tone added its hue to the background for how Dr. Dog sells many songs in the live setting and serves as chiefly responsible for creating their superbly catchy and absolutely distinctive sonic essence… vocals.

The night was filled with great original material.  By continuing to make unique new music, and hone their sound from its original low-fi grunginess to the much more symphonic sound of more recent efforts, Dr. Dog was able to fill the Boulder night with fantastic original material.  This said, one of the evening’s most embraceable moments was the choice cover of Architecture in Helsinki’s “Heart it Races,” taking it from its original form as a nonsensical mess to a song that is not only actually listenable, but enjoyable across musical penchants*, showing this band’s ability to be completely at home at multiple stops on the dial — from Jam_On to XMU.

All in all, it can safely be said that Dr. Dog is definitely not a band to sleep on in any format. Their releases are compelling and as evidenced by the night in Boulder, their live show is equally, if not more, moving.  It would be no surprise to soon see the Dr. Dog name gracing marquees of larger venues. Complete with possession of a truly inventive sound that translates so well into theaters and clubs, there is little to substantiate a claim that the music wouldn’t survive the move.  That said, this is an ensemble very worthy of catching sooner rather than later. On top of that, it is always nice to be able to say “I saw them when.”

 


Setlist

 

How Long Must I Wait,Stranger, That Old Black Hole, The Ark,  The Way the Lazy Do,  Vampire,  Shadow People, Hang On,  Do The Trick,  The Beach,  Heavy Light, Worst Trip, From, Lonesome,  The Rabbit, The Bat, and The Reindeer,  Heart It Races*, Jackie Wants a Black Eye

Encore: These Days,  I Only Wear Blue,  Die, Die, Die,  My Friend

 

♪ *You be the judge: download the original Architecture in Helsinki rendition for FREE and/or check out Dr. Dog’s take on the song.♫

♫ Stream tracks from the new EP,Wild Race, below the photo gallery.♪


 

Click the thumbnail(s) to view photos from the show by Brad Hodge

 

Follow Brad’s photo journey by joining his Facebook group or by subscribing to his blog.

 

Wild Race





 

 

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