Dr. Dog at Warehouse Live, 2/20/2014
A revival happened Thursday night, or a reawakening for some. I'm not sure if it was just this specific stop on the tour -- whether it was the people involved, both crowd and crew, or where Dr. Dog is as a band right now, but something spiritual happened within the four walls of Warehouse Live. It could have been the participation and respect by the random passerby, or the synthetic catharsis wavering about the room, but something about this performance was a bit above and beyond than the rest.
Dr. Dog have always been known for their ability to own whatever stage they set foot on. Whether it be a 15-minute in-store or a two-hour bonanza, they've never failed to bring their all to show after show. They've always appreciated stopping in Houston, but Thursday might have surpassed any of their past performances here.
Seeing a show at a venue two nights in a row will certainly give you perspective about a band, or both bands rather. After Neutral Milk Hotel folked the hell out the crowd the night prior, it was interesting to walk into a concert with a bit more spunk -- or piss and vinegar as my Grandma used to say. While Wednesday's show was pretty damn good, this one was the one.
And for those about to chastise my music taste because I liked Dr. Dog better than Neutral Milk Hotel, what I like is what I like. Neph wrote a great review about that show that you can check out if you're done here. If not, let's get juicy.
With a stage setup straight out of an '80s high-school talent show, including a drive-in movie sign declaring "Special Greetings from Dr. Dog," the Philadelphia sextet got down to business right out of the gate. They have a huge catalog of songs to choose from these days, so this particular evening wasn't just about the standard hits set. The set list seemed much more calculated; actually, for the first time in a while, it varied considerably from previous shows.
Come to think of it, the band might be in somewhat of a nostalgic stage in its career. Their newest record, 2013's B-Room, seems to have sparked an interest in their past among members. Maybe it's the record's throwback sound that fits much closer to their earlier material than it does recent more polished efforts such as Fate, Shame Shame or Be The Void. But judging by Thursday's set, something has thrown Dr. Dog back into their deeper cuts, allowing for a most atypical show from the road-wary rockers.
Review continues on the next page.