Thursday, June 10, 2010

Hearts Race with Dr. Dog at Paradise

I had previously seen Dr. Dog four times (Langerado, John Havard's, Paradise, Middle East) and that's why I knew not to miss their performance on May 11, 2010 at Paradise Rock Club. The band released their latest album Shame, Shame earlier this year and it is one of the true standouts in 2010. I couldn't wait to hear the new material alongside their already rock solid back catalog. The performance was the first in a two night residency at Paradise and what a way to kick it off! I was lucky enough to secure a spot right up front on the left side of the stage where I was far from the infamous view-obstructing pole. Fortunately, Paradise is finally switching things up and making the pole less of a nuisance over the summer by rearranging the venue layout.

The best thing about Dr. Dog is that they are one of the only modern bands to hone that good old classic rock feeling. They seamlessly alternate between lead singer/instrumentalists Scott McMicken (guitar) and Toby Leaman (bass) in a way that begs for a John Lennon / Paul McCartney comparison. The band is loaded with talent and each member plays off one another to create a full sound bursting with energy. The three-part harmonies that the band has become known for were spot on and brought many of the songs to the next level.

They changed their songs up with just the right amount of variation: not to jammy but they still added some intriguing melodies and harmonies. Songs like Shadow People were simply better live than on record. Other songs like "The Rabbit, the Bat, and the Reindeer" had exciting builds that got everyone dancing. There were many such highlight like vocal intensity and utterly epic ending of the Beach. Most of the songs were from their 2008 album Fate and their latest record Shame, Shame. They spattered the set with older material like "The Girl" from 2007's We All Belong which decomposed into a pile of distortion before building up and breaking back down again. "Where'd All the Time Go", one of the best songs of 2010, featured my favorite part of the night when they pulled the solo off in the bridge perfectly. 

They also played a fantastic encore with "Jackie Wants a Black Eye" which is my second favorite song on their latest album. They also answered the cries for "Heart It Races" by playing their distinctive version of the cheery Architecture in Helsinki song. Dr. Dog have a timelessness that few bands possess these days and will win you over with their live performance.. Their live show reflects how much dedication, heart, and talent goes into making their music. Every time I see the band I leave with a satisfied, pleasant feeling. I also got a really eye-catching screen print on mustard stock for only $10 which was an added bonus. I didn't catch the second night but there are some excellent soundboard recordings of it that I urge you to check out at Village Voice. The fantastic picture at the top comes from the excellent website Foundwaves.

1 comment:

  1. I'm proud to say, I survived Dr. Dog 2010.