Monday, September 8, 2008

dr. dog show

i know i've already written about dr. dog and not much else, but i felt i'd be remiss if i didn't review their show at the iota club in arlington last friday. the fact that it was in arlington and i still went should indicate how enthusiastic i was about seeing them. i despise arlington and its many douchy young inhabitants. the venue itself was kind of crappy as well. apparently, it was originally 3 adjacent lots that they lumped into one space, but there's a random load-bearing wall right in the middle of the audience area.

the show, however, was excellent. the fivesome from philly did not disappoint. they were spot on with their singing and instruments - no small feat for a band that uses a lot of vocal harmony and complex instrumental segments. i got a better feel for the band than after just listening to the album, particularly for the two front-men: scott (aka "taxi") and toby (aka "tables"). (by the way, i love the fact that their nicknames could double as names for sarah palin's kids.) there seems to be a functional balance between the two despite obviously having two very different styles. "tables" is the cool, comfortable, suave one; "taxi" reminds you of that kid that played magic in the cafeteria. "tables" is straight-up bluesy; "taxi" is indie-folk.

the band stayed faithful to the brilliance of the recorded versions of the songs without being rigid. they played most of their latest album, fate, but mixed in several old favorites. unlike at some shows, not knowing their entire catalog in advance didn't take away from the experience at all, because their songs are so effortlessly accessible. it's like you already knew the songs before you heard them. to get the crowd immediately pumped up, they started their set with "the old days", which, in the humble opinion of this "reviewer", is their best accomplishment as a band. i've described it in detail in my review of the album. the alternating groovy, frantic, and anthemic sections of the song had the crowd dancing, singing, and jumping around immediately.

during the several long pauses for technical difficulties throughout the set, they kept the crowd entertained with their wit and humor. they seem like a very non-rock-star-ish group of guys that i'd happily hang out with just for fun. i hate going to a show of a band i like and realizing they're a bunch of assholes. the crowd, however, had its share of assholes, but what else could one expect from arlington, va? all i have to say is, it's a good thing i was able to keep my cool when the biggest douchebag i'd ever seen stepped right up to the front row right before the set, because otherwise, i might have missed the show while sitting on a curb with my hands cuffed. (actually, i didn't even really keep my cool. i was totally provoking him. luckily, a girl near us in the crowd used her feminine wiles to get him to leave. as i waved goodbye, he gave me the finger and called me a faggot. arlington baby!) so, dr. dog, please come back to d.c. again, but please make sure you're booked at the black cat or dc9!

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