After a great 30-minute opening set by Mitch Fiction and the Shits (featuring former Dr. Dog member Andrew Jones), Dr. Dog casually walked on stage to the roaring delight of over 100 of their friends and biggest fans. It did not seem to be lost on anyone there just how cool it is of these guys to do something like this. They don’t have to play an intimate venue for $10 on a random Tuesday night in their hometown, especially when they could easily charge $40 or $50 and still sell it out. They also don’t have to put their friends on as the opener. What made this show so amazing wasn’t just the intimate setting, the incredible setlist, or the amazing energy, but mainly the fact that everyone there, Dr. Dog included, knew how fucking cool this was.
While we didn’t get to see and hear as many songs from their upcoming album Be the Void as I expected (“Warrior Man” as the only one), the 21-song setlist was just about as perfect as they can play. They reached all over their extensive catalog and even took a few requests (“Fat Dog” and “Nobody Knows Who You Are”) after the encore break. All the classics were there: “Worst Trip,” “The Rabbit, The Bat, and The Reindeer,” “The Beach,” and more. And of course, they closed it out with clap-and-sing-a-long “Jackie Wants A Black Eye.” This was just one of those shows where the band could do no wrong because the crowd was just so happy they had the chance to witness it. Of course, it didn’t hurt that the band sounded as tightly wound together as ever.
I was front and center, standing right behind Toby’s monitor, which meant I could hear his vocals loud and clear. I couldn’t hear Scott’s as well, but from all accounts the sound was as great as can be given the venue. It was, as you can probably imagine, a highly energetic show, and, oh yea, it was LOUD. The room was shaking quite a bit, but it was not loud in the way that drowns out basically everything for the sake of being loud. It was just loud because they are a loud rock band that belongs in the Electric Factory oddly placed onto a tiny stage in a tiny bar. The energy was amazing, the music was outstanding, and the result was one of the best concerts in Philadelphia this year.
Below, check out a slideshow of my photos, plus the setlist with links to a couple of videos. Also, I’ve got a few more observations that didn’t fit into the review.
– I found new respect for Toby Leaman as a bassist. He commands the instrument so well and is so often the driving force behind this band.
– The same can be said for Eric Slick on drums. That kid is a beast.
– “Heart It Races” is one of the best covers around right now, and they’ve totally made it their own.
– It was pretty amazing to see all of the nods and smiles between band members that would typically be lost from the back of the crowd.
– If the two new songs from their upcoming 7-inch release are any indication, their next album will be blowing minds.
Dr. Dog @ Kung Fu Necktie – Philadelphia, PA – Tuesday, November 22, 2011
01 Fuck It
02 Easy Beat
03 Hang On
04 Control Yourself (video: part 1) (video: part 2)
06 Mirror, Mirror
07 The Ark (video)
08 I Only Wear Blue
09 The Way The Lazy Do
10 Shame Shame
11 Shadow People
12 The Beach
13 Livin’ a Dream
14 Worst Trip
15 The Rabbit, The Bat, and the Reindeer
16 Heart It Races (Architecture in Helsinki cover)
17 Oh No
18 Warrior Man
19 Fat Dog
20 Nobody Knows Who You Are
21 Jackie Wants A Black Eye