Sometimes the best way to take a trip back in time is to take a step forward. The gentleman of Dr. Dog seem to be experts of this time-warped notion — capturing the sounds of lo-fi, psychedelic rock from the 60’s and 70’s with a beautiful, modern twist, easily proving the idea of history repeating itself. The six-piece from Pennsylvania gave fans in Denver the optimal chance to witness their unique musical stylings since opener Hanni El Khatib could not make the show, leaving Dr. Dog to perform two full sets at The Ogden this past Thursday night.
We haven’t seen Dr. Dog live since they played “Lynxapalooza”, the University of Colorado Denver’s inaugural campus concert in 2013. Playing that show with groups like The Antlers and Blind Pilot, Dr. Dog was an uplifting crowd pleaser mixed into an otherwise mellow lineup. Thursday’s show was almost the opposite as the band chose to open for themselves, giving them optimal time to play both deep cuts as well as fan favorites that spanned the tempo spectrum. A group with uncompromising musical skill, this sextet took full advantage of their extra time on stage, switching places, switching instruments, and jamming out on songs like “Heavy Light” and “Jackie Wants a Black Eye”. Digging as deep as 2007’s We All Belong with the track “Alaska”, the band took no shortcuts through their discography, leaving fans from every era of the band’s changing styles happy. Although the band surprisingly skipped over songs like “The ABCs” off their very first EP Toothbrush, I personally enjoyed hearing newer songs off records like Be The Void fleshed out live. This group has perfected the daunting task of producing new records that have the same warmth and “lo-fi” feel of decades past, and although the sound is a welcome change for listeners at home bouncing through albums, I feel like the group’s raw musical abilities are sometimes overshadowed by their minimalistic recordings. In order to really understand the skill, talent, and beauty that is the music of Dr. Dog, one must see them live and hear them unfiltered and unrestrained - Thursday felt like the perfect showcase for fans both new and old. The whole room was bobbing and jiving from the beginning of set one to the send of set two, still calling for an encore as the group finished “That Old Black Hole” - after already playing for just over two full hours. The band seemed to enjoy this unique show opportunity, with bassist Toby Leaman noting “We’re doing two sets tonight, and we don’t get to do this very often! We hope y’all enjoy it as much as we will”.
A beautiful show both musically and visually, we had a blast rocking out with these retro-fitted rock-n-roll gentleman all night long. If harmonious, 60’s-style California pop sounds up your alley, do yourself and check into the clinic of Dr. Dog as fast as possible. The band is out on tour through the end of April with mewithoutYou, and are slated to open for Dispatch this summer at Madison Square Garden. No word when they’ll be back through Denver, but we hope to see them return soon.
- Maddie Casey