Dr. Dog Dominate the Metro

Dr. Dog
The Metro – Chicago, IL

Dr. Dog Metro

The Dr. Dog quintet took the stage – after some delay – and then proceeded to unleash 22 songs spread across 90+ minutes of gapless throwback gems.  The band seemed to genuinely enjoy Sean Bones, as did I.  I had heard a five song promo that previewed the LP Rings prior to the show and had thoroughly enjoyed the fun and bouncy “Easy Street.”  Indie in spirit, though nothing like the other Brooklyn bands, Sean Bones moved from a quote “sad fuckin’ song,” to “Easy Street,” to a “smoky kind of song,” all within the realm of upbeat Babyshambles-esque (especially the song “I Wish”) catchiness.  In addition to taking advantage of a sold-out Dr. Dog tour in support of their new “Shame, Shame” disc, Sean Bones had a new single to boast , “Rumba Beat,” which came near the end of the set, and earned one of three stars in my show notebook.  Sean Bones’ other star came on the closer, “Sugar In My Spoon.”

Dr. Dog MetroHere’s the best way I can describe the Dr. Dog show:  By the 13th song the band hadn’t even acknowledged the crowd, at least verbally.  By the end of each song after the 17th song I began marking the words “too long,” which once Scott would belt out another classic, I would immediately retract.  The finale, “Fuck It,” serves this point well; though barely over a minute, it was one I was unfamiliar with prior, and certainly one worth sticking around to the midnight-end for.  I could’ve sworn this handclap heavy chant was a cover, but in my research I haven’t fun that to be the case.  To hear an Mp3 of the song be sure to check out the blog post at Fuel Friends: http://fuelfriends.blogspot.com/2008/09/dr-dog-at-denvers-hi-dive-on-saturday.html.

Dr. Dog Metro

WXRT 93.1 sponsored the show, and the promoter who opened the show gave a fairly succinct and true tribute the Dr. Dog.  He felt blessed to be able to host such a great band, and felt honored to see them progress from smaller venues around town to the 25-year Chicago staple, The Metro.  He may have been accurate calling “Shame, Shame” their most polished effort, however, I don’t think, that the new disc is their best.  I think “Fate,” especially by the dumtards at Pitchfork, was underrated, and I think that while their Sixties-retro sound is borrowed instrumentally, they in no way stoop to simplicity of Sixties’ lyricism.  Dr. Dog takes universally targeted subject matters and makes them fresh, even adding new life to metaphors about hands on a clock (waving goodbye).  My favorite piece of work by the band is still by far the demos that make up “Passed Away,” ranging from the instantly loveable, “Me and My Girl,” to the brilliant, “Little Bird.”  None of which were played, sadly.

Dr. Dog Metro

My notepad is lopsided with much more thorough notes in the first half, as the similarly sounding and similarly awesome songs accumulated to a greater sum.  Not a whole lot to quote from these not-so-chatty folk folks.  I started focusing on the greater sum, starring songs, not knowing that so many would become so sweet.  Highlights were not necessarily their best songs; the surprise hits and the songs that really came alive in concert were: “I Only Wear Blue,” “Mirror, Mirror” (surprisingly), “The Rabbit, The Bat, and The Reindeer” (very unsurprisingly – one of my favorite Dr. Dog songs), the segue between “Unbearable Why” and “Hang On,” definitely “From” (!!!!), “Later,” and earning a double-star, as aforementioned, “Fuck It.”

Dr. Dog Metro

I found their lack of talking interesting – perhaps they (like the White Stripes) find the dead-air stage banter eerie and less entertaining – mostly because their lyrics are very confrontational in the sense that they ask lot of questions in them.   It took them fourteen-songs-in before they embraced their adoring, and passionate Chicago fan-base.  Watching the band live was reminiscent of the Drive-by Truckers; both bands have a big catalogues (DBT with a much larger one, though) to chose from, but they just love to play each song, and will master each one with sensible-size guitar solos, and thrive on the crowd participation.  I want to emphasize that this retro-’60s throwback band, so often compared to the duller days of the Beatles career, are worth delving into for their clever metaphors.  The lyrics to “From,” “The Breeze,” and “Station” are worth checking out; while fun songs like “Later” (which reminds me of the Who’s “My Generation”) are in fact more just plain fun.

Dr. Dog MetroDr. Dog MetroDr. Dog Metro

In retrospect, the show was not too long – just take a look at the set for proof – check ’em on tour now if at all possible.
Check out the SET LIST!!!!:

1) Stranger
2) I Only Wear Blue
3) Old Days
4) Army Of Ancients
5) The Breeze
6) Mirror, Mirror
7) The Ark
8 ) The Way The Lazy Do
9) Station
10) The Rabbit, The Bat, and The Reindeer
11) Someday
12) Where’d All The Time Go
13) Unbearable Why
14) Hang On
15) From
16) Later
17) Shadow People
18) Worst Trip
19) Shame, ShameEncore
20) Jackie Wants A Black Eye
21) My Friend
22) Fuck It
Photos by:Thos Sullivan

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  1. Brian Arturo says:

    These pictures seem really unprofessional, They would look a lot more sharp if you didn’t use a flash or a garbage point and shoot that you bought on craigslist with birthday money from your grandma. Check my page if you wanna see real photos.

  2. Thos Sullivan says:

    My grandma is actually very proud of these photos.

  3. Joseph O'Fallon says:

    I know, we talk…i mean….good pictures for shore

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