08 January 2009

Dr. Dog

As of last week, it appeared that Dr. Dog was playing only one Sydney show, opening for The Black Keys and Gomez. Ticket price: $60. I love Dr. Dog, but that is one rich cheese steak, youknowwhatImean? One quick check on Pollstar this Monday and I come to find they're playing at the Beach Road Hotel. Whaaa? Never heard of it. It turns out to be a three-story club in Bondi. Doesn't matter, because it's FREE.

So Dr. Dog shows up and turns it out. This was the fourth time I've seen the band, and every time I'm amazed at how much musical prowess these guys have. Their albums highlight songwriting and production abilities, but the live setting is where they get to show off their chops. What differed this time around was that they focused almost completely on songs from their latest album, Fate. I'm not saying that's a bad thing, but I love all that Dog MD offers me, and a little "Say Something" or "Pretender" wouldn't have hurt anybody. Much to my delight they did throw in "Oh No" and "Ain't It Strange" though.

Unfortunately for the Dog, the sound wasn't great, the lighting was worse, and a lot of people were there to hang out, not to see a band. It was a lot of beach kids sipping cocktails and chasing tail. I think the band knew this, and they ran through their set in what seemed like double time, cranking out jam after jam. This didn't deter the quality of the songs, as these guys are pros. There just wasn't much fooling around in between. I was hoping to say hi and possibly buy a t-shirt, but the band didn't stick around and weren't selling merch.

All in all it was great to see them live again, as the live setting really shows what an incredible band they are. Toby's songs are always more dominating live than on record, and I'm surprised the guy still has his voice intact. They also get to jam out a bit, which suits their style perfectly, considering the classic rock influences (Scott even looks kind of like Tom Petty, though not as much now that his hair is short). These guys are a really great, fun rock band that should be blowing up the world stage any day now.