Dr. Dog Fitzgerald's March 10, 2012
Houston weather was balmy and wet Saturday night, but that didn't stop Philadelphia harmonic rockers Dr. Dog from sporting their trademark wintry wool beanies and shades.
Kicking off their set with the "That Old Black Hole" from this year's Be the Void, the band was a homely site on a homey stage -- they were bearded and beanie-clad, on a makeshift living-room stage set, embellished with area rugs, lamps, and posters.
We'd most recently seen Dr. Dog at Warehouse Live in 2010; luckily, the band has since ditched their uncharacteristic blinding light show, returning to a more modest live approach. Fitzgerald's ambiance seemed well-suited to host the band, yet we bet it'll be the last time we seem them in such a setting; the show sold out, and several ticketless fans were turned away at the door.
Shame Shame's "Shadow People" was a standout of the evening, as the band's trademark harmonies became more fine-tuned while they set progressed.
While singer/guitarist Scott McMicken was chatty and thorough during our interview last week, the band said little during their set -- nothing, actually -- until the encore. Instead, they delivered nonstop songs throughout their Void-heavy set list.
During our talk, McMicken also reveled in the band's harmonious rapport; this was evident onstage, as all members seemed closely in tune with one another.
At times, however, we wondered whether the band might be teetering into too-commercial territory, a la recent Modest Mouse/Black Keys. As in, Dr. Dog remains great, as does their live show, but we wouldn't be surprised if Void becomes the soundtrack to next semester's frat parties.
As the set drew to an end and the band left the stage, a "Doc-tor Dog!" chant erupted, as the crowd beseeched the band for one more round of songs. They obliged, treating us to an off-the-setlist cover of Architecture in Helsinki tune "Heart It Races," and ultimately closing out the evening with Shame track "Jackie Wants a Black Eye," the band suitably harmonizing its "We're all in it together" chorus along with the crowd.
"Thank you so much. You all rule," was among the only addresses the audience received, as singer/bassist Toby Leaman left the stage. Judging by the crowd's continued cheers, it was all they needed.
Personal Bias: I only wish they played "Today." And maybe "The Old Days."
The Crowd: Lots of beanie-clad twetnty- and thirtysomething guys, cupping their Dr. Dog-koozied Lone Stars.
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Overheard In the Crowd: "Sounds like the theme song to a WB show." (Ahem.)
Random Notebook Dump: Cool rainy Instagram photo, as tweeted by Dr. Dog on Saturday.