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Dr. Dog Plays Largest Show

May 17th, 2010

Dr. Dog – Terminal 5 – May 15, 2010

Dr. Dog - Terminal 5 - May 15, 2010

There’s a certain quality common to most of the bands I’ve seen play Terminal 5. I can’t quite put it into words, but whatever it is that allows an act to fill a room of that size puts a big grin on the face of everyone inside. Nowhere was this more apparent than on Saturday night when Dr. Dog closed out a national tour in style. Operating for long stretches with an “everything I learned about rock and roll I learned from The White Album” attitude (with occasional acknowledgments of the existence of Blood on the Tracks and portions of the Beach Boys’ and the Band’s catalogs), Dr. Dog inverted a lot of the normal expectations.

Usually, a crowd is patient for the new stuff and goes extra nuts when a headliner dips into the back catalog. Instead, the T5 audience seemed to pine for each song off the newest, Shame, Shame. That material has forced the band to put an extra hole in their belt as their live sound has grown huskier and beefier in the middle with rough-edged, in-your-face double guitars at every turn. The third song, a raunchy version of “The Old Days,” brought on an early, ecstatic chant of “DOC-TOR DOG” from the bouncing fans. Announcing that the gig was the biggest they’d ever played, Dr. Dog used the whole of the Terminal 5 stage, showing off their version of a giddy, rocking-out Brownian motion.

After a building set-closing version of Shame, Shame’s title track, they seemed to just be getting started. And the four-song encore that followed featured a marriage proposal, a broken string on the replacement guitar for a previous broken string and—because Dr. Dog is the kind of band that realizes when a room has a giant disco ball, you might as well use it—a spiraling light show. It’s no wonder everyone was smiling. —A. Stein

Photos courtesy of Jennifer Macchiarelli | www.jennylow.com