Donning pastel men’s dress shirts and an array of knit caps, Ray-Bans, and leather boots and loafers, idiosyncratic-as-ever Dr. Dog strolled onstage last night (May 8) and immediately kicked the venue into jubilant spirits with samplings from their upcoming fifth full-length release, Fate (out July 22).
Several times between songs, the band bashfully confessed to a collective nervousness about launching the new material — but any unease was hidden well during the set. The new tracks displayed an upward orbit in terms of the quality of their craft; “The Old Days” stood out boldly with its galloping pace and catchy, hootenanny choruses of “down down down” and “chop, chop, chop.” Conversely, “From”‘s wistful lyrics of love, and down-tempo, ballad-esque sentimentalism separated it from the bulk of the set.
Throughout the evening, vocalist Toby “Tables” Leaman’s growling and bluesy singing accentuated Scott “Taxi” McMicken’s gentler crooning over calamitous keyboards and organs, intelligent guitar work, and classic rock bass/drum lines. The group’s dynamic was exemplified during fan favorite “Ain’t it Strange,” which showcased Doo Wop-style harmonizing from grinning members atop a pounding guitar ensemble.
Fans reciprocated the high voltage energy coming off stage with joyful fist pumping, singing and dancing all the way through the hour-long set.Jam band bros. congregated with indie fans and 30-somethings alike, and embraced older material just as fervently as the fresh tunes. “The Girl,” with its fuzzy vocals, blasting rhythms, and cascading melodies incited loud sing-alongs, and the Sgt. Pepper’s-esque “We All Belong” served as a ideal closer to the band’s, ahem, fateful night.
We asked: Fate is Dr. Dog’s much-anticipated summer release, and it’s being hyped as the album that they were “destined to write.” As a fan, if you could control Dr. Dog’s future or destiny in any way, what would you do?