Music Feature

You Tube Review: Dr. Dog Comes Home

by Ryan O'Connell
Philly band returns to town for two shows at the Electric Factory

It must have been a bummer missing a concert by one your favorite band’s back in those dark and dreary days before the advent of YouTube. In the case of this past weekend’s Dr. Dog shows, I missed two concerts by one of my favorite bands and I can’t imagine what 15 year old Ryan would have done in that situation. Luckily, present day Ryan is able to sit in front of a computer and troll through YouTube clips of a show he missed. And lucky for you, present day Ryan then writes about it for this website.

The concerts in question are the coming home shows for Philly’s own Dr. Dog, who just wrapped up their first tour in support of their new album Be the Void. What better way to celebrate a nice jaunt around the United States than with two sold out shows at the Electric Factory? Of course we at would have liked to review the actual shows in person and not grainy and occasionally wobbly YouTube clips. But what can you do? People don’t reply to emails, you make lemonade out of lemons and hit the Interweb. You know- the one with the email.

From the sound of it, Dr. Dog opened with “Shadow People” a tune off of their last album Shame, Shame. Scott McMicken mumbles “good evening everyone. It’s so damn good to be home” and the show begins. The sing-a-long begins and it sounds like all thousand or so people in the joint are singing along. I can’t blame them- “Shadow People” is catchy as hell. Yet for me the most interesting part of the whole clip is watching bassist Toby Leaman kill time before his part starts. He paces, walks in circles, does a fist pump or two, occasionally sings along to himself- all before coming in at the chorus. I still don’t know why it was so mesmerizing.

While I sincerely doubt Dr. Dog endorse many products, I would strongly suggest they look into endorsing one of these two items: pom pom winter hats, plastic Ray Ban sunglasses. They seem like a band favorite; might as well get them for free. That’s my thinking at least and the reason why I’d want to endorse blue Gatorade and Life cereal. By the way, if anyone from Gatorade or Life is reading this, I am totally serious.

Speaking of serious, “The Beach,” a tune off of Fate has a seriously downtrodden vibe to it and if I was at a Dr. Dog show and they busted this tune out (which they did on both nights,) I’m not sure what I would do with myself. Get a beer maybe? I don’t know. It’s a tough one. Great song, just a confusing live one.

“That Old Black Hole” is my favorite song off of the new album, Be the Void, and I wish there was a better video of it somewhere out there. However, watching this clip, you do get a fascinating idea of the massive wall of sound Dr. Dog create- between two guitars, bass, keyboards, drums and well-populated group harmonies. It also makes you think that, you know, that looked like a super fun show and I’m bummed that I missed it.

Finally there is this video of “These Days” off of Be the Void, a song which also holds the distinction of being one of the rare up tempo tunes Dr. Dog play. If I was in a band, my goal would be to incite a positive response from the security guards up front. Judging from this video, Dr. Dog failed in that area- at least during this song. If that security guard in the video is anything like me though, he probably got really stoked for “The Rabbit, the Bat and the Reindeer.”

I’m not sure when Dr. Dog will play in town again. But when they do, let’s just hope they email us back. That’d be awesome. I shouldn’t be watching all this YouTube at work anyway.

photos by Eric Ashleigh via WXPN's the Key.

You Tube review is a regular feature, where quite honestly, we review shows we weren't able to get to via You Tube.

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