Saturday, February 06, 2010

Dr. Dog Dazzles...

From the Albany Press:

Dr. Dog dazzles at Revolution Hall
By Ian Goldstein

Dr. Dog bassist Toby Leaman passionately singing at Revolution Hall last night. The emerging band impressed a the crowd at the Troy venue with their soulful sound and no-frills performance.

“Take it easy, bro,” said Dr. Dog bassist Toby Leaman before leaving the stage to end an energetic night.

The show was over, but nobody was leaving. The crowd began to applaud loudly in unison and insinuate that they craved an encore.

Dr. Dog came right back on stage and played “Say Something” off their album “Easy Beat.” Ironically one of the lyrics in this song is “long distance, no need to shout.” Shouting is exactly what the audience used to get them right back on stage and this energy is essentially what summed up the show.

The Philadelphia-based indie group brought their brand of psychadelic rock to Revolution Hall in Troy last Wednesday.

Armed with retro shades and moving almost in synchronization were rhythm guitarist Frank McElroy and lead guitarist Scott McMicken. They acted as lively “sidekicks” to the beanie hat, t-shirt adorned Leaman who thoroughly sang his heart out and screamed melodically whenever he got the chance.

Leaman jumped on stage before their opening number, “The Old Days,” and simply said, “Hey folks.” The show was as simple as their initial greeting all the way through.

There were no drawn-out solos or pointless banter in between songs. Leaman would just take a drink of water between almost every song and once in a while McMicken would spew out a comment or two. The only point at which Leaman said something other than calling the audience “folks” was when he pointed out their youthful-looking drummer, Eric Slick, jokingly calling him a “sight for sore eyes.”

Since releasing their first album, “Psychedelic Swamp,” in 1999, Dr. Dog has been gradually rising and gaining a larger audience ever since. They have opened for well-known bands such as My Morning Jacket and The Strokes. Sounding very reminiscent of bands like The Beach Boys, Tom Waits and David Bowie, Dr. Dog have cited all of these artists as major influences.

The harmonies of McElroy and McMicken were a mixture between The Beatles and The Beach Boys while Leaman’s shouts of “Oh Yeah!” on “Army of Ancients” resembled John Lennon’s screaming passion, which was glued together by the skillful keyboarding of Zach Miller. Their live sound really brought their blues influences to the forefront and assisted Leaman in showing off not only his vocal talent, but his passion.

Slick, who they referred to as “airplane,” was apparently only playing his second show with them. By looking at him, one might inquire how someone so young got into this veteran band. However, after listening to his prowess it’s hard to believe he just began to play with them.

Dr. Dog finished their initial set with the bluesy, Black Keys-esque “The Beach.” A two-song encore closed the night, leaving the crowd with a feeling of satisfaction and influence to know that they had the command to get the band that they came to see back on stage for more.