Saturday, May 15, 2010

Happy Birthday Eric Slick..a front page stellar review of Dr. Dog in concert

Good morning! And Happy Birthday Eric Slick!

Photo by Ramie Egan

So yeah, today is Eric Slick's 23rd birthday, and what a freaking gift he got today - the Philadelphia Inquirer has a stellar review of the Thursday night Dr. Dog sold out show at the Electric Factory on the front page of their Daily Magazine Section today.

"Dr. Dog: Stuck in time, and it's all good

By Dan Weiss
For The Inquirer

'Do you feel like you're stuck in time?" sang Dr. Dog's fedoraed Toby Leaman, a little more than halfway into the band's homecoming night at the Electric Factory on Thursday.

Yeah, a little. First, the Providence, R.I.-based openers, Deer Tick, covered Chuck Berry's "Maybelline" and ZZ Top's "Cheap Sunglasses" - with vocalist John McCauley donning guess-what for the latter. And Dr. Dog, the temporally obsessed main act, is itself prone to songs with titles such as "The Old Days" and "My Old Ways," full of sonic callbacks to the Beatles and the Band, to name but two of their many prominent 1960s influences.

The chief drawback of plundering such obvious source material is the inevitable comparisons to the old stuff, and the old stuff will win. But don't tell that to a sold-out crowd that chose to share the night with two of the least-hip under-30 bands currently working.

Dr. Dog has nothing to be ashamed of, actually. This gig constituted a victory lap for the decade-old band, grassroots champions in Philadelphia and then nationally: Shame, Shame, the band's seventh and best album, cracked the Billboard Top 50 last month. Or as Leaman tried to make sense of it from the stage: "We've been doing this forever. . . . Now we're here . . . and you guys are all there."

At which point they launched into "Where'd All the Time Go," which on record is a shadowy soul number with a positively liberating chorus. Live, however, new drummer and Paul Green School of Rock vet Eric Slick kicked it (and several others) into another dimension - from paisley pastiche to thunderous arena-rock.

Likewise, older numbers like "The Rabbit, the Bat and the Reindeer" pounded where they once creaked; The "oh yeahs" in "Army of Ancients" towered over the room. The newer stuff, such as the opening "Stranger" and the Spoon-like "Unbearable Why," stood out even without the extra juice, with the secret weapon of Zach Miller's keyboard sneaking in hooks to nail down the ambitious harmonies and widescreen arrangements underneath the three vocalists' jumpy interplay. Guitarists Frank McElroy and Scott McMicken traded raps on the swung "Mirror, Mirror" and thrashed their downstrokes in unison to send off "Someday."

If you were casting about for a similar retro-pop live show to match this band's fervor, you wouldn't find one in Elliott Smith's or the Format's heyday. Not even Spoon's. And they keep it up way past your money's worth, at almost two hours - tiring for dabblers, great for acolytes.

And without much help from the website Pitchfork or radio, acolytes are more plentiful than ever. As the greatest song of the night inquired, in a winsome Flaming Lips-style quaver, "Where do all the shadow people go?" We assume they got stuck in time, and that more will be joining them."

The Philadelphia Inquirer also posted twenty amazing photos of the show right here.


If that's not exciting enough, The Philadelphia Weekly also reviewed the show:

May 14th, 2010
LAST NIGHT: Dr. Dog At Electric Factory

Photos by Michael Alan Goldberg (click on the above link to actually see them because they are awesome]

"For a now nationally-prominent band once forged out of Philadelphia’s DIY, indie scene, Thursday night was a homecoming. A painted speech bubble coming from the mouth of Ben Franklin adorning the top of the Electric Factory made the announcement: Dr. Dog.

Providence, RI’s Deer Tick warmed up the sold out crowd with delicately wound melodies, two-guitar interplay and multi-part harmonies. Songs ranged from the thumping electric rock of opener “Easy” to country folk ballads “Baltimore Blues No. 1″ and “Smith Hill.” The five-piece also debuted new material from their forthcoming June LP, The Black Dirt Sessions.

The band’s set reached a fever pitch with a rousing cover of the Chuck Berry classic “Maybelline” and culminated with a riotous rendition of ZZ Top’s “Cheap Sunglasses.”

Amid an array of strobe lighting, veteran vintage rockers Dr. Dog took to the stage to the roar of the jam-packed warehouse. In an instant, the quintet simultaneously blasted into “Stranger,” the riveting opener from last month’s long-anticipated Anti Records LP, Shame, Shame, and it was off to the races. The hometown heroes tore through a near two hour set packed with old favorites and every fresh song from the stellar new record, including the warm, slowly building first single, “Shadow People.”

Bassist Toby Leaman took up center stage and traded lead vocals with co-founding guitarist Scott McMicken, to his left, who donned Star Trek-like, wraparound shades and a colorful snowcap. To his right, guitarist Frank McElroy chimed in for a third vocal harmony and added guitar oomph.

The three got plenty of vocal support from the sea of headbobbers packed in from wall to wall on every inch of floor space the venue had to offer, who delighted in every opening chord and chorus singalong.

The band’s newly-added drummer, Eric Slick pounded out unstoppable rhythms, seemingly effortlessly, on ferocious numbers like “The Old Days,” “Later” and “The Girl.” His hysterical but unequivocally precise percussion quickly became the center of attention, cuing mesmerizing lighting effects that complimented each song in the set. That set came full circle, with Shame’s meandering title track, the album’s finale.

Dr. Dog returned to the stage for a captivating, six-song encore, which began with McMicken picking up an acoustic guitar for “Jackie Wants a Black Eye,” prompting a unified clap and singalong. “We’re all in it together now,” the crowd sang assuredly in front of McMicken. The encore also included the group’s already revered cover of Architecture In Helsinki’s “Heart in Races” and fan favorites “Die, Die, Die” and “My Friend.”

It was pure euphoria for some 25 straight songs, and the thousands on hand to witness it were glad to have the five guys producing it back in town. (Kevin Brosky)"


And then there's this fabulous review in Spinner!

Also check out The Brooklyn Vegan!

So not only does my son wake up to this today, tonight's show at Terminal Five in New York City is the final concert on this month long tour, and guess what, it's sold out...I suspect there is going to be some serious partying in NYC this evening. Terminal Five holds about 3,000 people so the fact that it's sold out and in New York...WOW.

Usually I post the story of Eric's birth every year on this date -- yes, he was close to being born in a bank and even closer to being born in a taxi driven by the world's most nervous driver -- but rather than repeat myself, I will simply put up the link from my entry of three years ago for those interested: The Happy Birthday Eric Post

I hope you all click on that because it's a pretty hilarious story and of course could only happen to me.

Since we won't be able to make the New York trip tonight and most of Eric's friends are in Philadelphia and were at the Electric Factory show Thursday night, I knocked myself out for hours in the kitchen (har har) so that I could provide him with his two favorite cakes - triple chocolate mousse and chocolate peanut butter for a celebration post-show. I actually went out and found paper plates, napkins, etc. with dog paws and pics of dogs on them and I even bought party hats and noisemakers because well, I'm just that kind of Mom (meaning, I'm insane but if I am, too bad, because I am insanely in love with my family and that will never change, even when both kids are forty). Julie was kind enough to film the festivities on her iPhone.

So there's a lot more news on the Slick family front but since today is Eric's day, I will end this post now...but will be back if a review of last night's show in Washington, D.C. pops up or any other relevant Eric information.