Late Monday night was not a sleepy one. By the time I rolled up to the Fremont Theater there was already a crowd stretching well beyond the entrance, eagerly expecting the tight harmonies and infectious melodies of established indie group Dr. Dog.
On tour to promote their last release, the extremely successful “Critical Equation” album, Dr. Dog did not fail to live up to the hype. After grabbing a beer and Skittles (my friend got popcorn—the Fremont theater really does have everything) we rolled down the aisle and got up close to the opener, Maryland-based Michael Nau. The tight 4-piece (drums, bass, acoustic and organ) kept the crowd swaying as they rolled into hypnotically long enders featuring clean acoustic tones with stabs from the organ. By the time they were finished we had settled into the rapidly-growing crowd up front, noticing seat space diminishing quickly behind us as the clock moved past the time Dr. Dog was supposed to begin.
When the Philadelphia six-piece hit the stage the crowd could not contain themselves. I heard screams, cheers, and even saw a grown man cry. Songs which I’d never imagined a mosh-pit to form to received one as eager attendees riled up to songs like, “Go Out Fighting” (featuring a sizzling electric guitar coupled with tones of a Hammond organ). And can you blame them? The 60’s pop + 70’s fuzz rock sound of Dr. Dog cements them as a staple in the lo-fi rock movement, an act that is worth seeing wherever (or whenever) you are.
The core of their set was probably an hour and a half, with some of my favorite performances being “True Love,” the single, “Heart Killer,” and “Coming Out Of The Darkness,” (I couldn’t stop singing along to this one). When the time came to leave, well, the crowd would not let them leave. After more than an overdose worth of encouragement, Dr. Dog came back from behind the curtain to play not one, not two, not three, but five more songs kept in the back pocket for a moment like this. I loved it: I could feel the crowd not letting them leave and the band not letting us leave, each party holding the other firmly in their grasp in a futile attempt to keep the night going forever. I picked up a cassette for my old car on the way out, leaving like all the others: with a smile on my face.
Dr. Dog is next playing shows in SoCal and Arizona before heading over to the East Coast. You can find out more about Dr. Dog here. For more upcoming shows at the Fremont, visit https://fremontslo.com/.