The Philadelphia-rooted rock sextet blew into Washington for the first of a two-night, super sold-out stint at our very own 930 Club. Not only was it the first night in DC, it was their first night anywhere on the latest road show. And they illustrated quickly why they should be called the doctor of anything.
Pseudo-locals, Sub Pop signees and openers The Head and the Heart impressed this tough critic, and I'll even give them a pass for "hailing" from Seattle but being from Fredericksburg, VA; they were an appropriate opener for such a late start, and a great act to see live as a first listen (a second listen revealed that their musicianship > songwriting). They're pretty standard issue alt country/folksy indie, with lead singer(s) with lovely little voices that will keep them from sheer obscurity.
TH&TH were so good, I lost track of time (even though I've read several complaints about set times being late). That really never happens for me at a packed 9:30 Club show, where anticipation and crowd anxiety builds up between bands.
Scott McMicken has a Craig Finn energy, which sits well with this Hold Steady lover, and for all my complaining on this blog about a lack of originality, there's something about Dr. Dog. They keep it ugly in the way that many bands try to, but without it feeling articficial; the growl at the end of Toby Leaman's vocals keeping the songs from being too sweet, and the headbanded percussionist banging away in the corner contrasting with the harmonizing guitars. See my scorecard for a little more info. This review was hard to write, just as I'm sure Dr. Dog is hard to read.
I Only Wear Blue
The Rabbit, The Bat, and The Reindeer
Take Me Into Town
The Way The Lazy Do
Heart It Races (Architecture in
The Beach (Fate)
Jackie Wants a Black Eye