Sunday, November 18, 2012

Dr. Dog - Marathon Music Works - Nashville - 11/17/2012

So yesterday (Saturday, November 17, 2012) my husband and I headed back down to Nashville to see Dr. Dog at Marathon Music Works.  I had heard amazing things about seeing Dr. Dog live (mostly from Justin of The New Complainers, - scroll down, you'll see it).  But it seems to be a general opinion among their fans that their live show is mind blowing, so I bought the tickets months ago and have really been looking forward to it.
The first thing I noticed among the small crowd that had gathered by the time the first openers were to take the stage was that they were very young.  Lots of black X's on their hands.  Also, there were lots of skinny jeans and beards (big, full beards) - both features on the same guy more often than not.  Suffice to say not the same crowd I'm used to seeing at the shows I've been to. 
The first opener came out 15 minutes late - and that's pretty much the nicest thing I have to say about them.  The second one made us wait 20 minutes while they dicked around with who-knows-what on stage and when they finally started playing, the mix was horrible.  We couldn't hear a word the lead singer said when he talked much less when he was singing and the volume was literally so low I had trouble hearing them over the completely disinterested audience who were all talking among themselves at that point. 
At this point, I admit, I was losing faith.  The crowd clearly found themselves too cool to be interested in anything, or affected by anything.  They just stood around in their little groups, many of their backs to the stage, talking and drinking their huge cans of Guinness and PBR.  I was so not among my people it wasn't even funny.  I was thoroughly irritated by all the waiting around we were doing and what was, so far, a less than inspiring show.  I wondered how these 6 unassuming guys could ever make up all the ground that had been lost by the time they finally took the stage at almost 10:30...
All I can say is - holy shit.  To begin with, they opened with my favorite song of theirs, "That Old Black Hole" and it was huge and commanding and wonderful.  While the noise the openers made just bounced off the crowd and dissipated in the air around us, the opening chords of "That Old Black Hole" penetrated our brains, grabbed our attention and had us bobbing in unison and singing along instantly.  I immediately felt at one with this group of the people that I otherwise had very little in common with.  They drew us together and never let us go until they released us into the world with "Jackie Wants a Black Eye" - a PERFECT closer.
Here's the set list:
That Old Black Hole*
Hang On*
The Breeze
These Days
Heavy Light
Shadow People
How Long Must I Wait?
Do the Trick
The Rabbit, The Bat and The Reindeer
Shame, Shame
Die Die Die*
Jackie Wants a Black Eye*
*the ones with stars are in the correct order for sure, the rest of them are questionable
- also, my Dr. Dog collection is only 4 albums (Be The Void; Shame, Shame; We All Belong; Fate and 1 EP Wild Race) they played a few more songs that I wasn't familiar with, so I couldn't list them here
They played for a solid 2 hours (maybe a bit more) without a single break.  They talked to us a bit, but didn't even do that too much, they pretty much let the music do the talking.  These guys are just amazing.  Their harmonies are so fucking good they're almost disturbing.  When Toby and Scott sing individually they sound completely different, but when they sing together it's like a single multi-dimensional voice.  How is that possible??  And the sound the band creates is so huge it just permeates your entire body and becomes so tangible you can just float along on top of it - no gravity needed.  Amazing. (yes, I'm aware I've said "amazing" too much, but trust me - it was!!)
I've been to some really great shows lately and this one definitely ranks high on that list.  A few highlights were "The Old Black Hole" which I love anyway and was just awesome live.  There are a ton of lyrics in that song and singing them along with Scott was too fun.  Also "Vampire" - I couldn't believe they played this one, I was so stoked.  And Toby really gets into it (of course, he really gets into all of them) but this one is powerful and emotional and wonderful.  "Lonesome" and "Shadow People" were fun live and of course the Dr. Dog classic "Die Die Die" was incredible.  Simply put, it was all just mind blowing and I can't wait to see them again.