Sunny pop melodies. Blues-flecked guitar riffs. Swirling harmonies ripped from sixties AM radio. For their past five albums, Dr. Dog has stuck to same by-no-means-revolutionary blueprint. Mining Woodstock-era jam pop and dad-rock, to call them “Beatlesque” is both tiredly cliché and painfully true. But, god damn it, few of today’s bands do it better. And, this Saturday, the Philadelphia rockers came out with guns blazing, ripping through an hour long set at Beckham Hall. Decking the stage in psychedelic light swirls and stained glass, Dr. Dog’s colorful scruff and sunglasses emanated the laid-back, feel-good vibes they’ve based their career on from the start– and then there were those friggin’ hats.
The quintet of bedraggled psych-bros pounded out their heavy sunshine jams with giddy intensity, their goofball enthusiasm spilling into the jostling crowd. For a couple hundred drunk college students, nothing could be better. Hoisting up crowd surfer after crowd surfer, the audience basked in the good-feelings, dissolving into arm-in-arm shout a longs and uncharacteristically exuberant mosh pits. Tables, Taxi, and co. spiraled through discography classics, such as “The Ark,” “Worst Trip,” and “The Way the Lazy Do,” and a number of highlights from their recently released Shame, Shame, including “Jackie Wants a Black Eye” and “I Only Wear Blue.”
Folkies The Head and the Heart and campus space-funk-folk-pop overlords Almonds & Elephants opened, setting the stage for a night of excellent music. Timeless, dynamic, and, dare I say it, groovy, Dr. Dog came off as far more driven and excited than their career, five albums in, would suggest–in doing what they love, the band couldn’t help but whip the crowd into a exuberant frenzy. Say what you will about their music–tried and true, yes– but, as anyone in attendance would admit, every Dog has its day.