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Dr. Dog Give It Their All At The Orpheum Theater

Joanna Chiang |
February 12, 2012 | 8:42 p.m. PST

Staff Reporter

Fans of both Dr. Dog and intimate venues alike were appalled to hear that the beloved Music Box, just off Hollywood and Vine, would not be hosting any concerts for the entire month of February.

Due to this sudden and supposedly temporary closure, Goldenvoice was forced to relocate their shows to an assortment of Downtown theaters.

Among the relocations was Dr. Dog’s show with Purling Hiss; they were moved to the Orpheum Theatre, altering the entire performance’s dynamic.

As any avid concert-goer knows, the quality of a venue is nearly as important as the band itself.

Tiered amphitheater-style seating garnered a much less intimate feel than the Music Box’s “standing room only” would have. However, Dr. Dog attempted to make amends with this by creating a stage setup reminiscent of a living room from the 60’s, just as their music is a throwback to the same era.

Entering from a solitary door with a tiger head atop it, and stepping onto a stage laden with tribal-print rugs and knitted-by-grandma blankets, the men that call themselves Dr. Dog met a crowd of 20-something year olds clad in label-less attire.

In extremely un-hipster fashion, band members shamelessly self-promoted by wearing their own Dr. Dog-emblazoned beanies which could be found for purchase at the merch table. The crowd didn’t seem to mind as they hooted and hollered for the main attraction.

A mere three days after the release of their seventh album entitled “Be The Void,” it was fitting that they opened the night with their first single, “That Old Black Hole.”

Playing a lengthy 19-song set, Dr. Dog managed to get the audience out of their seats especially as the set progressed. Only playing music from their past three albums, (Be The Void, Shame Shame, and Fate), Dr. Dog disappointed some die-hard fans as they hoped for more from their large repertoire.

Regardless, their stage presence was undeniable as each musician rocked multiple instruments and threw in some fancy footwork while they were at it. They ended the main set with a warning, “This is our last song and it’s not even ours.”

With these words, the crowd erupted in cheers as they knew what this entailed: their cover of Architecture in Helsinki’s “Heart It Races.”

For many fans, this was the song that turned them onto the lesser known band. Fans of the more widely recognized Architecture in Helsinki stumbled upon Dr. Dog’s cover and fell in love, itching for more from the band with the infectious sound.

It came as no surprise when the audience insistently chanted for more as the 5-man band left the stage. Dr. Dog did not skimp on the encore, playing three songs.

An emotional rendition of “From” off their fifth album, "Fate," brought the entire crowd to its feet with many singing along. This quickly segued into “Shame, Shame,” the title song off their 2010 album, and then into “Jackie Wants a Black Eye” off the same album.

Dr. Dog played a no-nonsense show with very little banter. Concert-goers left the Orpheum with the realization that Dr. Dog are not the talkative type, but that this gave them a deeper appreciation for their music.

Despite attempts to salvage any wisp of intimacy that the show could’ve had at the Music Box, Dr. Dog’s vibe was simply not a fit for the Orpheum. The feelings of what could’ve been lingered in the air, leaving something to be desired.

While the venue failed to deliver, Dr. Dog made the best of the unfortunate situation and performed with the enthusiasm and vigor that their fans deserve.

Reach Joanna Chiang here



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