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Dr. Dog @ The Fillmore with Hop Along.

March 25, 2016

RK-DR DOG-0317-014Text and images by Rick Kauffman.

Dr. Dog‘s first show of a split double-header at The Fillmore (they’ll be back next month) brought out all the stops, with a career-spanning deluge of songs from nearly all of their albums.

In reverse chronological order, the band drew in the packed house with back-to-back-to-back jams off their recent release The Psychedelic Swamp before making a trip down memory lane with ‘Say Something’ from the Easy Beat-era and ‘They Way the Lazy Do’ off We All Belong.

Four songs into their encore, they took requests from the audience, starting with ‘Vampire’ off Be the Void and ‘The Rabbit, the Bat & the Reindeer’ from Fate before breaking into their fan-favorite cover of ‘Heart it Races’ by Architecture in Helsinki.

Every time Dr. Dog plays a show in Philadelphia it’s a homecoming of sorts. It always seems like it’s been way too long since they’ve been here. The next show, on April 16 again at The Fillmore, will feel much the same.

Whether it’s nostalgic rock they perform so well, or the highly energetic performance that gets people dancing in ways they wouldn’t expect, the group knows how to put on a show.

A few years ago they were the big draw at the Bethlehem Musikfest where after a 2-hour-long session of Phish-like jams, they invited the crowd to “take a break, get a drink, we’ll be back in a little bit,” and then proceeded to play for another hour. Their brief encore at The Fillmore felt much in the same vein — cool off, because we’re only halfway there.

In many ways, the homecoming vibe was significant thanks to the guest appearances of members of old who returned to fill their spots as if they never left. Passing around percussion instruments and acoustic guitars on stage, they went about their business so casually while everyone was dancing.

Philly’s Hop Along opened the show with a bang. Frances Quinlan has a way of proving that folky indie bands don’t need to be twee, they can hit hard, wail and scream as they ripped through eight songs of their 2015 release Painted Shut.

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