Dr. Dog at First Avenue, 2/7/14

Categories: Last Night
Photo by Youa Vang
Dr. Dog with Saint Rich
First Avenue, Minneapolis
Friday, February 7, 2014

Harmonies and pizza were bountiful at First Ave. on Friday night for Dr. Dog's second show in as many nights in Minneapolis. Yes, the Pennsylvania band brought out some Pizza Lucé to share with the sold-out room -- and fed the first few rows. The generous gesture, along with their infectious energy, made sure the evening was a party.

As an nod to their hosts, guitarist Frank McElroy donned a First Ave. stocking cap to keep warm. Stage props were also handy as they had their light-up sign read the hashtag-ready phrase "Yahshureubetcha."

The set easily blended new songs in with some old favorites, and the band kept their energy up, dancing the whole show and spreading an infectious vibe through the crowd. Dr. Dog isn't the sort of band that causes their audience to form circle pits or incite screaming fans, but the audience moving back and forth together as one has a happy intensity all the same.

Along with lead singers Toby Leaman and Scott McMicken trading passionate vocals, the near-perfect harmonies from the rest of the band effortlessly filled the hearty choruses. On all of the group's records, an early '70s classic rock sound blends into the material -- and they translate the catchy melodies live in a way that adds new life to the already catchy work.

Photos by Youa Vang

Leaman's voice dazzled during the heavy, passionate ballad to "Too Weak to Ramble," one of the songs from the band's newest album, B-Room. If he hadn't been moving around before the song, anyone in the crowd would have thought he was about to keel over from weariness, for he sounded so broken-hearted, he could barely hold himself up. 

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