Dr. Dog Live Review & Concert Photos

Dr. Dog Live Review & Concert Photos w/ SWIMM | State Theatre St. Pete | Sept. 28, 2015

by • October 7, 2015

I had the idea before ever seeing Dr. Dog for the umpteenth time (and before these handful of imbibed beers) that I was going to make this kind of a declaration later: that Dr. Dog wasn’t a band that was necessarily needed to make this big world go round, but still a band most of us wanted. Having slipped out a few songs deep into their encore (and just before the witching hour of midnight, and on a Monday in a beach town, no less), I don’t entirely agree with what I almost said. Whoever and whatever Dr. Dog once was years ago is now a much better Dr. Dog today.

The show was a sweat-infused lovefest of the highest order. There were sunglasses worn and shared mics/vocals and some of the best lights I’ve seen in a small theater in who knows how long. If nobody left a bigger fan than when they walked through the State Theatre doors, it wasn’t because Dr. Dog was failing to its damnedest to win the crowd over. They sang without holding back. They danced without so much as taking a single breath between tunes. And the audience was a mirror image: smoking and sweating and showing all of the many reasons why they were out on a school night to show their true colors. And that was (is!) a pretty beautiful thing to witness.

Thought: I’ve never seen Dr. Dog headline before, though they’ve dutifully opened a few shows I’ve seen over the years. If you’ve had a similar experience, chances are you need to check them out at this point in their career. They’ve got this thing down pat. And they need you to sing along to “Lonesome” with them already.

I have this nagging idea that Dr. Dog is less a band that needs to be bought and listened to than one that needs to be experienced. In that light, more of their concert tickets ought to be bought. As someone wholly unconnected to the rest of the band, I’m okay with saying let the shirts and vinyl and $10 koozies (!) slip by the wayside. Just get to wherever they are, whenever they are. Hear them, sing along, raise your arms and clap your hands.

SWIMM for its part did its best to latch onto its local audience and proceed to rock the fuck out. It did exactly as it should have done. People rocked and talked and did both at the same time. SWIMM even said Dr. Dog had its musical influence on them as they went about shaping their sound. Them’s fighting words (the good kind).

Casual aside: If you’re ever wanting to make the Orlando to St. Petersburg trek just to see a State Theatre concert and you don’t want to drive back after, The Cordova Inn is right down the street and comes highly recommended (from yours truly). It’s a 95-year-old house turned boutique hotel within walking distance, parking is cheap, I slept so soundly I woke up not knowing exactly where I was for a bit, and lastly, they offered up free mini-boxes of Golden Grahams in the morning. I stayed a whole night, but ended up wanting to live there for a while. (End commercial.)

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Dr. Dog Live Review by Dainon Moody, edited by Matthew Weller

Dr. Dog Concert Photos by Brian Schanck.

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