I have fallen madly in love. Now, before you start penning an open letter of warning to The Bee telling him what a scandalous harlot I am for my betrayal, let me tell you that he is well aware. As a matter of fact, he’s known from the start and he was there to witness it all, when this past Friday night my small scale crush turned into full-time infatuation with a group of 5 men. And a dog. Maybe I need to explain…
Back in July, we bought two 2-day passes to see Dr. Dog, live in Philly (their home base, and our home away from home), elated because the show would be the weekend following my birthday and what better way to celebrate?! I say this because 1. I am a compulsive show-goer, where some people like to have a nice meal out at a swanky joint, or use outlet shopping as therapy, I buy tickets to shows (making it to most) and 2. because for the better part of this year, Dr. Dog’s album “Fate” has been playing on a constant loop during just about everything we do. Driving to work, AT work, while on vacation, doing the dishes, to drown out the sound of my chattering mind, WHENEVER. “Fate” has become the soundtrack for our lives, we pimp the album to anyone who will give us the time to listen because, well, it’s really REALLY good. It’s not just the album, either, they have 4 other LPs and an EP, all of which have become a part of our daily listening practice. When there is a question about what to put on while driving together or hanging out at home, Dr. Dog on shuffle always works to suit both our fancies. Until this past weekend, I had no idea just how much Dr. Dog I really needed in my life.
Having never seen Dr. Dog before, I wasn’t really sure what to expect, just that I had heard they have an amazing live show. It’s kind of shameful, as a girl who has spent a good deal of time in the city of Philadelphia, from living there, attending school and working in the city, I had never seen this local band perform before. I had heard of the band, but had obviously never been so inclined to go the extra mile and put image to sound. I have conceded to kicking myself for such foolish ways.
Upon entering the TLA, I was immediately taken with the stage. It was unbelievably vibrant, the backdrop was a multi-colored basket weave of ribbons criss-crossed over their signature “3 dots” logo. Three giant chinese lanterns (in “3 dots” formation, yet again) hovered over a stage literally covered with flowers, wrapped around mic stands, pouring onto the stage and interspersed with large carnival sized white lion heads. The sets theme provided a fresh and joyous vibe that spread from band to audience within moments of their arrival on stage. From the opening of the first song, the crowd was completely engaged, bopping and rocking about ferociously, an almost mirror image of the physicality expressed by the band onstage. In an age where most concert-goers seem too hip or jaded to do much moving about, this crowd had obviously never read the memo. It was wickedly refreshing to see a group of people so genuinely happy to see these amazing artists in peak form. And were they ever. Oh yeah, and co-lead man Scott McMicken even brought his dog out onstage during the set. Gotta love a group who loves their dog.
As if Friday night wasn’t enough of a treat, we returned again on Saturday, this time amongst our friends and a complete and total downpour of rain to see if history could repeat itself. The set list from the first night had been so perfect, that both Me and The Bee agreed if they played it exactly the same from start to finish we wouldn’t be disappointed. They had played a great mix of songs from most of their albums, focusing most heavily on their newest release “Fate” and Saturday night played out much the same, save for a few swapped songs and a change of order. The band returned to the stage in their uniforms from the night before, white suits adorned with a multi-colored mesh to match the backdrop perfectly. These guys worked their theme to the max and it really payed off. In my eye, they have solidified their place as potential successors to a Sgt. Pepper styled band without being labeled as solely derivative.
As the set wrapped up, Scott borrowed the cell phone of a crowd member, ordering a pizza “better make that an extra-large” because there are a lot of hungry people here. Moments later, as the band continued to play, assistants bearing pizza boxes stepped out from behind the stage, presenting the treats to the audience. Cries of “PIIIIIIIIIIIIZZA?!” could be heard throughout the venue. Pizza boxes began to infiltrate the crowd all the while, the band played on as more and more boxes emerged from behind the scenes. Sitting in the bar, we figured we would be overlooked but no sooner than we called defeat, a piping hot slice was being thrust toward me and don’t you know it, I look in all directions, and EVERYONE has a slice! Dr. Dog bought their entire audience pizza. PI-ZZA!!! I wasn’t even hungry, but lord knows I ate that slice with relish. Best pizza EVER.
This brings me back to the title of this post. As I said earlier, the album “Fate” has been one that Me and The Bee have found such a profound love for that we decided the song “Army of Ancients” would be our wedding song. Wedding talk has been on the forefront for almost a year now, though we are no closer to deciding what we’re actually going to do about it other than picking a date and sticking to it (just a little over a year now!) but strangely (or not so, depending how you look at it) Dr. Dog has always been a predetermined part of the function. I figured when the time came, I would DJ the event myself, or at the very least, prepare a mix of our favorite songs to play on the dance floor, with “Army of Ancients” as ours to share.
Now, I have a very vivid imagination and no sooner had our Dr. Dog weekend commenced than I had visions of the band playing our wedding. Yeah, and who do I think I am exactly? Still, a girl can dream and I told The Bee that my conviction was so strong that I was willing to forgo typical wedding fare, such as a dress and flowers (not really saying much since I’ve been pushing for a shotgun wedding from day one) to fund a Dr. Dog wedding extravaganza. A friend suggested that we simply get married AT a Dr. Dog show, an idea which caused my ears to prick up as well. So, call me crazy, I really must be, but we LOVE this band. They put on the best live show I have ever SEEN 2 nights in a row and damn, I’ve seen a lot of shows, but what they did on that stage was truly magical, making a rainy weekend in the city one of the best of my life. Isn’t that what everyone wants for their wedding day?
Check out this footage from Friday night (10.23) of the Dog performing one of my favorites, The Ark.
You can view the rest of the set that we captured here.