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Thursday, December 14

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Review Sat Apr 11 2015

Dr. Dog Psyched Out Thalia Hall on Friday

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Experiencing Dr. Dog live is a lot of things all at once. It's a blast of color. It's an inundation of lights. It's a dance party. It's a total treat for the mind, the ear and the eye. It's a completely communal and completely solitary experience all at once. It's a heck of a lot of fun.

The east coast psych rockers graced Chicago with three shows this weekend -- one at Thalia Hall, one at House of Blues, and one at Lincoln Hall -- and they kicked the weekend off right at Thalia Hall last night. Playing to a packed, super excitable, dance ready, sold-out crowd, the Pennsylvania natives brought their A-game and the material from their newest album Live From A Flamingo Hotel which they dropped at the beginning of this year.

Anybody who's seen Dr. Dog can tell you that the band has an energy and a vitality that you have to experience live, but if you can't manage that, their new live album does a pretty fair job of translating the live experience to your living room. The group recorded the album over multiple sessions at a diverse range of live settings all over the country -- hence the "A Flamingo Hotel" instead of "The Flamingo Hotel," the idea being that anyplace could have a Flamingo Hotel.

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And last night it was Thalia Hall. Playing surrounded by palms and a flamingo backdrop, the sixsome took the stage with gusto and launched right in. Switching off lead vocals between bassist Toby Leaman and guitarist Scott McMicken, the group produced their quintessential psychedelic rock sound fronted by that amazing, endearing, nasal drawl that Leaman and McMicken share. The group members seemed to be simultaneously a package deal while also each in their own world. With the two guitarists and the keyboardist all wearing heavy, dark shades, often each individual band member would be dancing, completely in their own stratosphere, but then almost by magic the entire band would converge and jam together.

Working their way through "Black Hole" "Jackie" and "Lonesome" (which includes the amazing lyrics "I had my fill of the whippoorwill/when he broke into song I shot him/leave me alone!) in the second half of the set, the band really got the crowd moving -- people everywhere were singing, laughing, jumping and getting down with the band, clearly loving it. The band kept the enthusiasm high, wrapping up their encore with their incredible cover of Architecture in Helsinki's "Heart It Races." It feels almost sacrilegious to say, but it's even better than the original.

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Goodness only knows why, but tickets are still available for their Sunday show at Lincoln Hall if you want to experience the magic for yourself.

 
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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

Our Final Transmission Days

By The Gapers Block Transmission Staff

Transmission staffers share their most cherished memories and moments while writing for Gapers Block.

Read this feature »

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