Posted by Michael Giannelli on 03/01 at 06:54 PM
Formed in 1999 by Toby Leaman (bass) and Scott McMicken (lead guitar), Dr. Dog began as an offshoot of the duo’s previous group Raccoon. The band experienced a certain degree of turnover early on before settling on its current lineup, which along with the two frontmen consists of Frank McElroy (rhythm guitar), Zach Miller (keyboard), and Eric Slick (drums). The band’s sound has hints of 1960’s rock and roll, a style that employs a touch of psychedelia to go along with their appreciation for some good old fashioned pop.
After a pair of self-released albums in the early 2000’s, the band had their label debut in 2005 with “Easy Beat.” They have since recorded three more albums, with the latest effort, “Shame,” set to be released this coming April.
The band made their way to the State Theatre as part of their coast to coast tour. And with everyone in attendance noticeably geared up for the show, Dr. Dog delivered a crowd pleasing effort spiced with a touch of homegrown love towards the Philadelphia based group.
After opening act The Growlers finished their set, the lights were dimmed as an electronica beat brought the crowd to its feet with a steady, pulsating clap. Then in a flash Dr. Dog exploded under the lights with bass-wielding Toby Leaman flanked by two sunglass-clad guitarists. The band opened up fast with a rocker that wrapped up with a heavy dose of reverb infused guitar solos, showcasing a taste of their psychedelic side. The band moved increasingly in that direction as the show progressed, using a various array of guitar pedals, overdriven amplifiers, and feedback to great effect. Despite their acid rock instrumentation, each song was generally kept pretty tight with only a few lengthy jams. Also added to the mix were a healthy amount of Bob Dylan-esque tumbling piano licks, which accented Dr. Dog’s guitar brand of rock quite nicely.
While Leaman led the way for the majority of the night, McMicken picked up the vocal duties for a handful of songs. The band played all of their hits, including “Old Ways” and “Hang On.”
A dancing, JoePa-masked man joined the band on stage for a few numbers, even helping out with at first a tambourine and then with a pair of maracas. Always good to see.
Throughout the night, the band members engaged in friendly banter with the audience, discussing past trips to State College and what makes the Penn State experience so special. Dr. Dog will definitely be welcomed back.
Author: Michael Giannelli
Bio: Mike Giannelli is a senior at Penn State majoring in Telecommunications. Some of his hobbies include playing the guitar, playing and watching sports, reading on occasion, listening to music, and taking road trips. He listens to all types of music but mainly rock and roll, blues and rap. His favorite bands include The Doors, Led Zeppelin, The Kinks, The White Stripes and The Strokes just to name a few. In addition, Mike Giannelli wrote this biography referring to himself in the third person.
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