Philadelphia’s Dr. Dog ends its gigging life on a bang with a long tour and four final local shows.
If you are from Philadelphia or consider yourself a devote part of the Jam Nation, Psychedelic division, you know and love Dr. Dog.
Starting life as Raccoon before 1999, and crafted as a teamwork-driven songwriting duo, Scott McMicken and Toby Leaman, the Dog expanded its sound, vision and membership beyond the shaggy twosome and found itself making swirling, rustic pop-rock with dusky, funky overtones. Unafraid to experiment or look back at its wild past (they rejiggered their debut, cassette-only The Psychedelic Swamp, in 2016), each record from Dr. Dog was an unpredictable yet sturdily melodic effort, up to, and including, its last studio elpee, 2018’s Critical Equation, on their own We Buy Gold Records label.
For all of their ten plus albums and all of its growth in the studio, where Dr. Dog truly lived and played was in a live setting; endless international tours that always found them making early and end-game pit stops in their hometown. Yes, most of Dr. Dog’s membership, if not all, still live and have home studios in the area.
“We started out playing these small parties and houses around the neighborhood,” frontman Scott McMicken, told me, before playing an XPNoential Fest. “They were sweaty basement shows where everyone was drunk on malt liquor, and everything was always really loud. Those shows were super fun.”
Dr. Dog shows never got less super fun or loud.
That’s what made June 7’s Tweet from Dog drummer Eric Slick so sad. That Dr. Dog and he “were going on one final ride with the best band in the land,” that the Dog would not be breaking up, at all, but, rather would be making a “graceful exit from touring,” with 2021’s “The Last Tour.
“Tickets go on sale for the tour, Friday, June 11 at 12 pm local time. But top-secret band presale starts June 8 at 12 pm ET. Top secret password: DRDOGLIVE. The ticket link can be found on Dog’s Instagram.
“The Last Tour” will be a long one, with gigs starting with an August appearance at Goose FRED the Festival and ending in December with four shows in Philadelphia, right after Christmas and leading up to New Year’s Eve. Two at the Theatre of Living Arts on South Street and two at Union Transfer on Spring Garden, then bye-bye.
Dr. Dog will be missed, even though they won’t be going far.