Because Songs Matter

SOANGELICATE'S ROCK REPORT: DR DOG W/FLOATING ACTION @ THE STATE THEATER, ST PETE, FL

I am nothing, if not a rabid Dr Dog fan. Ever since seeing them at Lollapalooza a few years back I have made a point of seeing them every time they come around, so I was crushed when the Tampa Bay Area wasn’t part of the tour announcement following the release of their last album, Shame, Shame. In fact, I summed up my review of that album with the following, “This one goes on my personal essential listening list, and if these guys come anywhere near you, don’t walk, run to the show…and tell them to get their asses back to Tampa.” That said, you can only imagine my glee when I got the announcement that they were doing a second leg of the tour and they would be playing The State Theater on Record Store Day.

Opening for Dr Dog was a band out of Asheville, NC called Floating Action. I had never heard them before, but I liked them pretty much instantly. The first thing their sound evoked for me of was Band of Horses and maybe a little Fleet Foxes, mainly because of their harmonies and twanginess. Looked into the band post-show, it turns out that their last album, Desert Etiquette, was actually produced by Band of Horses’ bassist, Bill Reynolds. I will definitely be picking this up. Seeming not to notice that they weren’t in the mountains any more, lead singer Seth Kauffman was wearing both a stocking cap and a blazer in the 80+ degree heat. I was already pretty darn warm in my t-shirt and shorts, but by the fourth song I, along with much of the the almost capacity crowd, was dancing and clapping (and sweating) along. Highest praise of all may be that members of Dr Dog kept coming out from beside the stage to watch the performance.

As I settled closer to the stage in preparation for the main act, a friend of mine asked about what she was going to see when Dr Dog took to the stage, if it was going to just be a couple guys. If you’ve seen this band before, you know why I couldn’t help but smile at this. Dr Dog has 5 members, 6 on this tour, and they filled the whole stage even before they start dancing. You can tell these guys genuinely love what they do. They transform a simple concert into an all out experience, playing every single song as if it was the last song of the final encore. This also happened to be the last show of the tour, but you’d think it was the first with all the energy they still somehow had. Even the more low key songs are played to the fullest, like when Frank McElroy’s rhythm guitar set the mood for an achingly slow and heavy rendition of “Someday” and when they put on a sweat-drenched rendition of “The Beach” that fucking killed me. I am, in fact, dead now.

I had the chance to chat with the newest band member, drummer Teach (Eric Slick), after the show and he made my night even greater when he said they’re already ready to work on their next album, which is apparently going to be produced by Dangermouse (Gnarls Barkley, Gorillaz). I can’t wait to hear what a more edgy Dr Dog sounds like and, even more exciting, I can’t wait for the next tour.

Check out more pix from the show by the Drunk Camera Guy

5 Comments

  1. Big Brent Big Brent
    April 26, 2011    

    Floating Action are some cool cats. Their main songwriter and leader, Seth, is a friend of mine. His previous band, The Choosy Beggars, put out one of my favorite albums of the last ten years and you can pick it up here: http://choosybeggars.bandcamp.com/ for free. I think nine bullets readers would dig it. It’s a soul record of the highest order with great songwriting that’s perfect for a night on the patio with your favorite beverage. Check it out and let me know what you guys think.

  2. SoAngelicate SoAngelicate
    April 26, 2011    

    Thanks for the head’s up, I’ll definitely check it out!

  3. AdHoff AdHoff
    April 26, 2011    

    I’m not trying to sound like a hater or anything, but I don’t get the whole Dr. Dog hype thing. I’ll gladly admit that I really like some of their songs, but the hype they get in the “indie blogosphere” seems a bit out of proportion to their quality…in my opinion, obviously. The thought of them being produced by someone predominantly known for pop/electronic/dance type of music does not sound appealing to me at all. Different strokes for different folks, I suppose.

  4. Roy Roy
    May 2, 2011    

    Hey Just wanted to clear up that Danger Mouse isn’t producing the new record. It’s this cat, Ben Allen, who worked with Danger Mouse on the Gnarls Barkley records. I’m sure that’s how you mixed up what teach told you.

  5. SoAngelicate SoAngelicate
    May 3, 2011    

    It wasn’t Teach, it was the drummer, so thanks for clarifying! Stoked all the same 🙂

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