Photo by Chris Crisman
With seven albums and their own studio, Dr. Dog take recording seriously. The Philadelphia band’s songs have a clubhouse feel, matching hi-fi harmonies to more off-the-cuff jamming, but that looseness didn’t come overnight. It’s the result of constant touring, honing their craft onstage before translating it to the studio. So it makes sense that Dr. Dog would try their hand at a live album to more faithfully capture their frenetic energy.
Enter Live At A Flamingo Hotel–the operative word being “a.” The titular location is fictional; Dr. Dog instead picked songs from twenty of their 2014 concerts and arranged them so that it would flow more like an album, instead of an actual live show. They’ve excised between-song banter and tuning up in favor of showing off nineteen songs at a maximum clip. “Shadow People”–originally about co-singer Scott McMicken’s West Philly neighborhood–takes on extra resonance on stage. “It’s the right night for wrong company,” yelps McMicken–a fitting welcome into Dr. Dog’s carnival.