As a band Delaware Valley rockers Dr. Dog have spent most of their career skirting around the periphery of fame. But all that might change with the hotly anticipated concert album, Live at the Flamingo Hotel.
For fans of psychedelic or indie, or that heathen lot obsessed with psychedelic-indie, Live at the Flamingo Hotel offers the choicest cuts spanning the entire discography of Dr. Dog releases. Breakthrough album Be the Void is featured predominantly including the two opening tracks, fan favorite and Nico nod “These Days” and deep cut “That Old Black Hole.” While easily their most popular record, this live album is no simple rehashing of crowd pleasers.
To begin with, Dr. Dog records have been without exception inimitable. Incorporating the best elements of weird rock and atypical sonic miasma the band forgoes the bland, repetitive 4×4 verse, chorus, verse, chorus song structure of current trends for something a bit more interesting. The records are experiments a la the Cold War Kids or Broken Social Scene on a cool sedative trip. Trading vocal duties frontmen Leaman/McMicken leave a definite fingerprint on respective tracks that keeps the records far from mundane.
Despite the recent glut of NYC shows, the venue of choice for Dr. Dog’s live album was the titular Flamingo in Las Vegas. To combine Dr. Dog with Las Vegas immediately springs to mind the either scene in Fear and Loathing. Sonically, the post production can’t be beat. Whether stopping songs altogether, like on “Jackie Wants a Black Eye” or else ad-lib lyrics the interaction between the group and audience came off as tender and intimate in the face of the theatre’s thousand plus capacity. Equally rambunctious, the crowd seems to hang on every song and applauding as if they knew they were being recorded.
Live albums are generally filler between studio releases designed mostly to garner income between proper projects. “Live at the Flamingo” doesn’t come across as just another one of those live albums. Fans who’ve never seen Dr. Dog will enjoy the record, however like all live records and especially in this case the recording could never replace an actual concert. So for those who haven’t yet seen Dr. Dog, you’ll be pleased to know they tour almost relentlessly, and “Live at the Flamingo” makes a great preview for what you can experience the next time they stop near you.