The Shadow People Are Everywhere – Review of Dr. Dog at Paradise Rock Club

Dr. Dog
Paradise Rock Club, Comm. Ave. Boston, 02/20/11

Dr. Dog. Paradise Rock Club. Boston USA. (Photo - D. Hixon)

Dr. Dog. Paradise Rock Club. Boston USA. (Photo – D. Hixon)

The night started across the street from the ‘Dice as I enjoyed some margaritas with good friends Jesse & Emily at Sunset Cantina. As we raised everlasting toasts to dead Presidents of the past we prepared for our evening of fun on Commonwealth Avenue. This was my first time seeing Dr. Dog, and from speaking with fellow friends who have, I was expecting some good old fashioned, high energy rock – and the boys from Philly were certainly up to the challenge.

I was lucky enough to be hooked up by the good folks at Blue Ribbon BBQ with appreciative VIP admittance, and entered a club packed with twenty somethings dressed in their Sunday Thrift Store best. Leaman, McMicken, and the rest of their mates took the stage in winter beanies with balls on top, however, the show they were about to put on, would be anything but cold. Beginning with the opener to 2009’s brilliant album “Shame, Shame” – I Only Wear Blue, they grabbed the crowd in an instant.

I was struck by how young these guys seemed on stage, but this made the joy in their songs that much more realistic. The light spun around in hues of orange, yellow, and red, bouncing with Dr. Dog’s rhythm and the audience’s energy. It was like hearing a frat rock band from heaven, playing with smiles, as they stood framed by the stained glass behind them. The song that appeared in most contrast for me was another song from “Shame, Shame” – Shadow People. A song that will forever be in my personal Hall of Fame, and as the chorus whirled to an anthemic end, they plead with hope over and over again, inquiring “Where did all the shadow people go?” A song about lost places & friends, that all in Paradise that Sunday night acknowledged with earnest eyes while staring into the crescendo. For they were right there, in the shadows, going nowhere.

D. Hixon

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