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On a gorgeous summers night in August, Philadelphia’s Dr. Dog returned back to Prospect Park in Brooklyn to play a free show at the bandshell for the first time since 2009 as part of the 2016 BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival.  The band has been touring in support of their fantastic ‘new’ album which came out earlier this year, The Psychadelic Swamp (out via Anti).  I say ‘new’ as some of the material on the album was written by both Scott McMicken and Toby Leaman before Dr. Dog was even known as Dr. Dog.  The material was scraped and swept under the rug until they revisited the songs and brought them all back to life (and we’re thankful they did).

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This also marked my 10th time seeing the band, and it was fitting that my 10th time was at the same venue where I first saw them back when they played the bandshell at Prospect Park 7 years prior. Theres a reason I’ve seen them so many times – they never disappoint. They constantly change their sets up, so you truly never know what you’re going to get going into their show which is always good.

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This show felt especially special, as they had Brooklyn based orchestra The Knights (who opened the show), play along side the band for a handful of the songs which really elevated the songs to a whole other level.  Where this truly shined though was towards the middle of the set during The Psychedelic Swamp’s closing track, “Swamp Is On.”  As the band started to play the song and jam, one by one the members of The Knights emerged and built onto of what everyone was playing to build a beautifully trippy version of the song that was out of this world.  The juxtaposition between the band vs. the orchestra made the song one of the standouts from the entire set, and maybe one of the coolest Dr. Dog moments I’ve seen.

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Another highlight was “Swamp is On” segueing seamlessly into “Army of Ancients” that then led to the 1-2-3 punch of “Shadow People,” into “Nellie” and ending the regular set with “We All Belong.” We were there for night 1 and night 2 when the band played Terminal 5 back in March, but this Prospect Park show had a much more lo-fi and mellow feel to it, harkening back to the earlier Dog days which was unexpected but very nice to see.  A good example of this is when they played “California,” a song of 2010’s Takers and Leavers EP which the band has only played a handful of times live (…ever).

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“Heart it Races” continues to be a permanent staple in their live shows recently but every time I hear the band play it, they always put a little spin on it which keeps it refreshing and new.  At one point I couldn’t tell if the band were singing or if it was the crowd (as the entire crowd sang along with the song) and even the band noticed which just added to how great this show was.

Find the setlist posted below, along with some more photos from his performance.

Dr. Dog Setlist:

1. Twilight
2. California
3. Lonesome
4. Ain’t It Strange
5. Wake Up
6. Livin’ a Dream
7. Broken Heart
8. In Love
9. Distant Light
10. How Long Must I Wait?
11. Too Weak to Ramble
12. Phenomenon
13. Swamp Is On
14. Army of Ancients
15. Shadow People
16. Bring My Baby Back
17. Nellie
18. We All Belong

Encore:

19. These Days
20. Be the Void
21. Heart It Races
22. Jackie Wants a Black Eye

More photos:

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