Dr. Dog

Live at a Flamingo Hotel

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Philadelphia-based indie rock powerhouse Dr. Dog turn in their first live collection with the curiously named double album Live at a Flamingo Hotel. On even their most orchestrated work, they've always been a band with a distinct kind of energy and a looseness that seems like it should translate well to the stage. Having tracked much of 2013's B-Room live in their recently constructed home studio, a legitimate live album follow-up is a logical progression. After letting the tape roll during a 20-concert stretch in 2014, they combed through the results and picked the premier performances from a set list representing seven studio albums and over a decade's worth of material. Behind the shared vocals of bassist Toby Leaman and guitarist Scott McMicken, the six-piece band nimbly treads the line between professional polish and spontaneous vigor with renditions that occasionally meander and stretch out. "Heart It Races" hits all the right spots, toying with a dub-like groove that supports the song's big pop harmonies and trippy guitar solos. They've threaded together a nicely varied set with deep, atmospheric cuts like "The Beach" countered by straightforward rockers like "The Rabbit, the Bat & the Reindeer" and the outright jamminess of "Worst Trip." They're firing on all cylinders and seem confident pulling in the slack or letting it out at will. While the 19 tracks here do show a side of Dr. Dog that isn't quite as apparent on their studio albums, as a whole, Live at a Flamingo Hotel is unlikely to attract too many new fans. It's a solid and spirited live album, but hardcore devotees are already well aware of the band's prowess on stage and they'll be the ones who benefit the most from this release.

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