It’s not that the guys haven’t sounded the part before — as indie rock acolytes who have witnessed the band’s consistent quality and sing-along crowds can attest. But as the Boulder Theater reached capacity Tuesday night, it was clear that the rest of the masses have finally caught on.
Opener Cotton Jones enjoyed a well-deserved share of the fawning as well, its brand of lilting folk thawing out those wise enough to come in early from the cold autumn evening. It was likely the last show the band will play in Boulder off the marquee, as fans could be heard attempting to harmonize on some songs and calling out their favorite tracks throughout their set.
By the time Dr. Dog took the stage with “How Long Must I Wait,” the crowd was hot and ready. The band? More so. Never mind what genre critics have branded this group: Tuesday night, Dr. Dog was punk rock. From the revved up “That Old Black Hole” to a floor-stomping “Worst Trip,” the band refashioned songs new and old with thick barbs, coarse edges and enough drums to wake up the entire neighborhood.
The band did give quarter with a few less explosive songs. Despite its Rodney Dangerfield-worthy punchline of a chorus (“What does it take to be lonesome? / Nothin’ at all”), recent single “Lonesome” proved a favorite, swaying the crowd into the most inclusive shout-along of the show. Encore “Die Die Die” curtailed the fever pitch enough to prime the gallery for the band’s fourth and final song, “My Friend.”
The song ends with a coda that encourages living while you can, and even on a Tuesday night, that’s never a problem in a town like Boulder, with a band like Dr. Dog at the helm.
Dylan Owens is a Boulder-based freelance writer and a new contributor to Reverb.
Brittany Moore is a Boulder-based photographer and a regular contributor to Reverb. Check out more of her work and her blog here.