Five thoughts: Dr. Dog (House of Blues, February 21)

Dr. Dog
Photo: Spencer Burton
Chris Bitonti

1. Wait, are they … yep, two members of Dr. Dog are wearing Dr. Dog T-shirts onstage Saturday night at House of Blues. But hey, it’s the last night of their tour, why do laundry when you can pull some clean threads from the merch booth?

2. The Philly sextet can really groove live. Aside from a couple of experimental breakdowns, Dr. Dog keeps our feet moving consistently throughout the evening, and it’s even better with the band dancing along.

3. Bassist Toby Leaman and guitarist Scott McMicken share lead-vocal duties with remarkably similar voices. They can be distinguished by pronunciation: McMicken’s relaxed slur versus Leaman’s clear diction.

4. I really think the band could play up the dog schtick a little more than they do. I tried to get a barking chant going in the crowd, but nobody was into it. Whatever, it would have been cool.

5. “Thanks for coming out,” Leaman says to the mostly packed room, much of which even showed up early for opener Hanni El Khatib. “This is not a place we play often, so it’s nice to see that people give a sh*t. I think in 11 years of touring this is only the second time we’ve played Vegas.” Here’s hoping the successful visit will lead to more. –Chris Bitonti

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