It’s hard not to have high expectations when you see a good band play live; It’s even harder when that band is from Philly and the show is sold out. Maybe the high expectations were my problem as I started off what should have been a great night with a few unfortunate events. Pouring rain and miscommunications aside, Dr. Dog played one heck of a show last Saturday night – and I can only assume Sunday night as well.

Helping me forget about my earlier misfortunes, were openers Purling Hiss, also from Philly. Their set can best be described as a really upscale garage show. While they did engage with the audience, it was clear how easy these guys got lost in their performance – in a good way, that is. I feel that their approach may have been lost on some people, but I can only hope that people left this show with a new musical interest in this band. I see good things happening in their future, so keep an eye and an ear out.

Pardon me for a moment as I get a little nostalgic. Flash back to February of last year when Dr. Dog played the Electric Factory, where I met a fellow TSI contributor in the photo pit. It was this chance occurrence that lead me to get involved with this site in the first place. So, thank you, Dr. Dog. Okay, moment is over…

Whether or not it was planned just for their stops in Philly, Dr. Dog’s stage set up couldn’t have been more perfect for their “welcome home” shows. I mean, who doesn’t like walking into a living room being welcomed by a spaceman? See photos below to see for yourself.

It’s always a little nerve-racking going to a live show right around the time of an album release. Are they going to play ALL new songs, or sprinkle them in with their older hits? Dr. Dog did an excellent job of playing songs all over their discography. “I Only Wear Blue,” “Heavy Light,” and “That Old Black Hole” were personal favorites of mine from the night. Granted it was a sold out home show, I was not expecting the almost literally deafening cheers from the crowd for an encore, and I was standing in the back. In response, the band delivered one of the best encore performances I’ve ever seen. Needless to say, I left the E Factory a happy little camper. I’m sure Sunday’s performance was great, but I just don’t see how it could have topped the energy of Saturday’s show.

Set list (via The Swollen Fox): Shadow People / Stranger / The Breeze / The Ark / Do The Trick / Lonesome / The Way the Lazy Do / Hang On / I Only Wear Blue / Vampire / The Rabbit, The Bat, and The Reindeer / Worst Trip / Heavy Light / The Beach / From / These Days / My Friend / Jackie Wants a Black Eye / ENCORE / That Old Black Hole / Take Me Into Town / County Line / Oh No / Heart It Races (Architecture in Helsinki cover)