Friday, May 25, 2012

That Dog Plays 1st East Coast Show in 15 Years in NYC

Anna Waronker and That Dog made its long-awaited return to New York Thursday night, and the quirky, catchy indie-pop tunes. Despite a few glitches (forgetting which musician is to start off a song, beginning a tune with a capo that isn't supposed to be on the guitar, etc.), the band sounded fresh and in sync.

The harmonies of Waronker and sisters Petra and Rachel Haden—always one of my favorites aspects of the band—were solid throughout, and kept up with the varied vocal pyrotechnics of the band's songs. (To get an idea of the things Petra Haden can do with her voice, check out her a cappella cover album, "Petra Haden Sings The Who Sell Out.")

That Dog: Rachel Haden, Anna Waronker, Tony Maxwell, and Petra Haden.

At the sold-out first show of its two-night stand at the Music Hall of Williamsburg, That Dog didn't reveal any new songs (as far as I know), but played a variety of tunes from its three albums, "That Dog," "Totally Crushed Out!," and "Retreat from the Sun." (In what will be great news for fans of the band, it seems that new That Dog songs may be in the works.)

The audience, which shouted out requests throughout the show, got to hear favorites such as "Old Timer," "Zodiac," "Lip Gloss," "He's Kissing Christian," "Gagged and Tied," and "Long Island." The encore included "Minneapolis," "Hawthorne," and "This Boy."

Above: That Dog performs "He's Kissing Christian" at Thursday's show. Video by Mark Martucci, via Fruitless Pursuits

As I mentioned before, That Dog's first NYC show in a decade and a half coincided with the birthday of Steven McDonald, Waronker's husband and member of Redd Kross, which is releasing its first new album in many years. Waronker often looked up to the balcony during Thursday's show, where McDonald and their son were watching.

Read a Village Voice interview with Anna Waronker.

Above: That Dog performs "Never Say Never" Thursday night. Video by MrNYC.

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