April 17, 2008

A Different Sort of Dog and Pony Show (Gov't Mule with Dr. Dog Preview)

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“Music, music and more music imploding inside your brain.” Gov’t Mule doesn’t joke around when it comes to describing their sound. Fortunately, you’ll have the chance to experience this fantastical sensation Saturday night, when the State Theatre presents two loud — even earsplitting — live musical acts to the stage.
Southern rock band Gov’t Mule boasts powerful riffs, jams and character to boot — their live performances are defined by lengthy instrumental improvisations and enough energy and sound to do some serious damage. Drawing from a vast array of influences, including blues, folk, reggae, soul, jazz and classic rock, their impressively wide scope of sounds keeps audiences intrigued time and time again. This synthesis, paired with their trademark solos’ progression from relaxed beats to raging tremolos, has kept concertgoers on their feet for the past 14 years.
Those familiar with Gov’t Mule know of them thanks to strongholds Warren Haynes and Allen Woody, formerly of the Allman Brothers. These roots in notoriously loud and gritty Southern rock, with the addition of bluesy and grassroots overlays, produce distinctive sounds and rhythms which has brought Gov’t Mule its cult-like success. The band has also established itself as a mainstay at music festivals, most notably the Bonnaroo Arts & Music Festival, where the band has played four times in the past seven years. Thanks to loud, in-your-face grooves, Gov’t Mule just may have you, quite literally, rocking and rolling.
But perhaps the highlight of this weekend will be openers Dr. Dog, a happy-go-lucky five-some interested in “three-part harmonies, the out-of-doors, hoagies, vegetables and diminished chords,” according to their website. The band’s members, listed by the pseudonyms Taxi, Tables, Text, Trouble and Thanks, have combined specialties including, but not limited to, “woof and mud distortion, a young voice, hammer hands of a surgeon and the multi-string guitar.” Clearly, talent and range are nothing new to these boys. In fact, their patented brand of psychedelic rock ’n roll even has even drawn comparisons from critics to legendary groups like the Beach Boys and the Beatles.
Over the past nine years, Dr. Dog has toured with the likes of My Morning Jacket, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, the Black Keys and the Strokes, and made huge waves on the festival circuit — they’ve performed Bonnaroo twice in the past three years and are scheduled to play Lollapalooza this summer. With accomplishments like these, it’s no wonder that the boys of Dr. Dog make such optimistic music without a care in the world. “It’s an easy beat of nothing / And we don’t need no guitars / We can run and sing and wreck our cars.” It’s hard not to smile after hearing light-hearted lyrics like these, off 2005’s Easy Beat. Or maybe it’s their amicable attitude and infectiously cheery disposition. Or perhaps maybe, just maybe, ’60s pop is truly making a comeback. Yet no matter what the source may be, Dr. Dog will assuredly have you bouncing and yearning to sing along.
While howling, barking and hee-hawing will most likely not be part of either Gov’t Mule or Dr. Dog’s act this weekend, the two will undoubtedly belt it all out, leaving you slightly deaf and quite possibly roaring.
Gov’t Mule and Dr. Dog will be performing together at the State Theatre on Saturday, April 18th at 8 p.m.