I’m 32-years-old, which isn’t old unless you count records owned like the rings inside a tree. I’ve been an obsessive music fan since I was 10-year-old and along the way I’ve formed some pretty strong opinions about what I like and what don’t.
Which makes attending music festivals like Firefly a tricky proposition for me. It’s not that I don’t like discovering new music – I get as giddy as I ever did when I find a new band I love (most recently, it’s the Palma Violets, if you were wondering?)
It’s that I don’t love a lot of what the twentysomethings that make massive festivals like this one financially viable. And by the way, I don’t begrudge anyone for that; it’s just a point of fact.
So at 5 p.m. on the Main Stage, after four-and-a-half hours of music, Dr. Dog took the stage to deliver a fun – and as importantly – familiar set.
Over an hour, the band, which boasts members from Delaware and Philadelphia, played a wildly energetic set of its “hits,” including a number of standouts from 2012’s “Be The Void.”
What’s wonderful about Dr. Dog, at least to these ears, is their ability to be edgy and experimental within the confines of well-oiled, polished rock ‘n’ roll machine of a band. In the same way My Morning Jacket manages to rage and then reel itself in around Jim James’ croon, Dr. Dog is wonderful at welding together the low-fi and the raucous. Their songs are pop songs – with big hooks and bigger choruses – but they’re delivered in the context of a venerable rock band – who knows musicianship counts for quite a bit.
They are what popular (or alternative – if you still believe that’s a thing) music needs: a bridge from the familiar to the new, and I adore them for it.