On Sunday night, Noise Pop came to a close with its five final installments. But if the festival had ended with Saturday’s Dr. Dog show at The Warfield, we would’ve been just fine; their explosive performance capped the evening with a great, conclusive bang.
Before the Pennsylvanian band was set to play, Los Angeles artist Moses Sumney took the Warfield’s expansive stage. Sumney demonstrated his mastery of the loop station, synchronizing his jazzy guitar and sultry vocal runs. His dreamy “Everlasting Sigh” elicited a sort of tribal spiritualism, and had the audience pit bouncing and jiving to layered harmonies and percussion.
The East Coast was also represented with Jersey-based Saint Rich, who kicked the jazzy atmosphere up a couple of notches. Between Christian Peslak’s tasteful guitar solos and Steve Marion’s catchy hooks, it was hard to deny the energy of the band. Lively indie tracks such as “Officer” served as the perfect build-up to the headliner.
Disco balls, flashing lights, marquees, and shimmering backdrops reflected the awe factor that Dr. Dog achieved from the get-go with an electrifying performance of “That Old Black Hole.” Good vibes reverberated around the embellished walls and fresco ceilings of The Warfield with emotional anthems such as “Shadow People.” Finding the perfect harmony between recent and older works, a spellbinding rendition of “The Beach” from 2008’s Fate, counterbalanced upbeat indie rhythms in “Heavy Light” and beautiful, folk simplicity in “Too Weak to Ramble.”
The dazzling set reached a peak when the disco ball dropped for “The Truth,” a track off their most recent album, last year’s B-Room. The entire room swelled with sentiment, unwinding as lead singers Toby Leaman and Scott McMicken called out, “let the rain fall,” because “the truth don’t stop, it makes you move / round and round, like the moon.”
After a powerful delivery of “Lonesome,” the band met and exceeded the stubborn crowd’s demands for “one more song” with an additional five. Before the extended encore, Toby addressed the faithful: “It’s always a pleasure, San Francisco, and probably always will be.” Infectious guitar melodies in “Why Must I Wait” and soaring choruses in “Nellie” fused with a deafening level of audience participation to strengthen the symbiotic excitement between the band and the audience.
All in all, the show was a heartfelt ending to an incredible night and a pseudo-finale to a solid week of Noise Pop performances.
Article and photos by Conner Smith