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Slaughter Beach Dog @ The Crofoot (Concert Review by Ciaran C.)

Tucked away in the small school-turned-concert-hall that is The Crofoot, Philadelphia-based post-emo folk band Slaughter Beach, Dog made their small corner of the venue even smaller with an intimate performance as part of their eponymous Spring 2022 tour. Occasionally interrupted by the guttural sounds and roars of The HU’s simultaneous concert happening only feet away, former Modern Baseball vocalist Jake Ewald commanded the attention and the hearts of the crowd with a retrospective setlist. With lyrics of relationship troubles, young existentialism, and a heaping amount of smoking references, the band celebrated their first tour in almost three years by encouraging the audience to participate – such as singing along to Your Cat’s famous line of “I’ll make it through this if it kills me / And if it kills me I’ll be back / Jesus will make me a disciple / Or maybe he’ll let me be your cat” – allowing the small crowd to transcend watcher status and instead become supporting acts: acts backed by the music of occasional shoe shuffling and murmurings between friends.

 

While celebratory in its nature, the sounds were still low-intensity and the crowd was laid back: the venue did not vibrate with the shredding of guitars or angsty wails akin to Slaughter Beach, Dog’s predecessor Modern Baseball. Rather, the acoustic nature and general cheerfulness of the band reflected a sort of maturity in sound and audience, with the shared experience of halfheartedly singing along serving as a joining bond allowing for the audience members to join together and reflect.

 

This generally laid-back and pensive tone persevered until the encore track of 104 Degrees. Seemingly building off of the crowd’s excitement and recognition of this song, they finished their show with an unusually more intense and exciting rendition of this otherwise wistful and moody song. On the long drive back to Ann Arbor, I couldn’t help but feel transported into the final verse of 104 Degrees, with its recollection of driving down a freeway prompting me to feel as if I was retrospectively living in a memory of barreling down I-275 from Pontiac.

 Review and Photo by Ciaran C.

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