2019 has seen the return of numerous 90s-era bands that stopped playing and went their separate ways over 20 years ago, including that dog. Unlike many of their grunge-era counterparts, their return actually happened earlier -- with sporadic reunion shows happening since 2011 -- and most distinctly has also been accompanied with a brand new record, OLD LP, which was released in early October. The 2019 version of the band is a trio of vocalist/guitarist Anna Waronker, bassist/vocalist Rachel Haden, and drummer Tony Maxwell -- longtime vocalist/violinist Petra Haden opted not to participate on the record or in the subsequent shows. Her vocal parts now being performed by Allison Crutchfield of Swearin' and PS Eliot, and violin parts performed by Kaitlin Wolfberg. To support the new record, they played 2 shows, hitting LA first and then making a stop at Brooklyn’s Warsaw on Saturday night (11/23).

The show was opened by Craig Wedren of Shudder To Think playing a solo set built around delicate guitar work with loops, samples, and atmospheric vocal layering showcasing the impressive range of his voice. In between songs, Wedren thanked that dog. for inviting him to play what he joked was a "tour for 50 year olds, LA last weekend and now New York." He also admitted that he had not listened to the band during their initial run, only realizing his love for them later after developing a friendship with Anna Waronker and asking, “where have you been all my life?”

Adult Mom took the stage next, and the linear path of the crunchy pop of that dog. leading right to their “queer indie bittersweet romantic pop” was immediately evident in their hook-heavy set. Part way through, singer Stevie Knipe acknowledged the connection, saying that dog. is a major influence on why they play music today.

As that dog. came out on stage, the theme to “Three’s Company” played, a nod to their new video for “Just The Way," which is themed around the classic sitcom. They went right into the song, kicking off a set which featured 18 songs spanning across their catalog and touched on all of their previous releases, including fan favorites like “Old Timer,” “Long Island,” and “He’s Kissing Christian.” They also spent a good amount of time on the new record, performing seven songs from it, including the title track, which Waronker elaborated on, saying she was inspired to write it after the memorial for Charlie Haden (bassist Rachel Haden’s father). She heard a recording of him singing “Shenandoah” played that night, and had the feeling that he was “alive through music.” She then went on to say that their performance of the song that night was not only dedicated to him but to “a dear friend we recently lost, Kim Shattuck,” which was met with cheers and applause.

The audience showed their love and appreciation by singing along throughout the night, even harmonizing as a group on the first verse of “Minneapolis” as Waronker dropped out to give the lead vocals over to the crowd. The band expressed their thanks and gratitude to the fans throughout the set and then more specifically by thanking them for helping them get OLD LP made through crowdfunding, Waronker admitting that she was inspired to make a new album in the first place because of the fans and their reaction to “Retreat From The Sun” at their 2012 shows at Music Hall of Williamsburg. To close off the show, they played their 1997 hit “Never Say Never,” and it was a fitting end to the night as 2019 has proven to be the year of “never say never” for musicians and devoted fans alike.

Check out pictures from Saturday night's show in the gallery above, and the setlist below.

Setlist: that dog. at Warsaw, 11/23/2019
Just The Way
Old Timer
Ms. Wrong
Long Island
Bird On A Wire
Retreat From the Sun
If You Just Didn’t Do It
Alone Again
Drip Drops
Old LP
Down Without A Fight
He’s Kissing Christian
Your Machine

I’m Gonna See You
She Looks At Me
Punk Rock Girl
Never Say Never


photos and review by Kate Hoos

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