Dogstar, a Southern California alt-rock trio of actor-musicians, played Lee’s Palace in Toronto on Saturday. The first matter 1 might have recognized was that there was no microphone stand in entrance of the bass player. The second detail a single could possibly have seen was that the bass player was Toronto-raised movie star Keanu Reeves. The 3rd detail was that he definitely was not that visible at all.
“How are you guys doing tonight?” songwriting singer/guitarist Bret Domrose questioned straight off. The whoop from the marketed-out group of 500 or so was lost in the opening crash and jangle of the established-opening Blonde, usual of the band’s brooding melodic fare. “Whisper in my ear, choose away all my worry,” Domrose sang, his baritone smooth and approachable. “Don’t go away me lonely tonight.”
Blonde is the guide observe on Somewhere Between the Power Traces and Palm Trees, the group’s very first album considering that 2000′s seeming swan tune, Delighted Ending. That is just about a quarter-century hiatus – in Dogstar decades, the band has skipped an whole era.
According to their bio, they’re a seventies band musically who “somehow received lost in the nineties.” Judging by their harmonically agreeable material – let’s connect with it grunge light-weight – they nonetheless reside in that ten years.
And probably the center-aged audience does as very well. One lover wore a Issue Crack T-shirt and yet another guy shouted “Johnny Utah,” which is the name of Reeve’s character in the 1991 surf-crime typical co-starring Patrick Swayze. We recall Swayze’s wild-eyed criminal Bodhi expressing this: “Little hand suggests it is time to rock and roll.”
If there is the temptation to refer to Dogstar as a vainness venture, that expression must be avoided like a bass solo (which Reeves prevented). The band is of a professional top quality, not a “project.” As for vainness, Reeves exhibited a mole’s flavor for the highlight. Sporting black denims with a matching T-shirt, he did not say a term all evening. The bearded John Wick star was as unanimated on stage as he is on monitor.
Two times, nevertheless, he sent a devil’s horn rock ‘n’ roll salute, flashing it with an underhand prosper, as if hurling a bowling bowl. I’d like to assume Laurence Olivier would have performed it that exact same way.
The only steady mannerism was the pushing of his lengthy hair absent from his facial area. So, the potent, silent bassist, stoically keeping down the band’s base close, straight out of central casting. The 59-year-old’s participating in was uncomplicated. His Fender bass had frets and 4 strings, and Reeves realized what to do with just about all of them.
Toronto was the next of two Canadian tour stops. (In October, the band performed Fallsview Casino in Niagara Falls, Ont.) Tickets value $42.50. Band T-shirts marketed for the rock-star price of $55. Exactly where does Dogstar get off promoting this kind of pricey merchandise? Probably they bought off at Bathurst Station, a fifty percent block absent. I saw no luxurious tour bus parked in entrance of the venue.
As for the efficiency, the semi-rock-star band was 50 % respectable. There was a spaced-out Pink Floyd vibe to the song Glimmer, but if not the tuneful, FM-friendly rock was anything an Our Girl Peace fan may enjoy. Tempos and stages of aggression varied.
Drummer Robert Mailhouse, who cleaning soap opera fans may perhaps recall from Days of Our Lives, doubled on harmonica for Dillon Road, a sentimental story-song in the seventies custom of Billy Joel’s Piano Person and Bread’s The Guitar Guy: “He wore his heart on his sleeve/ He played music and people considered.”
Frontman Domrose resolved the audience midway as a result of the established. “We did it for the proper causes,” he stated of the new album. “We poured our hearts into it.”
In a superior world, he would not need to make that declaration. But in the genuine earth, actor bands rarely get a reasonable shake. On phase, Dogstar acquitted by itself properly. It felt just like any other Saturday night time at Lee’s Palace, which is all any person ought to request for or expect.