Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Photos/Review: that dog. @ Music Hall of Williamsburg

that dog. @ Music Hall of Williamsburg - May 25, 2012
Photos: Chris / Review: Jennifer Harmon

It was a satisfying and joyful experience to witness ‘90s alt-rockers that dog. during the second night of two very special reunion shows at Music Hall of Williamsburg on Friday, May 25.

A devoted legion of fans turned out to the popular live music spot in Brooklyn. Although we missed Fred Armisen launch the sold-out show the night before, we were certainly entertained by the two comedian openers, Kurt Braunohler and Baron Vaugh. Laughter engulfed our bodies for almost an hour, producing the perfect segue for that dog. to grace the stage.

With beers (or vodka tonics) in hand, we watched the lovely ladies rock out alongside their impressive drummer, Tony Maxwell, who has not picked up the drum sticks in 15 years and is better than ever. That dog. immediately launched into some of our favorite punk and power-pop songs, including “Grunge Couple,” “Old Timer” and “Never Say Never.”

“I could show up at your door/and still know what you’re looking for,” Anna belted out during “Never Say Never.” “I could wait in your line and if you had no money I would give you my last dime.”

They looked fabulous. Anna, with her long wavy blond hair and contageous grin, immediately captivated the crowd with her sweet yet powerful voice. She strummed her reverse-strung guitar, which had a “Ladies” room sticker underneath its bridge.

Rachel Haden on bass, and Petra Haden on violin, both demonstrated their beautiful singing capabilities and showed how crucial they are to the band’s successful arsenal of songs, which are full of hooks and layered harmonies.

“By definition a crush must hurt/And they do,” Waronker lamented in “Long Island.”

During the show, Rachel admitted that the group had not been able to pratice a lot for these reunion shows, yet they sounded so tight and in sync.

That dog. was together from 1991-1997 and released three albums in that time, including that dog, Totally Crushed Out, and Retreat From the Sun. Since breaking up and going their separate ways, it’s clear that each of the band members have grown as musicians and artists. The audience at Music Hall loved being transported back in time through songs about teenage soap operas and familiar high school drama. But in 2012, we are also older and wiser and aware of the complex instrumental and vocal arrangements involved in the production of these songs.

The fouresome, joined by an additional guitarist for most of the set, was delighted to be together on stage. One by one, the colorful rainbow stage lights swirled across their faces. Rachel talked abut her latest haircut and the group praised her for getting the reunion together in the first place beginning with the LA shows in 2011. Anna’s husband, Steven Shane McDonald, the bass player from Red Kross (and of the hardcore punk band, OFF!) and her three-year-old son were in the audience the night before. During Friday’s show, she couldn’t get enough time chatting with the fans who called out requests for their favorite songs or who screamed out, “I love you!” Anna relished the moment and yelled back, “I love you, too!”

When the band returned for their four-song encore, Rachel wore an oversized OFF! hat as she rocked out to “Minneapolis,” followed by “Michael Jordan,” “Fuck You,” and “This Boy.”

“I was at the Jabberjaw, cutest boy I ever saw, he was standin’ beside me, he was such a dream,” we sang in unison with Anna and the gang. Many of the audience members had waited to hear this tune. Talk about nostalgic! “So he said he’d write or call ‘Cuz I’ll be touring in the fall/He said he wanted me to move, but that just won’t do to Mineapolis….Minneapolis…Minneapolis.“

Following the gig, Rachel had a smoke outside and talked with excited fans who never had an opportunity to see that dog. play live and always hoped a reunion would take place. She was thrilled and humbled to hear that so many people loved their sound and their performance.

Some reunion tours should happen. Some should not. This one was pure success.


that dog. do not currently have any future dates scheduled, but Rachel Haden told us after the show that she's hoping that will change. Check out a set of photos from Friday night's show, along with their setlist below...

that dog. Setlist - 5/25/12
Grunge Couple
Old Timer
Ms. Wrong
Never Say Never
Being With You
Long Island
She Looks At Me
Gagged and Tied
Retreat From the Sun
Lip Gloss
In the Back of My Mind
Did You Ever
He's Kissing Christian
Michael Jordan
fuck you.
This Boy


  1. I heard Petra Haden quit That Dog... If so, that's awesome cause she's way too talented for that Dog.

  2. I heard that too, Look at That Dog's fan page there's never anything about the Haden girls it's obvious their fanpage is all about anna waronker

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