Slaughter Beach, Dog: Fall 2023

Webster Hall (New York, NY)

On Friday, November 17th, Slaughter Beach, Dog played to a packed Webster Hall in New York City. Erin Rae, who sings backup on their new album, Crying, Laughing, Waving, Smiling, joined Slaughter Beach, Dog onstage for most of their performance, as well as opened up the show with a lovely set of songs, joined by Slaughter Beach, Dog’s Adam Meisterhans on guitar. Detroit-based indie-rock band Bonny Doon took to the stage next with a tender set of compelling songs that had the audience in the palm of their hand. Finally, and to the crowd’s delight, Slaughter Beach, Dog came onstage for their own set.

The band started the night out with “Bobcat Club,” a gentle B-side off of their new record, followed by “Strange Weather” and “Float Away,” which were both introductory singles to the album and are a bit more upbeat with the band’s signature guitar tones notably highlighted. The band continued their perfectly rounded set, between new songs and older, upbeat tracks and slower, and offered an opportunity for each member to shine. Between lead singer Jake Ewald’s own lovely vocals, guitar playing, and even harmonica solos, drummer Zack Robbin’s steady rhythm, Adam Meisterhan’s impressive guitar, Ian Farmer’s mastery of the bass, Logan Roth’s wonderful job on keys (their old lyric “still no piano, same guy on bass” now only half true), and Erin Rae’s stunning backup vocals – the stage was full and overflowing with talent, a perfectly balanced and well coordinated energy expertly balanced between them.

Some moments of the evening that particularly stood out included not one, but two perfectly executed lighting cues – one hitting a disco ball on the stage during “Tommy,” illuminating the band onstage, and then another later, on the in-house disco ball in the center of Webster, spinning and shining captivatingly over the entire crowd. Additionally, the audience reaction to the band’s performance of beloved hit “Acolyte” was a stunning reminder of what live music is all about – hearing a large ballroom of people attempt to gently whistle the first hook of the song together as if they were a small group of friends around a campfire was heartwarming, and the song itself is one of great comfort. A glance around the audience during that song showed endless couples with heart eyes, best friends hugging, and even a fair few respectful FaceTime calls to share the moment with those who could not attend. The encore was perfect as well – “Your Cat” and “104 Degrees,” both off of the fan favorite Motorcycle.jpg, were the perfect pair of songs to close out the night, the crowd singing wildly along and cheering for each band member at the instrumental breakdown at the end that gave everyone one last moment to shine.

Slaughter Beach, Dog is an indie-folk band from Philadelphia, PA and recently released their 5th full-length studio album, Crying, Laughing, Waving Smiling, and have been on tour across the United States in support of it. After a brief break, they will resume tour with a second leg this January, and are certainly not a show to be missed.