Reviews attached to Wed Apr 12, 2023

Lost Lake Lounge | Denver, CO

joseph Thu Apr 13, 2023
This show had an exceptional first set (slight correction: it started with Look Johnny II). The best moments of Set 2 were exhausted prior to Andy Frasco's entry. I wasn't impressed with his constitutions in the second set - was there a reason for Frasco to be so openly racist? Three guitars at once was overwhelming and at times veered into disaster. Somehow they also picked the worst South Park song (other than Kyle's Mom) to cover. Listen to set one and the encore - Brian plays bass on Break Stuff - before passing on the rest.

Blaire Tue Apr 18, 2023

jspsam Mon Feb 26, 2024
Ain't No Party Like a Frasco Party

Sit-ins are often hit-or-miss in this scene, and the Dogs' third show at Denver's Lost Lake Lounge during their '23 Colorado Takeover tour was no exception. The bulk of the Wednesday night event saw California blues rocker Andy Frasco link-up with the band alongside longtime collaborator Shawn Eckels on guitar and Denver-based saxophonist Nick Gerlach. The result is occasionally inconsistent—it’s probably the least-polished concert of the CO tour—but the show is still worth checking out for the rarities, including seven debuts and the two new numbers that were played for the first time five days prior at 10 Mile.

You could really tell that the band was trying to build a following in the Denver metro during their spring fling through the mountains, and the consistent midweek rock ‘n roll excursions at the club on Colfax were brought plenty of new fans into the fold. Tix quickly became scarce for the Lost Lake shows after the first night two weeks prior (thanks to BKellZ’s friends and family), and the three subsequent shows at the venue sold out well before doors opened. This is the first of five shows spaced across the eight final days of the Dogs’ residency—by far their busiest stretch of shows in the state. I caught four of em during this final run, including this one (see if you can spot me on the SBD album art). At 2:54 incl. banter, this is the shortest of the four Lost Lake gigs.

The Dogs announced the collaboration with Frasco after the Dead set show the preceding Wednesday—another event that brought in a handful of punters with little exposure to the Jersey boys. As Frasco mentions halfway through the sit-in, he and the band linked up the night before, staying up well through the early morning hours in a haze. Like the Dead-themed show the week before, the event brought out some of the more untoward elements of the jam scene. Nitrous tanks and discarded balloons were strewn across Colfax Avenue once everyone finally made their way out of the venue. Frasco himself mentions his choice to partake in the festivities during the set, and Lost Lake’s generous re-entry policy allowed showgoers to exit, buy a cold one outside, and return without issue. The result turned the concert into more of a party than the band’s earlier treks west to Frisco—the best show of the tour—and north to Fort Collins during the previous weekend. It’s full of “had-to-be-there” quirks, but the board gets you most of the way to those vibes.

First set. Brian’s lyric changes in the LJ2 warmup got anyone everyone up to speed on what was to come in the second set (“Why, Andy, why?”). IGB is still a few months away from hitting its stride, but this is a strong early iteration—check Jerm’s notes on the transition into Tillie. It’s a solid short version, albeit lacking in the gravitas of 4/7. Don’t miss the Ghost Riders tease at the end of Craig&Pat and the ensuing breakdown that resolves into Spun. There’s no break between Power Trip and EDM.

Second Set. Four Dogs tunes set the stage for Frasco & Co. After a standard Appleseed, Inchworm ends with the THX theme. Also note that Jerm plays his synth instead of the trumpet for this standalone PQP. YumpT adds a nice bit of separation between the Dogs’ work and the ensuing sit-in, and Jerm introduces Frasco “fresh off a Lakers' victory” (108-102 OT) after the song concludes. To this day, I still wonder how they managed to fit Frasco (keys), Eckels (guitar), Gerlach (sax), and the Dogs on the tiny Lost Lake stage—Jerm and Andy were basically sitting on top of each other behind the keys for most of the set. Struggle (a Frasco tune) is hot, and Nick’s sax alone makes repeated listenings a treat. Andy acts as coach, directing the band into separate reggae, Latin jazz, death metal, and disco jams before transitioning into Life During Wartime. Jim and Bri had almost no room to maneuver when accounting for Eckels, who entered the fray during this tune. The mix gets a bit too muddy at this stage, and Frasco makes an off-color comment in C Boogie. Gerlach departs after the tune, and Salty Balls is a textbook “had-to-be-there” moment—the energy couldn’t be captured magnetically. The coaching continues thru Talk About It, and Somedays acts as a reprieve from the chaos. They call an audible to end the set on Trunk Rum, but Frasco has trouble keeping up with the band. The first two encores are Dogs-only, but Frasco is back out for Break Stuff (feat. Brian on Bass) and the first Such a Night since 2/24 in the Springs.

1st Set: 7/10

2nd Set: 4/10

Overall: 3 stars.



It Gets Better>Tillie - great transition

Craig and Pat - with GRITS licks

Spun - unique placement 

Inchworm - culminates in THX

Por Que Pedro - standalone, without the brass

Struggle - Nick goes hog wild

Somedays - Frasco’s best song

Break Stuff - 1 of 2 in ‘23, better than the original, YMMV


Sources: Eric Foelske’s tape was the only option for relistening during the first few weeks after the show, but the band eventually put out the soundboard through Bandcamp and Nugs in May. The SBD is a welcome listen—Foelske’s tapes kick ass, but the sound at the venue is hard to capture. The direct recording from the band, like the other three Lost Lake shows, sounds better than the show did in person.

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