North Park’s Observatory hosted Dr. Dog with opener Michael Nau where they both energized the crowd with their upbeat, dance worthy tunes.

There are a handful of bands you may get the chance to see in this lifetime who have you walking away feeling changed, energized and renewed on life. On this particular night the entire crowd embodied this unique feeling as Philadelphia based headliner, Dr. Dog with opener Michael Nau, from Maryland, played to a sold out crowd at the Observatory North Park.

Michael Nau opened the night with sounds reminiscent of back porch hangouts, campfires and friends. His guitar sang a catchy riff on track “On Ice,” a known favorite.  A Michael Nau fan next to me sang along to almost every song and mentioned that Michael Nau’s music had gotten him through some tough times. I felt that was a common thread running through the music of the night. Songs with depth, excellent musicianship, and a unifying element that reminded us that we are all on this human journey together.

It wasn’t but short moments later that Dr. Dog brought their unique energy to the stage. As they were well received, they treated us to a full set of a wide variety of old favorites as well as a few from their latest album Critical Equation, their first album since 2016’s shelved and then quietly released Abandoned Mansion. Go Out Fighting” a single from their latest, drove the energy up and saw the dancing commence. The single has undoubtedly become a newly minted crowd favorite, and a nod to their evolution as a band. The well timed jams were clean, and each sound made by instrument or voice resonated within the building, touching each and every person there. The dancing of harmonies were delightful and Toby and Scott, along with the rest of the band gelled in an amazing way. In “Buzzing in The Light” the guitars gently dueled producing the perfect duet of sound. Dr. Dog’s music never fails to illicit emotion from it’s listeners, and when watching them live those emotions are coupled with a physical sensation that is hard to describe. This is one that must be experienced for yourself!

The night kept a steady buzz from start to finish and the audience fully vocalized their enjoyment. Both Michael Nau and Dr. Dog tapped into that energy to play their songs with great vigor! Having just played 4 nights in a row at San Francisco’s The Independent, and a night in L.A. and Orange County each, a revitalized Toby Leaman announced to San Diego fans, “We’re gonna give it everything we’ve got!” They played Innings Festival over the weekend, but San Diego was their final headlining stop. The night was by far beyond expectation and ended with an amazing encore where they took a couple requests from the audience. If you have never seen Dr. Dog live, I highly recommend it. I know I will be seeing them again the next time they come through San Diego. Be sure to subscribe, like, and follow ListenSD on all social media platforms to stay informed for shows like this and more!

Dr. Dog at Observatory North Park by Melissa Rubbo for ListenSD


Ain’t it Strange
Go Out Fighting
Buzzing in The Light
I Only Wear Blue
The Ark
Jim’s Song
Can She Dance
The Rabbit, The Bat, and The Reindeer
The Pretender
Under the Wheels
The Breeze
Broken Heart
The Truth
I Can’t Fly
Be the Void

Heart It Races
Where Did All the Time Go?
Bring My Baby Back – audience request
From – audience request
That Old Black Hole

Photos by: Romi Rossel
Review by: Melissa Rubbo