Poi Dog Pondering at Double Door | Review
Local favorite Poi Dog Pondering is all about the party. This past Memorial Day weekend, the band filled the Double Door’s dance floor with a mostly older crowd, but the venue’s energy was palpably youthful on Sunday night. Like any good dance band, Poi Dog is at its best when not taking itself too seriously, as there is something playfully goofy about their stage presence, though the band occasionally flaunts moments of rock-star egoism. It’s hard to blame them—as with Dave Matthews Band or Phish, Poi Dog’s fans are zealots, dedicated to the band and enamored by the music in ways that tend to baffle outsiders. With Poi Dog, though, I’m less confused by such enthusiasm. This music is inherently fun, maybe not something I’d listen to at home, but impossible not to dance to in a live setting.
On showstoppers like its excellent cover of New Order’s “Love Vigilantes,” any of Poi Dog’s occasionally tacky rock-star vibes are obliterated by sheer delectation. Dance music is at its best when you can actually watch some talented musicians (as New Order proved when they fathered the style), and the stage’s profound lack of Macbooks was testament to Poi Dog’s respect for the genre. When in doubt, keep the music unadulterated. It just sounds better.