Slaughter Beach, Dog gets a warm Philly welcome for their 'Crying, Laughing, Waving, Smiling' tour - WXPN | Vinyl At Heart

It was a late show for everyone at The Fillmore last Saturday night. Philly’s own Slaughter Beach, Dog closed out their 2023 tour with an expansive two-hour set that followed performances by tour friends Erin Rae and Bonny Doon.

Nashville’s Erin Rae, who sings backup on much of Slaughter Beach, Dog’s new Crying, Laughing, Waving, Smiling album, opened the show with just her guitar. The Fillmore stage is a huge place to be alone, but Rae brought a certain fullness to an otherwise empty stage.

Erin Rae | photo by Danielle Ciampaglia for WXPN

Detroit’s Bonny Doon included two guitarists, and an occasional backtrack. Recorded, Bonny Doon’s music is full of drums and higher energy – but stripped down, the band is earnest and yearning, almost crooning.

Bonny Doon | photo by Danielle Ciampaglia for WXPN

Slaughter Beach, Dog hit the stage around 9:45 after a few minutes of ambient music signaling their imminent arrival. The late start time didn’t deter any fans, because Philly shows up for their faves and Slaughter Beach, Dog — who was recently named a WXPN Artist to Watch — is definitely one of them.

The highlights of the show were often not even from the band, but from the crowd. There were couples at the barricade dancing together, people (trying to) clap along to songs, and what felt like an open forum for conversation between the crowd and lead singer Jake Ewald, mostly about the Fillmore’s four chandeliers.

Slaughter Beach, Dog | photo by Danielle Ciampaglia for WXPN

Ewald has perfected the art of the love song with “Acolyte,” which they played toward the end of their set. There’s something uniquely intimate about a crowd of hundreds of people whistling together. The Slaughter Beach, Dog show seems like a good place to be in love.

Between the fascinating window themed set design, a very obvious love and respect between the band members on stage, and one the longest, most impressive guitar solos I’ve ever heard – Slaughter Beach, Dog’s final show of the year was nothing short of engaging.

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