Dogs In A Pile | Stone Pony | 12/16/2023

Article Contributed by Jamie Huenefeld | Published on Saturday, December 23, 2023

December is for holidays, and this year was no exception. The rising jam rock band Dogs In A Pile put on an outstanding, sold-out show at the Stone Pony in Asbury Park, NJ on December 16, 2023, that included a visit by Mr. Grinch, as well as some stellar covers. This performance was part of a two-night stand at the legendary Jersey Shore venue in honor of the December holidays. Percussionist Adrian Tramontano (Twiddle) sat in for the second set.

Guitarist Jimmy Law | Dogs in a Pile

A short but sweet "Westward," sung by guitarist Brian Murray, along with "Apeman," by the Kinks, kicked off the festivities. An eighteen-minute "Craig and Pat" followed with the first face-melting, blues rock jam sequence of the night. Drummer Joe Babick maintained a tasty up-tempo cadence throughout, while bassist Sam Lucid had a nice breakdown in the belly of the jam. This launched into more funk before a mellowed transition into "Appleseed." This tune was elevated by the synth, care of keyboardist Jeremy Kaplan, and ended with a ferocious jam by guitarist Jimmy Law.

Keyboardist Jeremy Kaplan | Dogs in a Pile

A jazzy "Samba for Sam" was up next. The twelve-minute jam was kicked into high gear by a fiery blues rock jam via Murray and Law. The cadence veered in many directions quite seamlessly, which showed Babick's talent on the kit. This led to a newer tune "Lattice." The guitars heated up once again, and launched into a raging funk jam that transitioned back into "Samba for Sam." That segue is one hundred percent worth a second listen. The jam that followed was inspired by a little bit of everything, from southern rock to jazz to prog rock. Kaplan layered in a bubbly keyboard sequence that alternated with minor chords, which created great juxtaposition.

The Stone Pony was packed | Asbury Park, NJ

The reggae-influenced "Fenway," from their 2023 release Bloom, was up next. A melodic jam ensued, and heated up to another Bloom tune, "Bent Strange." Law contributed vocals to this high-energy tune that ended this fuego set with vigor. The band stepped offstage for a much-needed break.

Guitarist Brian Murray | Dogs in a Pile

Dogs in a Pile returned to the stage with their friend, percussionist Adrian Tramontano from Twiddle. He joined them for the duration of the second set and helped boost their sound. The band wasted no time, and dug into a seventeen-minute jam with "Charlie." The music saw several peaks as the sextet pushed on, as Babick maintained a fast-paced tempo while his band mates layered on top. Tramontano was on point with percussion and showed why he is very sought after following the break up of Twiddle. A euphonious segue proceeded into the first song from their release Not Your Average Beagle, "Bubble." Kaplan delighted once again with a deliciously synthy jam. These Berkeley School of Music alums drove the jam rock train home, as the crowd danced with huge grins.

Percussionist Adrian Tramontano | Stone Pony

Brand new song, "Old Folks Boogie," made its debut at the Stone Pony next. "Spun" accompanied, and turned into a disco dance party during the jam, which eventually landed in a Latin-inspired flow. Versatility is this band's middle name in terms of musical genres. Babick and Tramontano got their chance to shine during "Drums." The rest of the band joined the fun for "Space."

The Stone Pony | Asbury Park, NJ

Another new tune, "Thomas Duncan Part 3," jumped into the set list next. The beat was a bit slower which provided a much-needed chill moment. Upon the conclusion, Murray announced that it was time to get real, and brought their local preacher Sandy Mack on stage to play harmonica on "Shakedown Street" by the Grateful Dead. The music was instantly engulfed with psychedelic rock, along with harmonica. The crowd was loving the timely nod to the beloved, legendary band that started the jam band genre.

Mr. Grinch brought schenanigans | Dogs in a Pile

As the music wound down, a bright green figure with a red shirt appeared out of nowhere. It was none other than Mr. Grinch. He hopped on stage and started causing trouble as the band played "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch." He stole Tramontano's cymbal and held it up in the air like a wrestler holding a championship belt. The music was nothing short of jazzy, once again displaying the adeptness of this band. The set ended with the catchy "Let U Go." On a side note, this was one of our favorite Dogs' originals.

Bassist Sam Lucid sings "December 1963" | Dogs in a Pile

The band stepped off the stage and quickly returned, as they were not done just yet. They thanked those who helped put these shows on and began to set up for the next tune. This Asbury Park, NJ-based squad honored their Garden State roots by playing "Born to Run" by Bruce Springsteen, who also played on this same stage many years ago. The band then switched their configuration, with Murray and Lucid swapping places. Lucid picked up the microphone and belted out an impressive "December 1963 (Oh What a Night)," by the NJ-based Four Seasons. He changed the lyrics to "twenty-three" instead of "sixty-three." The crowd was on cloud nine during this first time played cover. The band ended this raucous encore with the soulful "Say Something."

Fans loved the music | Dogs in a Pile

Dogs in a Pile is back in action next week at Sony Hall on December 28, 2023, for a Phish After Party. They are also ringing in the new year at Putnam Place in Saratoga Springs, NY on December 30-31. Tickets are still available for December 30 at this link. Head on over to their tour page for more dates in 2024.

Check out more photos from the show!

Set One: Westward, Apeman1, Craig and Pat > Appleseed, Samba for Sam > Lattice > Samba for Sam, Fenway, Bent Strange
Set Two: Charlie > Bubble, Old Folks Boogie2, Spun > Drums > Space, Thomas Duncan Part 3, Shakedown Street34, You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch56, Let U Go
Encore: Born to Run7, December, 1963(Oh What a Night)28, Say Something
1. Kinks
2. First Time Played
3. Grateful Dead
4. With Sandy Mack
5. Thurl Ravenscroft
6. With Mr. Grinch
7. Bruce Springsteen
8. The Four Seasons

Drummer Joe Babick | Dogs in a Pile

Guitarist Jimmy Law | Dogs in a Pile

Dogs in a Pile | Stone Pony