Rat Doctor gives amicable performance at New Belgium Brewery

Walker Discoe

Nestled into a room just off the main bar at New Belgium Brewing, a stage is filled with the warm glow of incandescent light bulbs and local band Rat Doctor belted out their wavy, muddled songs to a reasonable audience last Friday.

The psychedelic rock band first performed several slower, downtrodden covers of indie songs before lead singer Terrah Schultz asked the crowd if we were “ready to rock,” following the bold statement by playing yet another cover, this time of Al Green’s “Love and Happiness.”

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In fact, the entire concert it was difficult to differentiate between songs Rat Doctor were responsible for, and the ones they were merely covering. The first half of their set certainly seemed to be covers, while the second half held some songs that the band seemed more comfortable and uniform while performing.

 The band seemed genuinely happy to be there, with a sense of dorkiness that was infectious. Often talking and making jokes with the audience, giving shout-outs to their moms in the crowd and mingling with fans during their breaks, Rat Doctor is a band that clearly hasn’t developed an ego or sense of entitlement. Their ammeter qualities shine through on-stage lending to a comfortable, laid-back atmosphere, perfectly complimenting the sound and tone of the music they make.

One song “Trippin’ Again” made waves during its performance, with a grungy, distorted guitar, piercing synth line and lyrics reminiscent of the Mac Demarco demos. The song was an indie classic that set itself apart from the covers performed the majority of the night.

Rat Doctor music is streaming on SoundCloud.

All in all, the performance was an enjoyable experience. The brewery was a comfortable venue that housed just the right amount of people, and the music itself wasn’t unagreeable or jarring in any way. In fact, this might have been working against Rat Doctor. Their music, while good, lacks critical lack of innovation in the songs. Any band could have come on-stage and performed the same set, and it wouldn’t have felt out of place.

This is an understandable issue that many bands face when performing, especially a band as young as Rat Doctor. Filling a two-hour performance with songs that are original and interesting is hard for anyone. Seeing where the band goes and how they evolve and add to their list of original songs should be exciting to see.

Walker Discoe can be contacted at entertainment@collegian.com and on twitter @Wdiscoe.