Dogs of Society: Ultimate Elton Rock Tribute @ Delmar Hall, St. Louis, MO

Words and photos by Duane Clawson
While the big, national touring bands scale back their schedules, it creates the perfect opportunity for me to discover some great local talent! A couple of years ago I heard about this great, local Elton John tribute band called Dogs of Society. The St. Louis area is a hotbed for some really great tribute bands! El Monstero, a Pink Floyd tribute, and Celebration Day, a Led Zeppelin tribute band, are a couple of the region’s finest. So let’s see if the Dogs of Society can keep the run with the big dogs.

Before the show I took in a tasty, adult beverage across the street from Delmar Hall at Pi Pizza. One of the patrons said he just left Delmar Hall and it didn’t look like the opening act, a Billy Joel tribute band made it, “I only saw one piano.” Well that’s intriguing, isn’t it? Could the opening act, Billy the Kid: Ultimate Billy Joel Tribute, and the Dogs of Society be one in the same? As I enter Delmar, I see the lone piano.  I’m confused but up for the experience.

A peek at the growing audience is a good indicator this might be a good show. The large crowd is promising, especially tonight, as the NHL All Star Game was in town. As the lights fade, a big cheer goes out for the Billy Joel look alike, taking his place behind a piano. Hey, this guy looks like the guy that plays piano in Dogs of Society. Nope no fooling me, Billy the Kid and the Dogs are identical clones playing different parts. Billy the Kid is adept at covering the major highlights of Joel’s lengthy career. John Gore plays the part to a tee, nailing Joel’s catchy vocal hooks and piano phrasing. Not lacking by any stretch, the five members backing Gore, play their parts with equal dexterity!

Well so far, I’m pretty impressed! Now for the real challenge, how will they handle Sir Elton?  By now around 600 folks have showed up asking the same question. Some knew the answer already, as they were repeat fans. There were even a few Dogs of Society groupies in attendance! Before a note is played is played on Gore’s piano, a roar of approval goes up for the unmistakable, classic intro of “Bennie and the Jets"! Band members Steve Johnston (guitar, vocals), Curt Shaw (bass, vocals), Dave Johnson (drums), Louis Michael (keyboards, vocals), and Peter Hussey (percussion, various noises) make the whole experience a very believable one.

What makes this tribute band really stand out is their ability to dig deep into the John catalogue. Pulling out “All the Young Girls Love Alice” from the 1973 album, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, captivates the assembled Elton faithful. Digging even deeper they cover “Grey Seal” from the same album, one of my personal favorites! Each member of the group appears to take great care in recreating these classic songs. Most fittingly they close out this Saturday show with “Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting”.  So what’s the verdict on Dogs of Society you ask? Not guilty of being another run of the mill cover band! A big thanks to Billy the Kid and Dogs of Society for having me out!

Photos of the show are below:

Billy the Kid
Dogs of Society
Contributed by Duane Clawson
Dogs of Society: Ultimate Elton Rock Tribute @ Delmar Hall, St. Louis, MO Dogs of Society: Ultimate Elton Rock Tribute @ Delmar Hall, St. Louis, MO Reviewed by Scott Rowe, Editor on 12:30:00 PM Rating: 5
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