Dogstar at Thalia Hall in Chicago, IL

After a 23-year absence, Dogstar returned to Chicago as part of the Somewhere Between The Power Lines and Palm Trees Tour.

Dogstar made a return to the stage in May of this year at BottleRock Napa Valley Music Festival. After the success of this performance, they announced they would be releasing their latest album, Somewhere Between The Power Lines and Palm Trees in October and that they would be touring behind it. The 25-date tour soon got extended to 44 dates due to overwhelming demand, with the majority of shows selling out. There was significant buzz leading up to their show at Thalia Hall, with people desperately trying to get their hands on tickets to the sold-out show.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you will be very well aware that Keanu Reeves is a member of Dogstar. However, in the manner we have come to expect from him – he does not make this show about him. Although there were numerous shout-outs from the audience from both men and women of “We love you, Keanu,” the movie star did not say a word throughout the whole show. The only acknowledgment he made to the random exclamations was to put his hand to his heart. Instead, he concentrated on the music. 

Frontman Bret Domrose provided some delicious guitar licks throughout the show along with strong vocals, while Robert Mailhouse looked totally absorbed in the music as he provided the foundation, locking in with Reeves’ bass.

The set was an extremely short one, lasting barely over an hour. They concentrated on their latest body of work. In fact, they performed Somewhere Between The Power Lines and Palm Trees in its entirety, albeit in a different running order. They also performed some new songs which have not yet been released such as “Math” and “Lava Lamp.” The 17-song set was noticeably missing songs from their earlier material which could certainly have been used to extend the show past its very early finish time. Despite them playing all of this newly released material, their sound still holds a candle to the 90s, so it still scratched that itch for those who wanted to indulge in a touch of nostalgia. 

Hopefully, we won’t have to wait another twenty-plus years for Dogstar to return. While the band never officially broke up, the amount of time that passed since the last activity from the band had fans questioning whether they would ever hear new music or see the band on a stage again. For their part, they clearly look like they are enjoying every moment of their time back on the stage together. At the rate at which these hotcake tickets sold, it’s obvious they still have the draw attraction that they did in the late ’90s/early 2000s, if not more so now. Their US tour still has a few dates left before the end of the year. They also have some European festival dates lined up for next year. 

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About Kirstine Walton 383 Articles
Kirstine moved from the UK to Chicago in 2011, and has fallen in love with the city and its music scene. She enjoys combining her two biggest passions – music and photography. If there is a band with a guitar playing, chances are she’ll be there…camera in hand. Kirstine went to her first live concert at 7 years old, and hasn’t looked back since!