The dB's - Live in 2012

This page is dedicated to reports about 
The dB's live shows in 2012


Night 3 of the guys' 3-date Midwestern "swing", and a helpful dB's fan was there. Here's a live report by Tom (big ol' thanks to him for sending in this review & photo):

The dB's play the Duck Room at Blueberry Hill in St. Louis, Nov. 17
The band absolutely kicked ass on Saturday at the Duck Room. The turnout was really good, the basement bar was nice and full but not totally packed. My wife wasn't feeling well and couldn't make it, but I saw a bunch of old friends including Janet Henneman (her husband Brian of the Bottle Rockets was playing with Marshall Crenshaw out East this weekend) and local music writer Steve Pick. 

I only caught the last three songs by Outside World. They sounded pretty good, very energetic and showed a lot of Sonic Youth influence. Bought the last XL dB's tee shirt, they apparently moved a lot of merchandise on this little trip. 

The band was loud, proud and tight from playing the previous two nights. Peter played guitar throughout except for Write Back and a couple of other short periods, and the dueling guitars sounded fantastic as did the spot-on vocals. The tour key/guitar player filled out the sound nicely but unobtrusively, sorry I forgot his name immediately. He said playing with these guys has been  a reeeal education.

The rhythm section was amazing, Will is even more powerful and precise than I remembered from past years. What a great drummer! Gene just slouched back and played, replicating the distinctive bass parts from the records and making my pant legs flap the Duck Room has huge woofers built into the front of the stage where I was standing.

The best audience interaction of the night happened fairly early when a woman in front of the stage hollered "You guys ROCK!". Peter feigned surprise and said "Of COURSE we ROCK! Did you think we'd be out here in wheelchairs and crutches?" The band started pantomiming themselves wheeling around the stage and the crowd cracked up. 


That Time Is Gone
Before We Were Born
  (At this point Chris said "We know you're ALL here to hear the songs from our new release,  but we'll play a few old ones too".)
Lonely Is as Lonely Does
Ask For Jill
World to Cry
Love Is for Lovers
Write Back
Living a Lie
(I Thought) You Wanted to Know (Chris identified it as a Richard Lloyd song)
Big Brown Eyes
I Didn't Mean To Say That 
Albatross and Doggerel 
Walking the Ceiling (It's Good to Be Alive)

Death Garage
If and When
Black and White

They picked a nice blend of old songs, mixing essential "hits" with some obscurities. I was happily surprised to hear songs from Like This and Ride the Wild Tom-Tom as well as the first two albums...not sure where they got that Death Garage song [Rob says: it's an old H-Bombs/Peter Holsapple song that The dB's played in the early days]. I talked to all the guys afterwards and got my FOTS LP signed. They seemed really happy with the show and the turnout. Chris and Peter remembered me, I reminded Chris how sick he was when we saw them at a Wood House Concert a couple of years ago when hERE And nOW came out and he said "Yeah, I was on steroids for a month after that".

I missed my wife, wanted her to hear how great the dB's are live, but absolutely could not have had a better time. It was amazing to see the band back in St. Louis and they sound better than ever.

Man, I hope someone recorded this show!

Tom Lippard
St. Louis, MO

VIDEOS from Nov. 17, SHOT BY NovelNeoNomad
Suggestion: enjoy them for the sound more than the visuals...


The dB's play The Hideout in Chicago Nov. 15
Max Herman / Time Out Chicago
The Chicago area press covered The dB's two shows at The Hideout on Nov. 15 & 16, but I'm still looking for coverage from the Nov. 17 show in the St. Louis area. 

  • Best photo-and-writing coverage award goes to Time Out Chicago, which posted a great review by Mike Bellis, who wrote, "All told, The dBs turned in a tightly wound set of time-tested crowd-pleasers and fine-enough new tracks, proving the timeless worth of their Southern take on Anglophilic pop." The above photo and plenty of others by Max Herman can also be found at Time Out Chicago HERE.
  • Best DIY coverage award goes to Robert Loerzel and his spread of words and photos at his own Underground Bee web site HERE.
  • Best review headline is deserved by whomever wrote this one for The Chicago Tribune: "Energized dB's full of passion at Hideout". Oh yeah: the review by Joshua Klein that goes under the headline is HERE.
Robert Loerzel's camera caught Will drawing a bead on his drumhead.
see the rest of Robert's coverage at his Underground Bee
BIG THANKS to seijinlee for POSTING OVER 1 HOUR 
of one of the SHOWS on YouTube!

PREVIEW STUFF for Chicago Nov. 15-16 and St. Louis Nov. 17
Folks in Chicago geared up for The dB's upcoming shows for several weeks beforehand. The Hideout previewed the shows in a blog posting. That post also includes this miniature of a gig poster by Kathleen Judge:

Gig poster for 2012 Chicago shows by Kathleen Judge
see more of her artwork HERE

This isn't the first time The dB's have received a warm welcome for live shows played in the Windy City in the 21st century. Here's another poster from the guys' 2005 show, also sponsored by The Hideout:
While we're reminiscing, why don't you have a look at Claude Pate's review of the 2005 gig? Below is a photo by Mr. Pate from that show. One more trip down memory lane can be found in Chicago Reader's excellent feature about The dB's 2005 shows.


The dB's Facebook page has the following announcement:
"Another exciting show announcement! Blueberry Hill in St. Louis, MO on Saturday November 17th! On sale Friday, 9/21 at 5PM! KDHX 88.1 FM welcomes The dB'S
Doors: 8 pm • Show: 9 pm $15 in Advance / $17.50 DOS"
That makes show #3 in what's looking like a Midwestern mini tour.

STREAM The dB's live segment from 'Mountain Stage' now:

The dB's were musical guests on the live music show, "Mountain Stage" back in June (see below), but the show was actually aired the week of Sept. 21. "Mountain Stage" is a long-running public radio show, and the nice people at NPR Music have a brief story, photo and -- most importantly -- media player to stream The dB's 4-song segment HERE. The only song The dB's played that you don't get to hear streamed is "Collide-oOo-Scope."

The dB's played "Mountain Stage" in June, but a 4-song segment is now available to stream.
photo by Brian Blauser for Mountain Stage / WV Public Broadcasting
Just discovered by listening to host Larry Groce's intro that Will couldn't make the show due to another live gig (presumably with Steve Earle), so Chris Stephenson filled in for him on drums.
West Virginia Public Broadcasting in Charleston, WV is the host. They have a preview of the show HERE. Other musical guests on the show include Ray Wylie Hubbard and Dar Williams.


Asheville music writer Bill Kopp posted a great review of The dB's Sept. 7 performance at the Hopscotch Music Festival HERE. Bill seems quite impressed with the show, and notes the guys played "I Thought (You Wanted to Know)" — for only the second time in recent memory (the song's 21st century live debut came Sept. 1 at the Maxwell's show in Hoboken). Bill says they also had a brass section to accompany them for songs like "The Wonder of Love" and the double-ferret odyssey, "The Adventures of Albatross & Doggerel."

Bill Kopp photo (read Bill's review HERE)
I was able to hear audio from the show recently, and can say it sounds like a great concert; I'm just sorry to have missed another in-state live gig. Triangle Music is the other online source with reports about The deeB's Sept. 7 appearance (actually, Sept. 8 also, since they joined the "Megafaun & Friends" party on Day 3 of the fest).

Here's a photo, but you really should check out Triangle Music's coverage of The dB's Sept. 7 show HERE and Sept. 8 appearance HERE.

The dB's play the Long View Center, Sept. 7th


My hero of the day is The Memphian, who got in touch and kindly offered the following video, photos and info:

 "Neverland" at Maxwell's, Sept. 1, 2012


photos by The Memphian
The Memphian reports, "It was a small venue: crowded, but not sold out. The band was relaxed."  A rather overly "spirited," enthused and verbal fan near the front apparently annoyed Peter during the show, but that seems to have been the only down side to the evening.

 Download an audience recording of the show HERE.

dB's fan Gordon Zola was there, got in touch, and reported the following set list (what they actually played as opposed to what appears on the version in the photograph below):

Joshua Trupin photo
That Time Is Gone
Before We Were Born 
Lonely Is
Ask for Jill
World to Cry
pH Factor
(I Thought) You Wanted To Know*
Love is Lovers
Write Back
I Didn't Mean to Say That
The Adventures of Albatross & Doggerel
Big Brown Eyes
Send Me Something Real
If and When
Black and White
Nothing Is Wrong

*Note the old Chris Stamey & Richard Lloyd collaboration, "(I Thought) You Wanted to Know." Apparently, it was played due to "someone special" in attendance at the show. I'm thinking that's the first time it was played by the "original" lineup since Chris left in 1982 (but I trust that someone out there will set me straight if I'm wrong...). "Excitement" is the classic Chris Stamey tune which has been played rarely since the reunion in 2005 (only time I can document is the "Rock the Vote" appearance in 2008).

GZ adds this description to what The Memphian reported above: "Maxwell's tends to be a pretty relaxed venue, due to both the intimacy of the concert space and the lack of a "backstage" area. Peter, Gene and Will were all hanging out in the back of the room at times during the Spinto Band's set. Chris came onstage during their set to perform his "Summer Sun" with them, which they covered recently for AV Club (,83259/). They are clearly big fans and repeatedly mentioned how happy they were to be opening for the dB's, and spent most of the dB's set in the thick of the audience with the rest of us.

"Peter did seem annoyed by the guy who was yelling out between songs (especially when he requested something from Mavericks), but Chris seemed to take it in stride. Felt odd and sort of abrupt to end without playing "Amplifier" (despite a beautiful "Nothing is Wrong"), but I was more than satisfied to get "Black and White." "

Professional photographer Joshua Trupin was at the show and took the following photos. He has 65 (!) you can see at his web site, HERE.

photos by Joshua Trupin (more HERE)


PHILADELPHIA, PA - Aug. 31st at Noon

Chris & Peter jam; Will & Gene know something we don't...  
photos by Chris Sikich via Flickr; special thanks to Chris for permission to use these here!
WXPN-FM, home of the syndicated World Cafe radio show, co-hosted a free concert by The dB's Aug. 31 at Noon. The concert took place at Penn Park, near the University of Pennsylvania campus.

Thanks to WXPN, you can stream the guys' live show from August 31:
Go to the link above and -- ENJOY!

IF YOU WANT TO HEAR AN AUDIENCE RECORDING OF THE SHOW with all 10 songs that were played, go to THIS POST on the blog .

Find more of Chris' great photos at Flickr HERE

WXPN and NPR are on the job! Here's a blog posting about the show, appearing less than 24 hours after the fact, with 4 photos from the concert. 

Brett Harris provided extra guitar & keyboard
Set List:
  • "That Time Is Gone"
  • "Before We Were Born"
  • "I Didn't Mean to Say That"
  • "The Adventures of Albatross & Doggerel"
  • "World to Cry"
  • "Send Me Something Real"
  • "Living a Lie"
  • "The Wonder of Love"
  • "Ask for Jill" (encore, not included in broadcast or web stream)
  • "Black & White" (encore, not included in broadcast or web stream) 

Blurt online has coverage (that name-checks us) HERE.

Over at The Big Takeover, Matthew Berlyant was so impressed with the show that he listed it as #1 on his just-posted Top 10 list. Have a look HERE.

Chuck P shot this video of "Black & White" at the show
SIRIUS-XM 'LOFT' SESSION - Week of July 9, 2012
Aired July 9, July 14 & July 15
The dB's, recording their Loft Session for SiriusXM.
On the band's Facebook page and in a special email message, The dB's announced they had recorded a live session for "The Loft," a show on Sirius (now SiriusXM) satellite radio's Channel 30. Anyone out there catch this? Would love to have more info posted here, so please get in touch.
MOUNTAIN STAGE, Charleston, WV, June 24th, 2012

The dB's played "Mountain Stage" on June 24.
photo by John Black via The dB's Facebook page

Just when I thought my plea for setlists & live show reports might be falling on deaf ears, a guy named Chris Stamey posted the following at message board. THANKS, Chris!

"At a sold-out Mountain Stage session yesterday in Charleston, West Virginia, we played:

That Time Is Gone

Far Away and Long Ago
I Didn't Mean to Say That
Before We Were Born

I don't think it's going to be broadcast until Sept. though.

FYI: Mountain Stage is a syndicated public radio show. See above listing for a link to a streamed 4-song live segment... 

photo by Amos Perrine via No Depression
LE POISSON ROUGE, NYC, June 15th, 2012

 "Love Is for Lovers" - courtesy of The Memphian!

Tantalizingly brief "Lonely Is..." from LPR show

 "Black & White" - courtesy of The Memphian!

Jill. F. got in touch recently and offered this report. If anyone wants to update her draft of the setlist, please send me a message. THANKS Jill for taking the time to send me the info!

"I was at the show in NYC on 6/15 and I didn't write it all down, but here is the setlist in no good order, although I do know they opened with 'Happenstance':

Black and White
Ask for Jill
(That Time Is Gone?)
Before We Were Born
Write Back (sung by Rigby)
The Adventures of Albatross and Doggerel
(Far Away and Long Ago?)
(Send Me Something Real?)
Nothing Is Wrong

"Maybe one of the guys in the band can help you with the order. I had been listening to the new album a bunch before I saw them so I am doubting' That Time Is Gone' and 'Send Me Something Real,' and I must be missing some others. It was a fantastic show in any case."

There's also a very well-written published review by someone named Iman Lababedi. It's at Rock NYC — which also published a terrible review of the new album by a different writer — but at least Lababedi was paying attention, and gives the concert an overall grade of B+ (even thought he is rather hard on the guys at several points):

"The set opens with a new truly great Holsapple song, "That Time Has Gone" — it is like shards of notes being thrown at you and piercing your heart. Nothing like classic dB's but  absolutely undeniable. And with the exception of a psychedelic jam on "Happenstance", there is nothing to do but marvel at the greatness that is Will Rigby and Gene Holder until a good "Love Is For Lovers" half an hour later. Holder is the most stoical man in rock and roll: he stands to the corner seemingly oblivious to holding the middle and hold it he does, the playing isn't in question, joining the band for the concert organ player is more preposssing, but you gotta ask yourself, why is the band tight while the harmonies a shamble?

"Drummer Will Rigby is the other reason. While I coulda done without his solo turn on the iffy "Write Back", he is easily the best thing about the night. Rigby is a great, great drummer. He is every where, filling up every hole, very stylized, very smart: on the classic dB songs he is a steadier bottom, on the new stuff, he comes completely into his own. Every time your mind wanders from lead singers Chris and Pete, it wanders back to him. I've only seen the dB's live once before and even then I was enthralled by the man. Do they mix him high? He keeps even the slowest numbers moving, and from Holsapple's opening glance at him during the first song count in, to the blistering "Neverland" echoing echos at the other end, he is absolutely astounding.

"Chris Stamey is the most purely gifted musician around, strange, experimental: like Lennon if Lennon and Phillip Glass had a baby with a Big Star jones. But he didn't bring it last night and I prefer him solo than I do with the dB's. His mix with the band was always off, maybe that was the point. It undercut Holsapple's sweetness with a harmolodic dischord. But his songs just weren't doing it Friday night, "Before We Were Born" which starts like Blur's "Country House" before morphing into the Bee Gees' "Words" and falling apart with the chorus, is typical.

"Which leaves us with Peter Holsapple, who has lost his upper register and can't sing "Black And White" anymore, and wobbles whenever Stamey harmonizes and, as a pop song writer, lacks consistency. And is still one of the great songwriters of his generation, and if he is a bit cool on stage, assume he is too cool to hawk the product."

See what I mean? Read the rest of the concert review HERE. 

IOTA Club, Arlington, VA, June 14th, 2012

Nic Beery posted these two YouTube clips from the Iota Club show. THANKS. Nic!
Here's about 50 secs. from World to Cry

Here's most of Black & White

 VIDEO for Happenstance is HERE
(but it's better to listen than watch; you'll see what I mean...)

Report courtesy of Bill Rutsch: 

As a long time fan (dB's, Continental Drifters, Stamey and Holsapple duo) it was a treat to see them again.

Nice dB's show last night at the Iota in Arlington, VA. Mix of new cuts and old (way back to the beginning through middle era songs like "Love is for lovers" and "Lonely is as lonely does").

Brett Harris (Raleigh, NC) opened ... good voice, interesting songs, rough, slightly out of tune electric guitar. Harris also provided keyboard, guitar, and backing vocal support to the dB's (Chris played a few songs with him in the opening set).

The club was about 3/4 full, good vibe with the band in a good mood. Will Rigby looked like he was enjoying himself, singing, drumming against the brick wall, tossing his sticks.

The band sounded very good, strong guitar work by Peter and Chris.

Two encores, ending with "Amplifier". 

Bill Rutsch

Roger Catlin has a favorable review of the show at his web site HERE.

ALBUM RELEASE PARTY, Motorco Music Hall, Durham, NC June 9th, 2012

for posting the following videos from the show:

WRITE BACK (live debut!)

 and BIG THANKS to for posting these two:



Report courtesy of Steve Heave, who posted the following at message board:

Here is the setlist from the Durham, NC, show (June 9, 2012). Stunning show. The guys were in tiptop shape.

1. That Time Is Gone*
2. Before We Were Born*
3. Happenstance
4. Lonely Is (as Lonely Does)
5. Ask for Jill
6. World to Cry*
7. pH Factor
8. Collide-oOo-Scope*
9. Love Is for Lovers
10. Write Back* (Will on vocals)
11. I Didn't Mean to Say That*
12. The Adventures of Albatross and Doggerel*
13. Big Brown Eyes
14. Send Me Something Real*
15. Black and White

Encore 1
16. If and When ("The first song The dB's ever recorded" --Chris)
17. Neverland

Encore 2
18. Nothing Is Wrong ("You may know this song. It was in a movie."--Peter)
19. Amplifier

*From the new album


-The official setlist from the stage listed "Dynamite" for the last song, but it wasn't played.
-A touring keyboardist/guitarist accompanied the band. At one point Peter introduced him, but I missed his name.
-Nothing was played from "The Sound of Music." :(
-Will's brother and mother(!) were in the audience.

ROB says: It was a great show, and it marked the live debut of Will's "Write Back"!


THE dB'S PLAY HOBOKEN, May 6, 2012. All photos by jvdalton via Flicker
The dB's played the Arts & Music Festival in Hoboken, N.J., on Sunday, May 6th. Pretty sure this was the first full-length show by the reunited original lineup since the 2005 & 2007 reunion shows (earlier in the year, they played briefer sets at festivals, etc.) YouTuber Cynicor had a front-row spot and posted videos of "Ask for Jill" and "Happenstance." Another YouTuber, loopyvids, posted "World to Cry," "pH Factor" and "If and When" from the same show. (All worth a glance, I do believe.) Andrew Steadman wrote a brief article about the gig for The Jersey Journal and posted 5 photos. Podcast Party was there and posted a write-up and more photos. Finally, jvdalton evidently did not settle for just one or two angles from which to take a bunch of photos, which he then uploaded to Flickr. Thanks to all who attended and took the time to give the rest of us a touch of virtual reality...


 "Ya gotta wear GLASSES to be in the band!"

1.  That Time Is Gone  
2.  Before We Were Born
3.  Happenstance
4.  Lonely Is as Lonely Does    
5.  Ask for Jill
6.  World to Cry
7.  pH Factor  
8.  Collide-oOo-Scope
9.  Love Is for Lovers
10. Nothing Is Wrong
11. I Didn’t Mean to Say That
12. The Adventures of Albatross & Doggerel
13. Big Brown Eyes  
14. Send Me Something Real
15. Neverland
16. (encore break)
17. If and When
18. Dynamite
19. Amplifier

SOUTH BY SOUTHWEST, Austin, TX, March 14-17th, 2012
  • News, photos & complete coverage HERE.
  • Some of the music HERE.
  • Paste magazine is now video streaming The dB's entire 7-song March 15 performance from this year's SXSW festival in Austin. Subscribers ($2.99 per month) can see and hear the whole thing. Everyone else can have a look at the first song HERE.

PLUS ONE from 2011: 

The great Wilfully Obscure music blog posted The dB's live set from their 2011 Record Store Day appearance at Criminal Records in Atlanta, GA (coinciding with the release of the exclusive "Picture Sleeve" single). (Music file has since been deleted, but perhaps it will be re-upped if you leave a polite request at the blog...) Like me, the anonymous blogger laments not being able to see the guys at South By Southwest Fest in March, and hopes for more tour dates to come... 


  1. Hi Rob - fantastic blog! I've been enjoying it greatly, especially with the renewed dB's activity of the current year!

    Wanted to let you know that a very nice audience recording of the September 1 Maxwell's show appeared on the DIME site yesterday. If you haven't gotten it yet, let me know and I'll hook you up!

    Best wishes,

    1. Hi Tim -- Welcome aboard; very glad to hear you're enjoying the blog. I now have the Maxwell's recording you mentioned, and it will appear here in a coupla days. But if you have any other suggestions or things to share, feel free to get in touch...


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