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The Burren , Somerville, MA

Saturday, March 30, 2024

Brian Stevens - Cavedogs

This was clearly the big deal event seeing Boston’s legendary power pop trio The Cavedogs reunite for what turned out to be two shows at Davis Square’s esteemed Irish venue the Burren! And I, among others, couldn’t turn down this opportunity!

Upon arrival, the place had a very packed and enthusiastic crowd of old timers with some young bucks who were barely a thought during the band’s original run. Perhaps in deference to the predominantly aging spectators, the show began relatively early at 7:00pm.


Gymnasium opened the show. This combo is a supergroup of sorts revolving around the talent of rock guitar virtuoso Charles Hansen, who wrote the songs and assembled a cast including veteran vocalists Melissa Gibbs (also Mrs. Charles Hansen), Tony Kaczynski, Chris Cote, Mike Gent and Marc Pinansky (among others), keyboardist (and vocalist) Peter Moore, bassist John Sheeran and drummers Jonathon Screnci and Jim Janota. This was their long-delayed performance that was supposed to happen about a year ago but was delayed by many things, including the tragic passing of their label honcho Justine Covault. They put on a fantastic set befitting their esteemed place, ably setting the tenor for the main event! Much of their set was material from their last release Hansen’s Pop ‘n’ Rock Music ‘22.


The Cavedogs did not disappoint! Guitarist Todd Spahr, bassist Brian Stevens and drummer Mark Rivers simply turned back the clock to 1989-92 and performed a set of all their highlights from their two releases Joy Rides for Shut-Ins and Soul Martini as if the last 30+ odd years never happened! The addition of a show the night before, due to tonight’s show selling out in a heartbeat, was fortuitous, as it warmed them up considerably. They were pretty damn tight and their harmonies were sweet and spot-on. Each member sang and brought their own distinct character. And no Cavedogs show is complete without their famous between song humor, which tonight focused on masturbation jokes! But there was no jerking off once they blew their pop loads like “Tayter Country,” “Leave Me Alone,” “Boy in a Plastic Bubble” and “Love Grenade!” And, in grand tradition, they encored with The Who’s mini-opera “A Quick One, While He’s Away” which, despite a botched transition to the final section (they are forgiven!), brought the crowd to its collective feet! And, of course, their crowd-pleasing rendition of Tom Jones’s “ What’s New, Pussycat?”

Hope there’s plenty more comebacks (musical and comedy) to be had for The Cavedogs!

Mark Rivers - Cavedogs

Todd Spahr - Cavedogs

Charles Hansen - Gymnasium

Jim Janota - Gymnasium

Tony Kacsynski - Gymnasium


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