top of page

Dogstar brings their nostalgic 90's alt-rock sound to the adoring masses of the Paradise Rock Club

December 12, 2023

Dogstar & Archer Oh

Paradise Rock Club

Boston, Massachesseutts

I arrived at the Paradise Rock Club at 5:50pm for the doors to open at 7pm, and the line was already stretching the length of Commonwealth Ave.  The adoring masses were willing to wait in the mid-30s temperatures to get a good spot on the rail for Dogstar, the 90s alt-rock band that happens to have a man named Keanu Reeves on bass.  The mood was electric, and we were not even inside yet.  The Boston University staple was filled to the brim to take a trip back in time to the 90s to see Reeves and his band’s reunion in support of their October release, Somewhere Between the Power Lines and Palm Trees”.  

The night started with the California rock band Archer Oh.  It's a tough prospect to open for a band that has a world-wide mega star in the band, however, Archer Oh was up to the challenge.  Their sound definitely has a California quality to it, and can pivot from the earnest melodies of the Strokes, the pop sensibilities of the Fratellis, to a heavy Deftones-esque quality.

From the get-go, lead singer Arturo “Archer” Medrano set the tone with his frenetic energy and undeniable stage presence.  Medrano’s vocals can change gears as well.  As he demonstrated in “The Loneliest Surface” and "Sophomore City", his vocals can begin tenderly, then shift into a passionate, guttural scream in an instant.  The band behind Medrano lays a solid foundation of musicality; a precision garage quality that sounds rough and refined at the same time.  The crowd was hypnotized by the group from the first song and was engaged until the end.  A fantastic start that left the room abuzz.


Follow Archer Oh

"Give me two Utah!" exclaims a fan.  The silhouette of Keanu Reeves gives a very emphatic peace sign, alluding to Johnny Utah, his iconic role in the movie “Point Break.  Thus, Dogstar’s set has begun.  

Dogstar is a trio that began in Los Angeles in 1991.  Lead Singer Bret Domrose, Drummer Robert Mailhouse, and the aforementioned Keanu Reeves on bass, they released two albums before breaking up in 2002.  It was 2023 that brought their reunion at the Bottlerock festival in Napa Valley, then their new album, "Somewhere Between the Power Lines and Palm Trees" in October of this year.  

Wearing matching black t-shirts, the band sounded tight from the beginning. The listener can definitely hear the period realm of contemporary rock n' roll they came of age in.  Bands like Toad the Wet Sprocket, Gin Blossoms, and the Goo Goo Dolls come to mind.  However, they carry heavier guitars.  The solos by Domrose, particularly in “Breach” really showed off not only his skills, but their edge. 

They had chops and it was consistent throughout the night.  Mailhouse laid a solid foundation on the kit, and Reeves was no slouch on bass.  “Lily” showed off Dogstar's musicality as a cohesive group, especially with the off-beat rhythm guitar and complex rhythmic verses.  “Dillon Street” was a highlight of the night.  A song about the healing power of music, about broken dreams, that featured Domrose’s melancholic vocals.  Dogstar’s encore included an inspired cover of The Cure’s classic “Just Like Heaven” and an unreleased track that resonated with the patrons.  

Packed into the Boston University haunt, there were fans of all ages there to see the enigmatic Reeves whom they found during different periods of his career.  However, it was very apparent that a palpable shift occurred.  It went from a crowd there to see a world-wide mega star, to enjoying the music of a band reunited and reinvigorated.  Reeves did say one word during their set; he sat back, played his bass, and let the band do all of the talking.  A Tuesday night at a small rock club is usually a nondescript night featuring smaller crowds, and lesser known bands/artists.  This was obviously not an ordinary Tuesday night.  

Follow Dogstar

Recent Posts

See All

1 Comment

Alan Higgins
Alan Higgins
Dec 14, 2023

Killer article and some great pictures

bottom of page