I have adored the Yard Dogs Road Show since I first saw them performing in 2004 at a tattoo expo. The line up changes regularly, as do the songs, but whatever the band is playing, the show is always a swinging good time.
The live music played is a sort of old jazz seamlessly blended with rock and roll roots. The burlesque is sexy and classy and the lyrical jovialities are enchanting. Meanwhile, the sword-swallowing and other circus tricks are always a surprising and entertaining treat.
I recently saw the band again at a live show at The Casbah in San Diego. It was their first time playing in my hometown and I was happy to be amongst the audience encouraging them to visit America’s Finest City on a more regular basis.
While the small stage proved to be a bit problematic for the elaborate burlesque and circus dances, but they managed to work around these technical problems very well. The acoustics of the venue are constantly raved about and I was happy to actually understand the lyrics of the show for the first time of the four times I’ve seen them now.
The old standards I remember were there, including Tobias the Sword Swallower enjoying a chair leg and a florescent light. And there were also some new delights such as a merry-go-round burlesque dance (with stunning corseted costumes) and a David-Bowiesque performance by the blond guitar player.
But the highlight of the evening was probably the encore, which featured the burlesque dancers running around in bunny rabbit masks and holding up a cardboard rainbow and clouds as one of the gentlemen rambled on about nonsensical romantic dribble. The number was hilarious.
The one complaint I had about the performance was not their fault, but instead an issue I have with San Diego’s conservative moral police who have decided that pasties are too immodest for a burlesque show filled with people over 21. (The picture above is from their performance in 2006 at an Orange County yattoo expo).Â So, although the girls ordinarily strip almost bare and can do nipple-twirling teases that stimulate your eyes and your inner-feelings, we didn’t get to see this part of the act. Maybe next time.
Essentially, the entire point of this show review isn’t just to tell you how great the Yard Dogs Road Show is, but to actually drive you to follow the group on Facebook and check out the show if they ever stop by your neck of the woods.