Pisgah wraps outdoor season with vibrant double bill

Michael Flynn
Special to BMN

With fall’s arrival, Pisgah Brewing Co. is set to wrap its summer concert series with a celebratory season closer Oct. 1.

Dr. Dog will open for Trampled by Turtles, bringing two national indie rock acts to the brewery’s outdoor stage.

Philadelphia-based Dr. Dog is a veteran performer in Asheville, having played Bele Chere in 2012 and the Orange Peel regularly for about five years, including this past March.

The band’s January 2015 album, “Live at a Flamingo Hotel,” its first live release, was not recorded in some tropical hot spot. Instead, the title refers to an imaginary venue created for the album, which consists of live tracks culled from the band’s 2014 North American tour.

The sextet features vocalist-lead guitarist Scott McMicken and vocalist/bassist Toby Leaman, with four other players sharing harmony duties.

Songs like “The Truth” and “Minding the Usher” showcase the group’s slow-building grooves and subtle harmonies.

“At the end of the day, I always just say we’re a rock ‘n’ roll band,” McMicken noted during a recent interview. “Live we lean toward spontaneity and more of a jam element.”

It’s a sonic combination local music fans love, drawing the band to Asheville about a dozen times during the past decade, initially The Grey Eagle before hitting the Orange Peel as crowds grew.

“It’s an area that we all really love, and we all have a lot of personal connections to,” McMicken said. “There’s luck of the draw too, but the audience has always been very supportive, so we get invited.”

Dr. Dog’s drummer, Eric Slick, used to live in Black Mountain, so the band has connections to the local musical community as well. “It’s open-minded and where our fans are,” McMicken said. “Musically we’ve given ourselves the freedom to explore, and Asheville has its own musical diversity, so we fit in.”

The band is upbeat about finishing its following album, “Psychedelic Swamp,” which has theatrical elements, but won’t be released until 2016. “It’s very impressionistic and dreamy,” McMicken said. “(Pink Floyd’s) ‘The Wall’ is a reference point.”

Dr. Dog is also upbeat about its first Pisgah show as well as playing with Trampled by Turtles, with whom future gigs are planned.

“It’ll be nice to finally get to hang and have a bunch of shows coming up with them,” McMicken said.

Minnesota-born Trampled by Turtles’ lush vocals and stringed instrumentation echo an acoustic My Morning Jacket in tunes like “Alone” or “Wild Animals.”

The band sold out Pisgah Brewing on a pre-show basis last year. , so expect a similar outcome for this season’s closer, especially when paired with Asheville regulars Dr. Dog.

Trampled by Turtles will stay busy after this show, with gigs that include sharing a bill with Grace Potter in New York at the famed Radio City Music Hall.

And overall, it’s been a busy summer at Pisgah, with the business celebrating the 10th anniversary of becoming a brewery selling its own beer, with Barley’s and Mellow Mushroom in Asheville as early and continuing accounts, according to the brewery’s events director Benton Wharton.

After an opening party back in the spring, about 15 shows occurred on the Outdoor Stage this summer, including Perpetual Groove, J.J. Grey & Mofro, Jason Isbell and the Funky Meters, Wharton said.

With the closing of the outdoor stage for the year Oct. 1, live music will roll inside Pisgah most Wednesday–Saturday nights through December, excluding holidays and local conflicts such as the Lake Eden Arts Festival.

Are you a turtle?

Who: Trampled by Turtles with Dr. Dog

When: 7:30 p.m. Oct. 1.

Where: Pisgah Brewing Co.

Tickets: $30 advance, $35 day of show