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Vivarium slate keeps growing with Slaughter Beach, Dog show

A black-and-white image of four men playing instruments on stage in a theater with a crowd of people watching.
Slaughter Beach, Dog / Instagram

One thing you gotta admire about the Pabst Theater Group: It doesn’t shy away from a challenge.

When the PTG introduced its new East Side music venue to the city in November, it also set an aggressive construction timetable to open the Vivarium by the end of February. In the month-plus since that initial reveal, the Pabst folks haven’t blinked — as evidenced by a concert calendar getting more packed by the day.

The latest addition announced Wednesday morning: Slaughter Beach, Dog — the curiously named project of former Modern Baseball frontman Jake Ewald that will play the Vivarium on April 20.

What sparked as a solo effort amid Modern Baseball’s dying embers in the mid-2010s has become a full-band experience fueled by Ewald’s craftsmanlike lyricism. Named after a town in Delaware (with the “Dog” added after Ewald discovered it was already being used by a band in Denmark), SBD rolled out their first four studio albums in relatively quick succession before taking a breather after the release of 2020’s At the Moonbase.

The pause seemed to do them well. This September brought new album Crying, Laughing, Waving, Smiling, which scarcely could’ve been a better fit for a release date butting up against the autumnal equinox. The collection of songs is tailor made for wandering souls, with a sound that seems pulled from a half-remembered dream combined with Ewald’s attention-demanding lyrics.

Paste’s Laura Dzubay put it nicely in her review: “The sound is consistent, but also refreshingly confident and un-self-conscious and never overworked; each of these songs knows exactly what it is.”

And we know exactly when tickets will go on sale: at 10 a.m. this Friday, Dec. 15. You can pick them up online and at the Pabst/Riverside box offices.