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Dogstar, is a "pop" band for which Keanu Reeves plays bass guitar. The other two members of the band are Bret Domrose (guitar), and Robert Mailhouse (drums).

Dogstar has gotten a lot of flack for being Keanu's "Vanity Band," and many reviewers have focused on Keanu without mentioning the music. Two years ago, when I first saw Dogstar perform at New York's Irving Plaza, that might have been a semi-valid statement. At that performance, the sound was so bad that they might have been playing bagpipes for all I could hear of the music. It was loud, anyway.

Dogstar has come a very long way since then. This year's tour of the United States and Canada, supporting their recent album Our Little Visionary, proves that "practice makes perfect." This is no little garage band anymore.

Dogstar returned to New York on July 1, 1997 at the much posher Supper Club, and blew the socks off the crowd. No longer is Bret singing to a bunch of left ears (Keanu stands to the audience's right, you see). When he sings and plays, he gets most of the attention now. There are as many screams of "ROB!" and "BRET!" as "KEANOOOO!" Many of the fans even sing along.

And the Dogstar boys are now making beautiful music together, not just a bunch of noise. They are really in sync and play with lots of enthusiasm and energy. Whoever is running the sound board knows what they're up to, evidently. As Kenny Funk (the band's mananger) mentioned to me after the show, "Same name, completely different band." Aptly put.

And watch those fingers pluck and pick those strings! Bret and Keanu's fingers just fly over their instruments... a far cry from the simpler music they used to play. And I swear Rob is going to bust his drums. At this performance, Rob actually did have his sticks go flying through the air and hit the stage, such was his enthusiasm. Keanu picked one up and tossed it to the crowd.

I'm not going to list all the songs they played. (Hey, do yourself a favor and pick up their CD, it's available exclusively on the Tour or through their website.) Noteworthy, however, was Bret's solo turn with his acoustic "32 Stories," and the band's rockin' rendition of "Ticket To Ride."

Tip to the guys out there: when your girl asks you to take her to see Dogstar perform, do yourself a favor. Whether you enjoy their music or not, you'll be happy to note that there are a lot of beautiful single girls there at a ratio of maybe 50 to 1. The odds aren't going to get any better! And to the girls: you'll have plenty of things on stage to keep yourself occupied.

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