Los Angeles-area group The Dogmatics are a straight-up no-nonsense rock-and-roll oldies cover-band. They claim to play only the best, most classic rock-and-roll hits; and their chief distinction is their skill at performing them with perfect fidelity to the best known recordings. Not content to impersonate just Elvis Presley or just the Beatles, they impersonate all the greats, one song at a time, live on-stage. At one of their shows you might hear them perform “I Heard It Through The Grapevine” like Marvin Gaye, “Take Me to the River” like the Talking Heads, “Down on the Corner” like Creedence Clearwater Revival, and “Good Vibrations” like the Beach Boys. Purely a live act, The Dogmatics play to standing-room-only crowds wherever they go, and second-hand tickets sell for upwards of two-hundred dollars a pop.
The Dogmatics have their critics, however; after a recent show at the Brown Frisbee, the Los Angeles Times-Picayune’s Robert Swilburne wrote, “The band hasn’t changed one note of their shtick in twenty years. You’ve heard it all before, and really, you might just as well stay home and listen to your old CDs.” When asked, one devoted fan referred to Swilburne as a modernist pig with no taste for true beauty. “There’s always something new in the classics,” added the fan. “If Swilburne can’t see that, he’s obviously not listened carefully enough.”