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April 2, 2007 | by  | in Music | [ssba]


San Francisco Bath House
Wed March 28

Imagine one of your favourite artists who has graced the covers of music and teen mags, spent the height of their success surrounded by press, and then suddenly faded away- only to remerge ten years later with a new album and worldwide tour.

That’s the scenario for Evan Dando- guitarist and vocalist from 90s power pop/pop rock band The Lemonheads. Last night saw the once teenage heartthrob play to a crowd full of 30 something’s reliving their teenage-hood. Women lining the front row- fingers crossed he’ll make eye contact with them, with all who knew the lyrics excitedly singing along.

Being born about ten years too late, the only recollection I have of this band is discovering them on compilations and teen movies, however with the decade between their last album and Lemonheads 2006’s release the line-up has changed drastically, with Dando roping in two of his guiding influences, Descendents & Black Flag drummer- Bill Stevenson and Descendents bassist Karl Alvarez.

Arriving late, I unfortunately missed the opening band – Gran Prix and the first ten minutes of the Lemonheads set, walking in at the end of a slow version of ‘My Drug Buddy’.

While I can see why people were crazy over Dando at his prime- he looked a tad too haggard for my liking and whether his is still on the booze and drugs I’m not sure- but he does have that ridiculous ‘I’m wasted man’ swagger about him, kind of reminded me of ‘Ron Slater’ the stoner guy off Dazed and Confused.

Musically though, he’s still got it. The Lemonheads played a mix of old and new, and the new stuff sounded like the old stuff- mid-90s era. ‘The outdoor type’ was played acoustic, new alt-country styled Poughkeepsie’ was fun and upbeat, ‘No Backbone’ sounded as if it could have been a bootleg to ‘It’s a Shame About Ray’, they inverted a few tracks, playing them half time- droning style, played big hit ‘If I Could Talk I’d Tell you’ after the painfully lame encore call, but missed out ‘It’s a Shame About Ray’ and ‘Mrs Robinson’.

All in all, their aging fans seemed satisfied and after all these years its refreshing to see Dando coming back to do what he does best – catchy as hell power pop-rock.


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