The Lemonheads played at the Triple Door on Saturday, November 5th, 2011.

The Lemonheads

The Triple Door

Saturday, November 5th, 2011

Walking into any sort


Lemonheads Give Seattle A Shameless Show At Triple Door

The Lemonheads played at the Triple Door on Saturday, November 5th, 2011.

The Lemonheads

The Triple Door

Saturday, November 5th, 2011

Walking into any sort of Evan Dando-related event is as close to a corporate games-y trust fall as the indie rock circuit gets. While the man is responsible for one of the best front-to-back powerpop albums of the 90's (1992's It's A Shame About Ray), as well as a pile of underappreciated, brutally self-scrutinizing material, he's equally as notorious for his struggles with substance abuse and a track record of inconsistent/incoherent shows. Reports from shows as recently as a couple weeks ago made it seem like Dando is still as scattered as ever, but Saturday night's show at the Triple Door would show a clearer, cleaner Dando than other cities have gotten.

Touring on the nearly 20th anniversary of It's A Shame About Ray, it was easy to be skeptical that the tour was a cash grab for an artist who isn't necessarily on the tips of anyone's tongues in 2011. However, watching Dando run through an impressively titanic, well-balanced set of acoustic material and full band blastoffs, all hesitance to get onboard what was once considered a potential trainwreck was left at the station. Looking focused and healthy and his voice sounding as rich as ever, Dando engaged the sold-out crowd with a 6 song mini-set of covers and originals that he delivered with the sort of reflective clarity that his fans have been clamoring for consistently for years. Once his backing band got on stage (drummer Brian Nelson and bassist Drew Parsons, both of American Hi-Fi), Dando traded his acoustic for a Les Paul and smoked through the entirety of the Ray LP as if the past 20 years hadn't happened; "college rock" was still a genre, and Dando was still dominating 120 Minutes playlists and Sassy Magazine's Cute Band Alert.

While Dando won't ever be inducted into the master showman Hall of Fame (standing stiff as a board during a lot of the songs' delivery), hearing expertly crafted pop songs testing out their timelessness and staying power at ear-splitting volumes was every bit as fantastic as the evening's initial promise. Dando was in great spirits, goofing with the crowd occasionally but never to the point of incoherent rambling, hitting every high note and nailing all of his solos. What Dando lacked in visceral energy, drummer Brian Nelson more than made up for; his perfectly-tuned supercharged pep connected the songs more to Dando's punk upbringings than his strummy AOR leanings. Song selection-wise, the show perfectly balanced between the more effervescent Lemonheads numbers and some of Dando's more dark and reflective material, showing Dando as a much more multifaceted songwriter than he's often given credit for.

The only complaints about the show were nitpicky details. First, where was Juliana Hatfield? (If her blog is any indication, she's busy drawing monkeys humping and watching stacks of movies.) "Bit Part" would've shone just a bit brighter and more dangerous with her frantic screaming intro and cooed backups on the chorus. Past that, the set did feel a little rushed at times, and the swank factor of the Triple Door's seating felt annoyingly confining during the ride-along shuffle of "The Turnpike Down" and the hyperactive hormonal bop of "Alison's Starting To Happen".

Random Notebook Dump: Opening garbage rock duo The Shining Twins were apparently handpicked by Dando in the middle of a heavily clouded state. Proudly drunk, under-rehearsed, and flying their trademark motto ("This is dumb!"), the East Village pair were as annoyingly brainless as their slogan. If the group spent more time learning how to play their instruments than putting on airs of being raw, dark and troublesome, they might channel that apathy into something more interesting than terribly written garage rock about vapid scenester superficialism.


The Outdoor Type (Smudge cover)

Frying Pan (Victoria Williams cover)

Divan (Smudge cover)

Favorite T

My Idea (Chris Brokaw cover)

All My Life

-Full Band Set-

Rockin' Stroll


It's A Shame About Ray


My Drug Buddy

The Turnpike Down

Bit Part

Alison's Starting To Happen

Hannah & Gabi


Ceiling Fan In My Spoon

-Solo Set Resumes-

Frank Mills

Shots Is Fired

-Band Returns-


Down About It

Great Big No

Big Gay Heart

No Backbone


If I Could Talk I'd Tell You


-Solo Set Resumes-

Home Is Where You're Happy (Charles Manson cover)

Ride With Me

Different Drum (Mike Nesmith cover)

Why Do You Do This To Yourself

Half The Time

Don't Wanna


Being Around

-Encore/Full Band-

Into Your Arms


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