Sunday, January 22, 2012

Show Review - The Lemonheads - 1.16.12 - Stage AE - Pittsburgh - Concert Review - Live Review



When I heard the Lemonheads were doing a 20 year celebration concert for Its A Shame About Ray, I was super excited.  Surely this album was a standout amongst the many that defined my adolescence.  When we arrived at Stage AE we thought that based on the amount of cars it would be empty, however this club was the most packed show I have seen there.  After waiting an unnecessary long time after the opener, Evan Dando finally came out.  He played a handful of songs solo and acoustic and I did not recognize any of them.  I was fearing the old bait and switch, where was the promised album performance that undoubtedly all had come to see?  The crowd of mostly 30-40 somethings did not seem to enthralled either. 


Thankfully, soon the band appeared and they launched into 'Rockin Stroll' and the crowd perked up.  Yep this is what we all anticipated seeing.  Dando, who was a bit withdrawn in the beginning, began to ease up and seemed pretty happy to be playing.  My personal favorite was 'My Drug Buddy', I always loved that tune.  I have to admit that it definitely missed the added layer of Juliana Hatfields voice to complete the song.  She was missed throughout, however the end result of the performance was still satisfying to me. 

It seemed as though the 1-2 punch of 'Bit Part' and 'Alisons Starting To Happen' really was the high point of the show. The entire crowd really seemed to go wild at this point, vigorously singing and bopping along. I will say that I left before they could sing Mrs. Robinson. Now I know that cover may have put them on the mainstream map and probably was their biggest hit, but I love Simon and Garfunkle and never really was too jazzed about their rendition. I definitely walked away feeling satisfied with the show. Its got to be hard to play an uberpopular album 20 years later, especially when you haven’t been on the radar for most of that time, and still please the fans. Dando and Co. pulled it off though.

2 comments:

  1. I loved this show..... I knew every song he played and was enthusiastic from beginning to end. But that's probably because The Lemonheads are my favorite band. I was really glad that he mixed it up and didn't go straight into Ray. He never did play Mrs. Robinson because he hates playing that song. It was tacked on to later issues of Ray by the record company to try and build hype for the re-release of The Graduate, which came out around that time. It was great to hear the album live from beginning to end, but also pretty great to hear stuff from other Lemonheads albums too. He played practically almost every track from Come On Feel, and a bunch from 2006's self-titled. He even played stuff from Lovey and earlier stuff too. I have seen the Lemonheads, and Evan solo, for a combined 13 or so times over the past 20 years. It's true, he can be moody. But on this evening in Pittsburgh, he was in a pretty jovial mood. A treat for all in attendance! I'll be seeing them again later on in the tour in March. We'll see if he's still enjoying it then. Either way, I look forward to it.

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