LIVE REVIEW: The Lemonheads

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WHERE: Rhythm and Brews – Chattanooga, TN

WHEN: October 1

HIGHLIGHT: Evan Dando in top form, owning the stage

Evan Dando opened the show solo with his tuneful, low voice and a Les Paul instead of his standard SG with “Love Somebody” by The Bee Gees. Immediately afterward, the wide stage filled with Josh Lattanzi (The Candles) on bass and Brian Nolan (American Hi-Fi) on drums, making up the current version of The Lemonheads.

The band launched into the tour’s focus, the entire It’s A Shame About Ray album, playing at the same breakneck tempo as the original recording. Dando was in a particularly good mood, breaking between songs to ask the audience for the name of the next song, waiting just a moment for the answer before announcing the title himself. The mid-twenties to mid-forties crowd was enthralled and sang nearly every note. Dando’s voice was in perfect pitch and his guitar playing was in equally good form.

After the Ray set, Dando asked if the audience wanted to hear “Mrs. Robinson.” The answer was a resounding “Yes.” Dando sang none of it except the beginning of one verse that the crowd forgot. Once he got them started, they finished just fine.

After a short break, Dando again took the stage solo. He sang a set of nine songs that included the excellently penned, tongue-in-cheek Lemonheads classics “Being Around” and “The Outdoor Type.” Other songs included the introspective solo number “Why Do You Do This To Yourself?” and many of his favorite covers, something Dando has made a live show staple in recent years.

The full band regrouped and another Lemonheads set followed, including “Down About It,” “The Great Big No,” and the requested “Big Gay Heart.” After getting frustrated on the last song’s ending guitar solo, Dando played drums for about three minutes, then thanked the audience and left the stage.

photos by Gail Fountain

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