The Lemonheads Don’t Stop ’Til You Get Enough

June 26th, 2009

The Lemonheads – The Bowery Ballroom – June 25, 2009

Evan Dando“This show is for Michael,” announced Evan Dando, front man of the Lemonheads, as he began his show at The Bowery Ballroom last night. The shock of Michael Jackson’s death had certainly turned it into a surreal day, and Dando and his band were probably feeling a lot like the rest of us: a bit dazed, incredulous, nostalgic, sad. And then here we were at a rock show. Luckily the Lemonheads were able to provide us all with a much needed escape.

After treating the crowd of devoted fans to their old-school hits like “My Drug Buddy” and “It’s a Shame About Ray,” a man in front of me proclaimed, “I remember seeing them in Boston in ’87!” I imagine that hearing the Lemonheads’ bright, poppy, alterna-grunge live onstage likely evoked some fond flannel-and-Doc Martens memories for many others present as well.

Following a version of “Into Your Arms” with a more upbeat and aggressive edge than on Come On Feel the Lemonheads, the band left the stage and Dando performed a string of solo songs, including the melancholy numbers “The Outdoor Type” and “Being Around.” Lit by a spotlight at the side of the dark stage, he delivered the songs’ wry lyrics with his clear, deep voice and his signature relaxed—almost lethargic—cadence. Time may have passed since these songs were written, but thankfully Dando’s music (not to mention his grunge-era T-shirt, shaggy hair and modest, effortlessly cool persona) manages to transition comfortably into the new decade. —Alena Kastin