THE LEMONHEADS // SWG3: GALVANZIERS, GLASGOW
Evan Dando performance with The Lemonheads, in line with their recent release of a new covers album, was immaculate at SWG3’s Galvanizers Yard and the night was immense.
The 1980s and 90s were emotional times for music. In 1986, in Boston, so emerged the poignant rock of, at this point teenage lads, The Lemonheads. Their initial rumble was small, with early albums receiving little recognition upon their release. After some trouble coming up to the 1990s, a line-up change and a seemingly rejuvenated frontman triggered the band to be launched to success.
After a near decade hiatus, The Lemonheads released their 8th studio album, named after themselves, and more recently in 2009 released ‘Varshons’ - an album of clever, moving covers. This month their newest album of reworks ‘Varshons 2’ hit the fans.
The Lemonheads have gone through many line-up changes in their time. Evan Dandos, however has always been with the band and, some would say, The Lemonheads are whomever he is playing the show with. His songs are poetic and his vibes in performances and interviews are filled with softness and tenderness despite the band’s hard, rock appearance.
One the night, the hard edge of The Lemonheads cut through a sea of transfixed fans. The large warehouse-like building in Glasgow’s SWG3 complex was packed out for the sold out show and space was sparse. On stage, there was no glitz, no glamour, just the band and their instruments. There was nothing to distract from their powerful sound.
The band were sharp coming on to the stage; which they need to be as they played a whopping 25 song set and then followed it with two powerful encores. When they took to the stage, the applause roared and they launched into the opening track of the night, the 1996 classic, ‘Hospital.’
Dando naturally throws himself into every track played but in his unique, inward style. He comes across with a shy charm and soft-spoken nature, rare qualities for frontmen in rock. For the majority of the show his head hangs down with an intense focus on what he is doing. During the precious moments when he raises his head and projects his somehow smooth but gravelly voice across the audience, only fools would take their eyes off him.
From the covers, to the early gems, and the droplets of solo numbers from Dando, the Lemonheads kept the night surprising. Their sound was as perfect as any edited, previously recorded version of their tracks though was still were dripping with uniqueness. Some songs that seemed to create the most awe amongst the fans included ‘Abandoned’ - a Lucinda Williams cover, ‘It Looks Like You,’ ‘Ain’t That Enough’ - a Teenage Fanclub cover, ‘Big Gay Heart,’ their Nick Cave cover ‘Straight to You,’ and ‘If I Could Talk I’d Tell You.’ Of course, ‘In Your Arms’ and ‘Mrs Robinson’ were amazing and performed immaculately but that could be expected if going from their past performances.
With the band’s choice to cover from so many iconic acts, some not mentioned included Tompall Glaser & The Glaser Brother, Gram Parsons, Smudge and Misfits, seeing them live is essential for these unique reworks.
Though Evan Dando seems to drift out of the spotlight for extended time periods, whoever he lines himself with to revive The Lemonheads consistently makes for unmissable live shows. The band’s continuous development and Dando’s love for music are so clear and unmissable for fans.
SETLIST: | THE LEMONHEADS : SWG3: GALVANIZER’S, GLASGOW - 09.02.2019
The Great Big No
It’s a Shame About Ray
Left for Dead
It Looks Like You
I Just Can’t Take It Anymore
My Drug Buddy
The Outdoor Type
Why Do You Do This to Yourself?
Ride With Me
Streets of Baltimore
Ain’t That Enough
The Moon’s a Balloon
Big Gay Heart
Straight to You
Hannah & Gabi
If I Could Talk I’d Tell You
Into Your Arms