Not being a hardcore Lemonheads fan and seemingly not having been exactly the right age in the early 90s, I have some mixed feelings about this show. Did I have a good time there? Yeah, pretty much; for hanging out by myself at the Stage AE club stage on a Monday night in January, it was swell. Was I wowed by the music or the performance? Not really, but I didn't quite expect it to be, so it's fine. If I'd had some expectations or heavy knowledge of Evan Dando and his personality and the band's songs, I might have had some more nuanced thoughts about the show, but overall, I'm feeling like the big proclamation is: "It was a concert. It was ok."
There was a long wait between sets, despite no instrument setup of any kind. Evan Dando came out around 9:50 and played a few songs solo. Midway through the first one, he stopped to ask to lower the guitar in his monitor. The crowd was "woo"-ing passionately, like fanboys, and Evan kept his head down. Feeling shy? Not noticing? Who knows? After three or four acoustic numbers, he plugged in and the bassist and drummer came out to play. There was this older married couple standing next to me and they were just shredding guitars in the air and totally loving it. That was kinda cool. Everyone in the front row was singing along. That is not as cool. They started in on playing It's A Shame About Ray in order, and the crowd really loved that. I caught Evan staring up at the ceiling during the title track, like he has to gaze upward to hit the highest notes ("it's a SHAME about Ray…"), and then when he looked back down he had a little grin on his face, like it's his little secret trick no one knows about or sees. My phone notes remind me that his "blonde hair hangs straight, eyes downcast, looks coyly happy".
Post-Gazette makes me think that being a nonfan colored my experience differently. Scott Mervis laments about Dando's initial performance and relates it to his troubled history with drugs (meanwhile completely mislabeling the opener; The Shining Twins did not play this show, and he didn't realize that even though he was apparently there for her set?). He noted this turning point where Dando started talking with the crowd, even though it was kinda mumbly. I wouldn't call it a "transformation" in his performance, but it was a noticeable moment.
The Lemonheads on the web: Website / Facebook / Twitter
Meredith Sheldon on the web: Website / Facebook / Twitter / Bandcamp