Evan Dando live at Dog's Bollix, Auckland, New Zealand - 17th February 2004

Excerpt from Hard News by Russell Brown from publicaddress.net


What with all the issues and everything, I haven't got around this week to writing something about going to see Evan Dando play on Tuesday night, if only so as to use the headline above. Dando was once the singer of the Lemonheads, one of the prettiest men in pop and a heroic consumer of illicit drugs.

He's no longer any of the above, but his voice is better than ever. It can seem that both his songs and his guitar playing are built around that relaxed, slightly melancholy voice. You can get a good idea of what his New Zealand solo gigs were like from his Live at the Brattle Theatre album, which I highly recommend (if you buy it via that link, we get a little kickback).

Dando had some obstacles to overcome - one group on the Dog's Bollix's dancefloor appeared to have turned up solely to shout drunkenly to each other for the whole gig (some of them were Irish, but that's no excuse) - but overcome them he did. He got rolling to the extent that when he came back for an encore, he just kept on playing, hauling out an array of cover versions, including a great performance of the Velvet Underground's 'I'll Be Your Mirror'. (Earlier, he had shaken up the somewhat devotional mood of the audience by reprising the Lemonheads' cover of Proud Scum's 'I Am A Rabbit'.)

But anyway, it was great, he was funny and affecting, and if he cared to pass this way again, I'd certainly be there. What with the White Stripes, the Strokes and the Flaming Lips, American rock music is certainly doing it for me these days.

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