Dando's Lemonheads is a Tasty TreatThe last time the Lemonheads rolled through Chicago and performed at the Double Door, Evan Dando, along with then touring bassist Vess Ruhtenberg and drummer Devon Ashley played in promotion of the 2006 self-titled release, The Lemonheads. Those who where expecting Karl Alverez and Bill Stevenson, of ALL and The Descendents fame (who contributed heavily to that album) expressed disappointment at their absence.
Now, a year later, Stevenson and Alverez have joined Dando during a three-week winter tour before they head back into the studio to record their 2008 release. The fans' excitement over the duo became clear as one fan asked another, "Dude, are you hear to see the Descendents?!"
While Stevenson and Alverez did bring their punk-rock energy to the show at the Double Door Tuesday night, Evan Dando's laid-back, expressive performances during classis songs like "My Drug Buddy," "Rudderless" and "It's A Shame About Ray" reminded the audience that this was indeed a Lemonheads show.
Stevenson and Alverez, brought along the heavy energy to songs like "Hospital," "No Backbone" and "Confetti." It seemed to take a few songs before Dando could warm up to the audience. When he played "Down About It," he interacted with several excited fans in the audience, while letting them strum his guitar. Dando then encouraged the crowd to join in singing the chorus during "Bit Part."
The Lemonheads didn't waste a second between songs, playing almost continuously and barely giving the audience a chance to applaud.. The chemistry between Dando and Stevenson showed during "Black Gown" where they did well feeding off of each other's energy.
Forty-five minutes into the show Stevenson and Alverez left the stage while Dando performed a 15-minute solo set, singing through songs like Lick's "Mallo Cup," Hate Your Friend's "Don't Tell Yourself," Car Button Cloth's "Tenderfoot" and several others. At this point in the evening Dando seemed most expressive, while still sheltered behind his closed eyes and shaggy hair.
Alverez and Stevenson joined Dando to wrap things up with "Pittsburgh," "If I Could Talk" and a rousing performance of "Come Back D.A".
Openers Racoon and the New Rivals set the mood for The Lemonheads set, with the New Rivals bringing a loud, aggressive quality to the night along with Holland's quartet Racoon performing an impressive set of acoustic driven songs powered behind singer Bart van der Weide's strong voice.