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Evan Dando live at the Carling Festival, Leeds - 25th August 2001

Review by Robert Collins

 

In a parallel universe, where sensitivity and a smart way with a minor chord are revered qualities, Evan Dando would be the biggest star in rock history. Tonight’s performance, for those too soft for Green Day, is the comeback of the festival. All the Lemonheads’ hits are wheeled out with a sprinkling of sparkling new songs providing the promise of a long-awaited album on the horizon.

Evan Dando, if he’d been able to leave the drugs alone, would have been huge. The faithful still believe though, and are rewarded with moments of pure magic. Right from the start of ‘Paid to Smile’ the voice of the slacker generation is back. And there are a lot of slackers here too. You can hear them sing along to ‘The Outdoor Type’ and ‘My Drug Buddy’. Truly beautiful songs tumble from Evan and his band one after the other – ‘Into Your Arms’ and ‘Confetti’ arguably the greatest one-two punch of the day.

But for a moment of pop perfection new song ‘All My Life’ is the revelation.

“All my life I thought I wanted things I really didn’t want at all,” he sings. God bless that child.

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