Evan Dando live at Midnight at the Olympia - 4th May 2002

Review by Lobby the Lobster from Virtually Acoustic


Evan Dando is a dandy performer who delights his audiences with energetic melodic rock songs of teenage and young adult experience. Like a sophisticated Tom Petty he brings alive the emotions we all know, and yet so often fail to confront because we're too busy, too lazy or too old (or should that read too young?). The introduction could have read 'Evan Dando is an artist who seems never to have lost his way', and but for his unexpected outburst of anger towards an over-exhuberent fan at the end of the show, this would have been so. I say spare the complement until next time to keep him at his best.
The setting lent itself to the occasion, with the Olympia, a theatre by construction, opening its doors at 11.30pm and closing after the show at approximately 2.30am. Late or what! Beer, spirits and soft drinks aplenty were served throughout in the two bars at the back, while outside Dublin bustled in the nightlife of a Saturday night. I tried showing my Lobster reporter pass going in, but got trampled in the rush, and had a pre-ordered ticket in any case.

From the start it was clear that Dando, front-man of the (now defunct?) Lemonheads, accompanied by Chris Brokaw on electric guitar, was sparing no effort in putting on a quality performance. He powered his way through his two hour set with little interruption and occasional light banter, perhaps only feeling justified in speaking to the audience more towards the end, with the quality of the delivery secured. Lemonhead favourites such as 'Into Your Arms', 'It's a Shame About Ray' and 'The Turnpike Down' brought the seated audience to its most energetic. He played an electro-acoustic guitar throughout, and impressed with his full vocal range and strength. His arguably youthful appearance (clean shaven, t-shirt, long fair hair) did nothing to quench the maturity of his musical creations. In short, the show was fab, it was enjoyed by all, and it was a pleasure to be at.

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