Evan Dando live at Olympia, Dublin - 4th May 2002

Review by Robert Crosbie


What an odd gig.

Unfortunately I think what ruined it for me was the group of people sitting in front of us. Never in my life, in all the gigs I've gone to, have a seen a group of people go to a gig only to talk during the songs, get up and down out of their seats FOR THE WHOLE SHOW, shout at the stage DURING songs, and generally ruin the experience for everyone else. However, I'll try to be objective for the purpose of this review.

My first disappointment was that Evan wasn't making an appearance with a band, rather it was an "acoustic" show. I have some of the new songs on bootleg as played by a 4 piece band and they sound amazing. Anyway, not to worry. Also, I was expecting to see Evan rocking his beardy look; cue disappointment number 2: he was clean shaven. Ah well.

After Eugene Kelly's set (nice songs, played some Vaseline's classics - the ones everyone knows because Nirvana covered them), Evan shambled on stage much the same way as he had done at Whelan's. I think he was on stage for about 5 seconds before people cheered in recognition. He was playing to what seemed to be a full house, and the Olympia is a great venue, so the scene was set. Wearing a yellow "Dickies" T - Shirt, and with hair now cut shorter, Dando and second guitarist Chris Brokaw broke into a slower version of "Confetti".

The usual Lemonheads classic where wheeled out for the occasion: "My Drug Buddy", "Hannah & Gabi", "Ride With Me", "The Turnpike Down", "Great Big NO", "Into Your Arms" etc, plus the usual covers of "Different Drum", "$1000 Wedding", "Honky Tonk Woman", and "Frank Mills". None of the versions really set the world on fire. A few surprises though, were welcoming: a version of "Ba-De-Da", from the Griffith Sunet EP, a solo "Stove", and a new song called "Repeat". It was after this song, though, that things got a bit weird. Evan was obviously distracted by one goon (sitting in the row in front of me) who was continually clapping throughout the song (not in time - just clapping) and after the song called him a "f**king asshole" and offered him a backstage pass (presumably so he could sort him out!). He was pretty angry and asked him "why come to the show if you don't want to hear the music?!" Then a quick "thanks, goodnight", and he was gone. Well, it was the 4th encore so he'd played for long enough.

So a weird show, lacking the vibe of Whelan's, and ruined by assholes in the audience. Bring a band next time, Evan, so you can drown them out!

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