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Review of Lemonheads live at The Palace, Hollywood CA
7th November 1993

by Troy J. Augusto from Variety


Evan Dando, the current pin-up favorite of the KROQ set and soft-spoken leader of Boston's Lemonheads, is more than happy to let the music do the talking. At this Palace show, the first of two nights, he had nary a spoken word for the excitable crowd, instead playing a frantically paced, solid rock show that squeezed 23 songs into a 70-minute concert.

The 'heads' new Atlantic album "Come on Feel the Lemonheads" is a spritely, warm and telling affair that paints Dando as a thoughtful and sensitive individual who channels his own frustrations and concerns into tightly arranged pop music antidotes to life's many bitter pills.

Performed with more of an edge than their recorded counterparts, songs like new single "Into Your Arms," the hopeful "Alison's Starting to Happen" and the older "Ride With Me" all benefited from Dando's low-key charisma.

Other key moments included the ironic "Big Gay Heart," a country-flavored tune of social tolerance; the sweet and catchy "Bit Part"; the clever "Paid to Smile"; and a lively "Rockin' Stroll."

The Lemonheads have hit on a promising combination of classic pop song structure, accessible themes and just the right amount of unintentional sex appealsex appeal. Sounds like the fabled next big thing has arrived.

Not so with second-billed Hole, a caustic power-punk-pop quartet led by the insufferable Courtney Love, a singer who seems all too interested in showing disdain for fame long before most people have heard her band.

Love is the wife of Kurt Cobain, singer and guitarist for DGC labelmates Nirvana, and has been subject to public and critical scrutiny both because of her husband's widely popular band and as the result of an interview last year in Vanity Fair, where she seems to acknowledge drug use while pregnant with their daughter.

At the Palace, her obvious drunken state was bragged about as she railed against music critics, bored friends in the crowd and life as the "wife of a rock star."

While some songs showed a smart pop flair, the band's old-school punk noise, combined with Love's vitriolic barbs and consistent whining make for a Hole better left unexplored.

 

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