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Evan Dando live at the Paradise Club, Boston MA - 21st January 2006

Review by Sarah Rodman from the Boston Herald

 

Dando displays rockin’ form

Thirty songs in 90 minutes.

Say what you will about mercurial singer-songwriter Evan Dando, but when he’s on, he’s efficient.

Saturday night at a packed Paradise Lounge, Dando crammed in 30 songs as well as snippets of wacky cover tunes, a bit of genial banter and a lot of between-song tuning for a lively solo set that gave the assembled a sneak peek at his long-in-coming next album and took them on a rockin’ stroll through his beguiling past as leader of the Lemonheads.

Looking shaggy but healthy and armed only with his electric guitar, Dando announced he had no setlist.

That bit of seeming unpreparedness didn’t hinder his ability to move from tune to tune effortlessly and his still resonant and warm baritone.

After a quick run through the familiar, including the winsome “Being Around,” Gram Parsons’ tearful “How Much I’ve Lied” and the still shimmery “Confetti,” Dando announced a new song called “Pittsburgh.” A midtempo gem of a piece, the song seemed to dance around a familiar self-destructive individual and a lovely high-toned guitar sound. The handful of other new tracks followed suit. One of the best was written by Dando’s new drummer, Bill Stevenson - late of the Descendents - sung from the point of view of a son to his dying father with whom he has acomplicated relationship. It was by turns defiant, melancholy and contrite and should be a highlight of the new album, which Dando announced is coming out on Lemonade Records “this spring or something.”

The crowd was an equal partner in the show. They enthusiastically embraced the new material and sang respectfully if softly along to infectious old favorites such as “Hannah and Gabi,” “My Drug Buddy,” “Rudderless” and filled in for Juliana Hatfield on “It’s About Time.” They also cheered when he’d stomp a pedal, taking his burbling guitar sound to woozy wah-wah and metal places on “Turnpike Down” and a brief, comical yet satisfying romp through Black Sabbath’s “War Pigs.”

The fans reminded him that he’d forgotten to sing “It’s a Shame About Ray” as he was saying his goodbyes, to which he replied, “good point,” and then performed his sweetly swaying breakthrough number with tenderness. And they cheered, in futility it turned out, for an encore. Although he’s been wobbly on occasion in the recent past, this was a strong performance that gave fans hope for the future.

Likable Charleston pop-rock trio Slow Runner opened, showcasing tunes from its just-released debut “No Disassemble.”

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