Live Review: The Dandy Warhols

The Garage – 26/06

Let’s get to the logistics first: this was a 2-hour set with no opening act, no scheduling or no demanding crowd with mind-numbingly complex syntagms like “Here we, here we fu****g go” (which was highly refreshing).

Whether one is happy enough to see the Dandy Warhols by themselves without an opening act injecting anticipation into the crowd is a debate I will keep myself out of. However, one thing is certain: the band did really fu****g go!

For two hours, we heard their old and new material and the four members were effervescent and animated enough to keep the crowd entertained. Courtney Taylor, the lead singer, managed to fill in the gaps between songs with engaging and improvised anecdotes. Zia McCabe, keyboard and bass player, was the one to watch during the songs, as her bubbliness and disjointed dance routines added flavour to the gig, sometimes making us forget that some of their songs are repetitive and occasionally, just occasionally, quite boring.

And here thus lies the problem. The Dandy Warhols have been around for over 20 years. 2004’s documentary ‘Dig!’ even transformed them into a novelty cult act that demands a viewing and a listen. For a while there, in the early 2000s, they lived up to their expectations, delivering great performances and decent hooks, showing the world that one can actually dance to psychedelic-infused rhythms.

Today, in the Garage, reminiscences of that were there, but only because of their old material. It is always sad to see a band past their prime. Dandy Warhols is by no means a bad band and there is no doubt that they can deliver a great performance, but what is even sadder is that they know the good ol’ days are gone as well– their set was continuously structured in a fluctuant manner, having every new song followed by a “classic”. And it’s rather simple: the new material is sullen, unfocused, self-conscious and unconvincingly nostalgic and can’t hold up to the first 3 albums.

The crowd and me included left the venue temporarily fulfilled and with a sense of ephemeral entertainment, but the excitement slowly dissipates when you realize that out of a 2-hour long set list, ‘Bohemian Like You’ was still the one that moved you the most.

[Dan Daianu]

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