It was a weeknight but the Warehouse at FTC in Fairfield, CT was packed for the return of The Lemonheads. The mostly middle-aged crowd looking to recapture a bit of their youth that evening.
Evan Dando was there, kicking off his latest US tour with his band, The Lemonheads. By the looks on people’s faces at the end of the evening, the audience had succeeded in their mission. The house was full of smiles and looks of contentedness. The reaction to this performance confirmed this is a tour not to be missed!
Opening the evening was Tommy Stinson, former bassist for 80’s indie rock darlings, The Replacements. After the breakup of his former band, Stinson went on to form and front the alternative rock band Bash & Pop. Eventually he joined hard rockers, Guns & Roses.
He has reformed his band Bash & Pop but this evening saw the prolific entertainer performing a solo set. The set was made up of Stinson mostly on amplified Gibson acoustic guitar. However, he ended up with a few songs belted out with his telecaster. The audience ate the whole set up. Performing solo allowed Stinson to show off his musical prowess. His job was to prep the crowd for The Lemonheads and prepared they were! Stinson had the house moving and wanting more when his set was through, the perfect set up for a headlining act.
The Lemonheads Return
Before the full band took the stage, Evan Dando walked out armed with his Gibson SG. He performed solo with a voice as powerful as ever. Time seemed to have stood still as Dando looked as youthful as ever decked out in his “alt-rock flannel” shirt and black jeans.
After Evan got the crowd’s juices flowing with anticipation, the rest of the band joined him on stage. Wild cheers erupted from the crowd. They rifled through a great set list which had everyone singing along as folks were transported to a time when they were 25+ years younger. While the set list was more than 20 songs, the evening seemed over in a heartbeat. They gave a great performance, but left the audience wanting more as the old showbiz saying goes.
The Lemonheads set this evening consisted of many of their more well-known songs such as “It’s a Shame About Ray”, “Into Your Arms”, and “Drug Buddy”. However, conspicuously absent was their cover of Simon & Garfunkel’s “Mrs Robinson”.
This was a curious omission as the band is no stranger to cover songs. In fact, their latest album Varshons 2 is a collection of covers from an eclectic array of bands. Varshons 2 is receiving critical acclaim with covers ranging from The Eagles to Yo La Tango to Nick Cave.
Perhaps the fact that Dando’s own great songwriting in the 90s was somewhat overshadowed by their version of “Mrs Robinson” has led to this omission. When looked at in that context, it’s certainly understandable as he has penned many great songs.
The Lemonheads had touched the hearts of their adoring fans that opening night and no doubt will continue to do so throughout the remainder of the tour. If you wish to hear great music, recapture a bit of your youth, or better yet, wish to expose your children to the great music of your youth, catch a performance of this great band. You will not be disappointed!
Tour dates can be found HERE
Review and photos by Rich Russo