Friday Night: The Lemonheads At Fitzgerald's

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Photos by Jason Wolter
The Lemonheads
February 10, 2012

The Fitzgerald's air was heavy with '90s nostalgia Friday night, as fans flocked to see The Lemonheads. The band is currently on tour performing their lauded 1992 release, It's a Shame About Ray, in its entirety.

Despite the fact that front man Evan Dando originally hails from frigid Boston, he seemed the warmest dressed for Houston's uncharacteristically cold weather, clad in multiple layers, including a flannel button-down and knit beanie.

In an interview with Dando last week, we noted how refreshingly coherent and affable he was, refuting the previously accepted belief that he's spacey and drug-addled, at best. He may have looked weathered as hell at Friday's show, but his lucidity was intact.

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"I remember playing at Fitzgerald's with Material Issue and the Soup Dragons," he said, a few lucky fans in the crowd clapping in shared remembrance of the show.

The songwriter, now 44, first took the stage solo and with an acoustic guitar, treating his full crowd to 1993's Come On Feel the Lemonheads tune "Being Around" and "The Outdoor Type," from 1996's Car Button Cloth. Both songs are prime examples of Dando's unmistakably witty sense of humor in songwriting.

A backdrop screen showed footage shot from the front seat of a car, presumably taken from the band's tour bus. As everyday images of city traffic, rural roads, and falling rain flashed across the screen, Dando played songs from his 2003 solo record Baby I'm Bored, including the poignant "Hard Drive" and "All My Life." The crowd softly sang along as he played the band's popular 1993 single "Into Your Arms."

Dando, who was visibly smiling in subtle delight, then swapped his acoustic guitar for an electric, and was joined by his band.

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Never thought the Lemonheads got the credit they deserved. Dando was too often looked at as a dull, pretty boy rocker , as opposed to darker and better lyricists of the early 90s like Nirvana. Think for a time he was on the cover of Teen Beat type magazines. However, if you listen to their music (not their covers) there's often a tone of bittersweet regret to them.

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