Review: Evan Dando @ Maxwell’s

Dando’s voice remains strong and he put just as much passion into the Drug Buddy opener as he did when I saw The Lemonheads all those years ago. Evan knew the crowd of thirty-somethings wanted tunes from the ’90s and Dando delivered. Backed by no one, Evan tore through Favorite T, Rudderless, It’s A Shame About Ray, Confetti and fan-favorite Into Your Arms on his telecaster to the audience’s delight. There wasn’t too much in the way of banter, but we were just happy he didn’t leave the stage in a huff like he did at a previous Maxwell’s appearance according to the talkative jerk who was standing behind me.

Evan Dando @ Maxwell’s – Rudderless

Towards the end of the show, Dando started to strum something that sounded vaguely familiar and as he delivered the first verse it became clear what was happening. Evan was covering Beautiful by Christina Aguilera, a song he recorded for his Gibby Haynes-produced covers album, Varshons, last year. The crowd giggled and cooed as one-by-one each audience member realized what song he was strumming. Dando did a great job with the tune but he was unimpressed with himself exclaiming “we can’t end the show like that” after finishing the song. With that, Dando fired up the hearty Mallo Cup before sending folks on their way without an encore.

Evan Dando has never been an artist known for giving fans what they want all the way back to the days when he refused to play Mrs. Robinson with The Lemonheads after that tune brought massive success for the band, but age seems to have mellowed him out. Last Friday night he gave the audience just what they wanted and sent most home smiling. Dando’s tour with The Candles continues tonight in Philadelphia. The two acts will go coast-to-coast before ending the tour at The Mercury Lounge in NYC on March 6.

My Drug Buddy, The Outdoor Type, Confetti, Frying Pan, All My Life, Hospital, Hannah & Gabi, The Turnpike Down, Down About It, Favorite T, No Backbone, Different Drum [Linda Rondstadt], My Idea, It Looks Like You Left For Dead, You’re Home Is Where You’re Happy [Charles Manson], Into Your Arms, Pittsburgh, In The Grass All Wine Colored, Tenderfoot, Bit Part,  It’s All The Same [Last Days of April], Rudderless, It’s a Shame About Ray, Beautiful, Mallo Cup [setlist via Evan Dando Forum]

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