Friday, October 5, 2018

Live Shows: Evan Dando, UnchARTed Gallery, Lowell, MA 10/3/18

Photo via Facebook
Someone needs to tell Evan Dando it's not 1993 and it's no longer cute to show up to a show two hours late. It's Evan Dando. When the owner of UnchARTed announced he'd be late, the crowd snickered, because of course he'll be late. As the evening got later and later, it turned into an impromptu open mike with friends of the gallery owner (and the gallery owner) performing unscheduled. Then it turned into he'd be there at 9:30, an hour and a half past the 8:00 announced start time. Then it became 9:45. Finally, at 9:55, Evan took the stage. I was at the point at 9:30 that if they had started offering refunds I would have taken one and called it a night. Nothing says "I couldn't care less about this gig" than showing up two hours late.

Nothing Evan did after that showed that he did care. He went through the motions of some of his best songs. And these songs are amazing. "Allison's Starting to Happen?" "My Idea?" "My Drug Buddy?" Some of my favorite songs of all time. But they were delivered without any of the typical Evan Dando charm, or even a hint that he wanted to be there. Maybe I was grumpy from the absurd wait time (a decent number of people in attendance seemed thrilled with the performance), but by the time he started "Stove" I realized I was having absolutely no fun and seemed to care more about my phone than what was happening on the stage. So I left thirty minutes into the show. And I definitely wasn't the first to leave the venue that night.

I've been going to Evan Dando/Lemonheads shows since 1996. I've seen him play outdoor festivals. I've seen him play movie theaters. I saw him play as something called Evan Dando Rebel Crue 2002. I saw him play as the Lemonheads with Juliana Hatfield and Chris Brokaw. I couldn't even guess how many times I've seen Evan Dando perform in the past twenty two years. But this one was my last performance. I'll spend my time and money on artists that deserve my attention.

[I'll note that the morning after this show the remainder of Evan Dando's tour was cancelled due to illness, so it is likely that his extreme tardiness and performance was related to this illness. We wish Evan Dando the best.]

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