the original alternahunk

There was a bit of “what am I doing here?” at last night’s Lemonheads show, during which Evan and the boys were to play It’s a Shame About Ray in its entirety. “How old are they?” “How old does that make me?” But, there’s a new album to promote, and for those of us who never saw these guys during their alterna-rock heyday, it was a chance to hear some old favorites, live.

Evan Dando is the one true constant from dozens of Lemonheads lineups, and as soon as the trio took the stage, it was if the whole crowd angled itself for a better view of his spot on the left side. Strikingly, Dando still sports his trademark shag, and his voice is still a resonating mix of cute-boy shrug and marquee swoon. To borrow a cliche, he had us at “Hi, we’re here to play our record.”

He sings about wanting a bit part in your life, a walk on would be fine. He wonders if he was a booger, would you blow your nose? He might have once been voted one of People magazine’s 50 most beautiful people, but on Tuesday night, Dando was just a songwriter with a guitar, rattling off song after song in hopes of selling a record.

Towards the end of the set, the people in front of us appeared to be looking towards the floor. I thought someone had fallen over, but after one guy started using his cell phone as a flashlight, I heard that someone had lost her wedding ring. “Yep,” I thought, “that’s what happens when Evan Dando is in the house.”

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