It was back-to-the-'90s night Monday when Evan Dando brought the latest incarnation of The Lemonheads to Maxwell's in Hoboken, in the first of two sold-out shows. The shows were promoted as the band performing its classic album "It's a Shame About Ray," but Monday's turned out to be a little less than that, and a lot more.
|Evan Dando at Maxwell's Monday night.|
Although the current Lemonheads (a trio of Dando, plus a very capable bassist and drummer*) played most of "...Ray," Dando didn't hesitate to "fast forward" through songs he didn't feel like playing. But while the set was lacking, for example, "Mrs. Robinson," one of the band's best-known songs (to casual fans, at least), the band's hour-and-a-half set included a lot more than just that album. (*Note: the other current members of the Lemonheads are Chuck Treece on drums and former Taking Back Sunday guitarist Fred Mascherino on bass.)
The Lemonheads moved quickly from one song to another, making one wonder if their van was double-parked somewhere and they were trying to finish up their set so they could move it before getting ticketed. This may appear negative but it really isn't, because the band's catchy, three-minute pop gems sound perfect when strung together one right after the other.
About midway through the show the bassist and drummer left the stage, leaving Dando to perfect about eight songs solo on acoustic guitar, including "Into Your Arms" (which I would have preferred to hear with the band, but since it's not on "It's a Shame About Ray," I can't complain too much).
I was right up front next to a serious Lemonheads fan who mouthed the lyrics to every song. He was standing right in front of Dando and, in fact, a couple of times the singer looked to the fan for guidance (not sure if it was on lyrics, order of verses in a song, or something else).
For fans of The Lemonheads, this tour is a great chance to see Evan Dando & company up close.