Showcasing their fresh new album Distortland, The Dandy Warhols put on quite a show at 9:30 Club this Sunday evening. Distortland is the band’s tenth album, and comes after a long, four year gap. The Dandy Warhols formed in 1994 in Portland, where the band members got together to play music in an effort to make “music to drink to.” Since then, they have gained listeners, and in 2001 they hit their peak with Thirteen Tales from Urban Bohemia.
The vibe at the 9:30 club this Sunday was slightly different than the vibe at the other concerts that I’ve been to at the venue – much less crowded, more mellow, and a slightly older average age, which makes sense when considering the long history of “the Dandies.” When the opening band came on, however, people woke up. The Seratones, a rock band from Louisiana, was a pleasure to listen to. Led by lead singer AJ Haynes, the band performed some songs from their debut album, Get Gone, including my personal favorite, “Kingdom Come.” Haynes’ vocals in their performance were particularly amazing.
A little while after The Seratones left the stage, The Dandy Warhols quietly entered, set up, and began to play, beginning with a signature psychedelic rock riff that led into “Mohammed” and then into a crowd favorite, “Get Off.” The Dandy Warhols played a few songs from Distortland but focused heavily on their old albums, getting cheers from the crown whenever the famed album “Thirteen Tales” was mentioned. However, it was only after four or five songs that lead singer and guitarist Courtney Taylor-Taylor spoke for the first time, and he had a clear message for us all: “Hey, if I had more to say, I’d say it!” After a pause, he added “I feel like the music means more.” This set the stage for the whole concert.
The band hardly ever stopped playing, and Taylor-Taylor and his bandmates were high-energy while serene in their music. After playing an old favorite, “I Love You,” and a new favorite, “You Are Killing Me,” Taylor-Taylor proceeded to tune his guitar and ask us to sing “Every Day Should Be A Holiday” along with him. The next few songs were my favorites of the night, with “The Last High” and “We Used To Be Friends.” Standing out was keyboardist Zia McCabe, who played multiple instruments throughout the night, which was instrumental in the interesting and exciting sound of the band.
After reminding us to vote for Bernie (“Can you feel the bern, DC?”), the Dandies closed with “Boys Better” and called it a night. All in all, the concert had a great, laid back vibe, and the Dandy Warhols captured everyone’s attention. I certainly recommend their new album, Distortland, and hope to hear more from the band in later years.
photo from The Dandy Warhols facebook page