100 Shows of 2010 - #87: The Dandy Warhols/Hopewell @ Electric Factory, 11/7/10

And so, dear friends, we come to part the second of my latest Philadelphia story, in which yours truly gets to take in the sonic reverie put forth by two most excellent bands. I've been a fan of both of these bands for quite a long while, dating especially far back with the headliners (can we say high school, anyone?!). To see both The Dandy Warhols and Hopewell under one roof, well, that's not something that happens everyday (though perhaps it should!), so naturally the mileage to Philadelphia was of little consequence. As was the whole having to be at work the next morning. The two different styles of these two bands worked gloriously together, and anyone who says otherwise is a damned liar. Whoever had the brilliant idea for these two bands to tour together should probably get a medal, at the very least. (And it should be noted that this show somehow got even better on night 2, but that's another story)

MINI RECAP: Hopewell = Heavenly! The Dandy Warhols = Hallelujah! Overall Score: B+

LET darlings Hopewell took to the Electric Factory's big kid stage (no lie, it's about a million feet off the ground, and probably the eliciter of many a sore neck by the end of the show) first, and I prepared for a grand set. Celebrating the release of a new live album (which, obviously, you should buy), Hopewell once more proved how special they are live. They can, and do, veer off in a multitude of directions during the course of a set, from the noisy, wailing washes of sound akin to the heyday of the Spacemen 3 to quirks of Mercury Rev proportions. But the bombast, the intricacy, and of course that voice are all unmistakably Hopewellian. They masterfully blend subtle pop intricacies with huge waves of sonic violence, and very often the result is a thing of beauty. Everything is done with understated flourish, even at their most tempestuous and unhinged this is a complicated band. The inclusion of a pair of older favorites, "Trumpet For A Lung" and "Calcutta" in their (too brief) set made me quite happy, and they steamrolled through bouth with much vim and vigor. I never get tired of seeing this band up close and in person, because it's almost as though they're a different band everytime. These gentlemen make a racket I do so verily enjoy. I'll close with the concise remark of one of the punters during the Hopewell set, because he got it in one: "Shit yeah!".

And then, it was time. Time for...The Dandy Warhols. Perhaps it's just because I've been a fan for such a long time, but I always feel a wee bit giddy seeing them live. Having first seen them live in the height of their new success, those golden days of the late 90s ago, I can't help but feel close to them. After all, this band has played no small part in influencing my musical tastes. The Dandys, too, are touring on the back of a new record, theirs being a retrospective of the Capitol (Records) Years. I couldn't wait to hear what they had up their collective sleeve, and the set did not disappoint, my loves. Pulling from all over the place, they included such delightful nuggets as "The Last High", "Not If You Were The Last Junkie On Earth", "Genius", "We Used To Be Friends", and "Horse Pills". And that's just the tip of the iceberg. And the inclusion of my all-time favorite Dandys song, "Good Morning", in all its' shimmery, fuzzy, slowburning glory was enough to make me smile for days. While it was a great set, it seemed to fall ever so slightly short of my expectations. But hey, nobody's perfect all the time. It was still a hell of a show, and any chance to see The Dandys is unmissable.

In closing, I must say that it is imperative, essential, and mucho importante that you see both of these bands live. If you get the chance to see them share a stage, well, I suggest you take it. Otherwise, just go see 'em. They'll both shake your damned peaches and your goddam tree, too.

mp3: Trumpet For A Lung (live) (Hopewell from Hopewell Live: Volume 1)

mp3: Minnesoter (The Dandy Warhols from The Dandy Warhols Come Down)


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