This was far from my first time at this particular rodeo, friends. A year and a half after my last Dandy Warhols show, I found myself at the 9:30 Club, the site of my very first Dandy Warhols show (15 years ago, if anyone other than me is counting). And the show was a prime example of that old adage about just how the more things change, the more they stay the same. Which, mind you, in the case of the Dandys, is a damn fine thing indeed.
Though celebrating the release of latest release This Machine, the set the Dandys shared with us DC folks was full of oldies and goodies. I'm not ashamed to admit that I squealed with glee as soon as those swirling, opening notes of "Be-In" started pouring out of the Portlandian four, all epic hedonistic psych drone and unmerciful sonic splendor. The delirium of the instrumentation was as impeccably mussed as always, and thought Courtney Taylor-Taylor's voice initially sounded a little like he'd had a pretty late night the night before, by the end of the song all was as it should be.
It was non-stop for two hours, friends. From "We Used to Be Friends" to "Shakin'" (YES) to "Not If You Were The Last Junkie on Earth" the Dandys held nothing back. The high points were too numerous to mention, though I swooned a bit when my absolute favorite of all favorite Dandys songs made its way into the set, that being the honeyed, slow-motion droning drawl of "Good Morning." It was the sixth song in the set, and had they stopped right there and then I would have been sated. But no, the good times kept right on rolling. "The Last High?" Check. "Sad Vacation?" Check. "Solid?" Checkmate.
The crowd swelled to ridiculous size, impressive for a Monday night DC show, and tended to explode with raucous joy when songs like "Bohemian Like You" and "Get Off" made an appearance. I was thrilled to hear "Godless," another of those full-tilt sexy slow burners the Dandys do so well. "Boys Better" showed up towards the end of the set, accompanied by a preponderance of strobes and those chunky, jangly riffs that are Dandy trademarks. As, too, is giving the crowd what they want. So when someone shouted for "Minnesoter," the band obliged. "Alright," Taylor-Taylor acquiesced when he was briefly left to his own devices onstage, "Let's do 'Minnesoter.'" And there was much rejoicing.
The set closed with "Country Leaver," a song that's seemed to be the closer of choice over the past couple years. "I hope when I see you that you're still likin' who I am," goes the song. And I'll tell y'all what. Looking at them on that there stage was like looking at them on that there stage 15 years ago, believe it or not. Sure, Courtney's hair was a lot shorter back then, and there was no Fathead behind the drum kit, but it was still as though the Dandys had stopped the clock. And yes, yes indeed. I sure do like who they are, always have and always will.
mp3: Sad Vacation (The Dandy Warhols from This Machine)
[photo by Megan Petty]