Live Review

Nice and Easy: The Lemonheads at the Galaxy Concert Theatre, Santa Ana, Saturday, Nov. 18

Too bad there's already a Best of the Lemonheads album on the shelves, and too badder still that it was compiled by Atlantic Records and not lead Lemonhead, Evan Dando: tonight's set would have made an epic greatest hits tracklist. Tunes from Come on Feel lay like cozy bed buddies with favorites off It's a Shame About Ray("Turnpike Down," "Alison's Starting to Happen," "Rudderless") and Car Button Cloth("If I Could Talk I'd Tell You"), saving just enough room for new numbers like "Become the Enemy." That it all fit together so well—and without too many problems—was a bit surprising, given that this night was Dando's kick-off on a national tour supporting the first-in-almost-a-decade album The Lemonheads, and also that the new album, depending on who you ask, is either a pretty strong comeback album for the Lemonheads—or a pretty decent tribute to its frequent guest star, J. Mascis. With Mascis (and guitar) absent, Dando's new stuff came off a little softer, slipping away from Rock-with-a-capital-R back down toward a more comfortable pop sound, which is to say it sounded more like the old stuff—nice and easy, like listening to the best Lemonheads mixtape ever. And yet, even with the band in good form, and the audience alarmingly polite and respectful, there was one person who appeared anxious for the show to be over: the onstage security guard, who kept stepping in front of the bass player to check the set list. Maybe there was a time constraint; maybe he's just a weirdo. But next time? It would help to be a tad more discreet.

 
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