Wednesday, December 05, 2007

The Lemonheads at the House of Blues Anaheim

I was dismayed last year when The Lemonheads were unable to play the Detroit Bar prior to their slot at Coachella. The Lemonheads made some of my favorite albums in '90s with "It's A Shame About Ray", "Come On Feel The Lemonheads", and "Car Button Cloth". After a single solo album, Evan Dando brought back the Lemonheads moniker and assembled an All Star rhythm section to support him.

The New Rivals

I was not surprised to see The New Rivals list their influences as anything FAT in reference to the NOFX run record label Fat Wreck Chords. The New Rivals hail from New York and sounded like a New Yorker version of one of the first Fat Wreck Records bands Face To Face. Josh Hudson (Guitars) proudly wore his Lagwagon t-shirt as he cranked on his Gibson Les Paul Goldtop. Toby Bevis (Vocals) paced the stage as the band blasted into their melodic power chord fueled punk songs. I am sure the guys from The New Rivals were excited to see half of the Descendents perform every night. It reminded me I need to see more punk shows.


Racoon was a sharp contrast to The New Rivals. Racoon is more of a power pop vibe. Racoon hails from Holland as Bart van der Weide (Vocals) reminded the crowd throughout the night as an ongoing joke. Dennis Huige (Guitars) alternated between his acoustic guitar and a custom Fender Telecaster for some overdriven tones. They played heartfelt songs that registered lower on the decibel meter. One of their songs "Love You More" was a huge hit in Holland and they have gone platinum in their home country. Racoon's latest release is entitled "Another Day" released on [PIAS] recordings.

The Lemonheads

The Lemonheads were one of my many favorite bands from the college years. I thought Evan did a great job by a few months ago opening for the Jesus and Mary Chain here. Evan has teamed up with Karl Alvarez(Bass) and Bill Stevenson(Drums) who are the rhythm section from the almighty Descendents. As the curtains were drawn, Evan started the jangle jem of "Down About It" from the 1993 classic"Come On And Feel The Lemonheads". Evan was playing his white Gibson SG and plugged into a Fender Bassman Amp along with a Vox AC30. I instantly remembered the tightness of the rhythm section of Bill and Karl as they framed the song nicely with their drums and bass assault. The latest self titled Lemonheads album has become more accessible after repeated listens and the new songs sounded great live. It is as if the Descendents were fronted by Evan Dando. "It's A Shame About Ray" elicited the largest response from the crowd as Karl and Bill would occasionally add background vocals to the song. Evan pulled out the capo to attach to the 3rd fret for a wistful version of "My Drug Buddy". Karl and Bill exited for a few songs as Evan did a mini acoustic set near the end of the show. "Style", "The Outdoor Type" and "Rudderless" rounded out some the older tunes in their catalog as the night ended too quickly.

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