July 21, 2013

That Was The Show That Was: Lemonheads | Boston Common | July 20

Lemonheads | Boston Common | July 20

While it is not the most rock 'n' roll sentiment, seeing Lemonheads perform last night was a tremendous pleasure primarily for personal reasons: it was the first time we were able to synthesize rock-show-going and family-having. The logistics of raising two kids and managing careers just hadn't allowed allowed us to attempt every resident at Clicky Clicky HQ attending a show together until last night, and being able to have the missus and the kids along while taking in a set by a Clicky Clicky All-Time Top Five act was even more enjoyable than we had hoped. When it was announced months ago that Lemonheads would play at a relatively family-friendly hour, we began to plot our attendance, and fortunately the kids enjoyed it and the weather held out. It was also great to be at a show with Clicky Clicky Managing Editor Michael Piantigini once more. We've been silent on the issue in the blog out of respect for his privacy, but many friends of Clicky Clicky know that Michael experienced a major health issue in the late spring, and so we hadn't seen a show with him in months. It is great to have him back on the scene.

Lemonheads held up their end of the bargain by delivering a dynamite set, dipping as far back as the '80s into a repertoire that is overflowing with should-be-hits. A highlight of the set was a three-song stint featuring founding member Ben Deily, with whom Clicky Clicky readers are well familiar due to our coverage of Mr. Deily's current combo Varsity Drag. Deily -- who left Lemonheads to focus on his studies at the turn of the '90s -- joined the quartet last night for "Don't Tell Yourself It's OK," "Uhhhh" and "Amazing Grace." He first reunited on stage with Lemonhead-in-chief Evan Dando more than three years ago, but we haven't any idea when the last time was that the two shared a stage in Boston, so this was pretty special. Lemonheads also played cracking versions of personal favorites including "Stove" and "Rudderless." Mr. Dando was focused and funny, his voice as solid as ever and more than able to convey and color the emotions guiding his brilliant songwriting. The complete set-list is below. This iteration of Lemonheads is abetted by guitar virtuoso and musical journeyman Chris Brokaw, who -- in addition to playing in Come and The New Year and Codeine and numerous other acts, in addition to being a talented songwriter -- is the best utility player in rock music. Your lead guitarist get eaten by a shark? Call Mr. Brokaw. Drummer explode? Call Brokaw. In the context of Lemonheads last evening, his leads and rhythm playing stayed true to the band's recordings, while also creatively accenting tunes with well-place salvos of harmonics or other flourishes. He even occasionally recreated melodic elements from the recordings that weren't guitar lines, such as when he approximated a missing vocal line from "It's About Time." Brokaw's playing is brilliant, and damn it if he doesn't seem to get younger-looking each year, too.

Lemonheads are in the midst of a short strand of tour dates, having playing Providence Friday night and with a planned date in Connecticut tonight. We've posted a few more dates, and also last night's set list (as well as a link to a photo of same from Deily's Instragram feed) below. Surprisingly, this is only the second time we've ever seen Lemonheads; we reviewed a December 2006 show -- when the band was touring its self-titled Vagrant record -- right here. As for the future, Fire Records is expected to reissue expanded versions of the first three Lemonheads records later this year, and sessions for a new Lemonheads record -- a record that would include input from Deily and Juliana Hatfield, as we reported here -- were begun with Ryan Adams in 2012.

Lemonheads: Internerds | Facebook | YouTube

SET LIST: [Instagram]

Down About It
Alison's Starting To Happen
Drug Buddy
Great Big No
Left For Dead
It's A Shame About Ray
Break Me
Dawn Can't Decide
Don't Tell Yourself It's OK (with Deily)
Uhhh (with Deily) [video]
Amazing Grace (with Deily)
Outdoor Type
Hannah + Gabbi
It's About Time
Rudderless [video]
Into Your Arms


07.21.13 -- Hamden, CT -- Spaceland Ballroom
07.23.13 -- Asbury Park, NJ -- The Wonder Bar
07.24.13 -- Brooklyn, NY -- Knitting Factory
07.26.13 -- Edgartown, MA -- Flatbread Pizza Co.

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