I have seen the Dandy Warhols live every time they have come to whichever town I’m in, for the past 10 years. I don’t think there will ever come a time when I will pass on a Dandy Warhols show. Part of the reason is because their shows are always an intense psychedelic experience, and the other part of the reason is that I would quit any dream job in order to move to Portland to join the band. From what I can tell from the outside, Courtney, Peter, Zia, and Fathead (can I call him that?) live this great, very chill lifestyle where they roll up to their common home base/rehearsal space/recording studio/Warholesque Factory (called The Odditorium) sometime in the afternoon, crack a few drinks/light a few joints and get to work creating magical aural landscapes or fun, catchy pop songs. I picture these sessions looking something like Pink Floyd’s performance in Pompeii, only indoors.
The Dandies’ live shows are similar enough in vibe to one another that you always leave the shows satisfied, but there are subtle differences that hint at changing influences and styles. The first time I saw them at the Wiltern their set was very loose. Courtney went with his “Smoke it” style scratchy voice for much of the show, adding a new edge to older songs. When I saw them at the Gibson Amphitheater, the show was really psychedelic. They had a muddier mix (that’s probably the Gibson’s issue) and the band was backlit, allowing us to only see the shapes of each member. Some of the buzz from that show came from Silversun Pickups fans that had never heard of the Dandy Warhols, asking “WTF was that?” In the context of all of the Dandies shows I have seen, it was awesome, if that was my first impression of the Dandy Warhols, well then yes I’d be confused, but that confusion would certainly pique my interest.
Last Friday’s Dandy Warhols show at Club Nokia was excellent. It celebrated their recording career with Capitol Records which featured a lot of crowd favorites and showcased their growth from 3 chord stummers to dancey pop hits and back again. I’d love to have my old Dandies back, the ones that played in tiny bars in Providence, RI back in the year 2000, but if they’re going to continue with this whole “being successful” thing, I hope they return to a venue like Club Nokia because the superior sound and lighting systems really made the show feel very intimate. Come back and see us soon, Ok?