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Thursday, May 17, 2012

Live Review, 5/16/12: The Dandy Warhols Shut Up and Play the Hits at the Fillmore

Posted By on Thu, May 17, 2012 at 9:18 AM

The Dandy Warhols at the Fillmore last night.
  • The Dandy Warhols at the Fillmore last night.
The Dandy Warhols
Sleepy Sun
Wednesday, May 16, 2012
The Fillmore

Better than:
Smelling like teen spirit.

At last night's sold-out show at the Fillmore, the Dandy Warhols' frontman Courtney Taylor-Taylor couldn't resist wearing his black Brian Jonestown Massacre parody T-shirt. The bands, forever tied by the 2004 documentary Dig!, played the Fillmore within a week of one another and we couldn't resist comparing the shows. (Read my review of The Brian Jonestown Massacre.)

After 18 years together and only one lineup change (drummer Brent DeBoer joining in 1998), Taylor-Taylor's claim of being "the most well-adjusted band in America" seems to hold true. Last night, the Dandys tightly gathered on stage in front a massive fabric backdrop with the band's name and under a strobe, making it feel like a 1990s prom. They delivered a two-hour set packed with fan favorites -- and seemed to have fun doing it, too.

Touring for its eighth album, This Machine, few in the predominantly over-30 crowd knew any songs outside the Dandys' best-loved and early albums ... The Dandy Warhols Come Down (1997) and Thirteen Tales from Urban Bohemia (2000). The band has maintained its late-'90s sound, a gift and a curse when compared to the ever-evolving Brian Jonestown Massacre, which is now on tour for its experimental and instrumental new album, Aufheben.

The first stop in a long, national tour, Taylor-Taylor's vocals already sounded tired and strained, but he made it work, channeling his inner Iggy Pop, snarling as he sang, and telling stories between songs or during keyboardist Zia McCabe's "potty breaks."

"You know we started playing S.F. in '94-95 at house parties in the Mission," Taylor-Taylor said. "We liked playing S.F. so much, it took us three years to get up to Seattle."


Along with the Brian Jonestown Massacre, who formed in San Francisco in 1990, Portland's the Dandy Warhols helped revive the San Francisco music scene, adding to it elements of grunge, goth, and a 1960s London sound. It's heard in the Dandys' greatest hits, all performed last night, including "Bohemian Like You," "We Used to be Friends," "Godless," "Mohammed," "Horse Pills," and "Get Off."

No surprises in this set. As expected, the Dandys left the mischief to the Brian Jonestown Massacre and played it safe. 

Critic's Notebook

Overheard: "Am I at a Butthole Surfers' concert?"

Random detail: Popscene's Aaron Axelsen (@AaronAxelsen) revealed on Twitter that the Dandy Warhols at the Cat Club was the first band ever booked at this now-legendary weekly party.

See also:

*Brian Jonestown Massacre Returns to the Fillmore, Attitude and All

Follow us on Twitter @SFAllShookDown, follow Whitney Phaneuf @Whitney_writer, and like us at
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