Evan Dando and Juliana Hatfield played Maxwell's

The Evan Dando & Juliana Hatfield show rolled into Hoboken, New Jersey last night and played to an enthusiastic soldout crowd. Aly Spaltro a.k.a. Lady Lamb The Beekeeper opened up the night with poetic songs with strong vocals and guitar. She easily quieted down the crowd and had everybody’s full attention during her set which is not an easy thing to do when people don’t really know who you are and there’s a bar in the back with people getting their drink on. She recently won the folk artist of the year award for the Boston Music Awards and I’m sure we’ll be hearing more from her in the near future. The room eventually filled up and everybody moved forward to get a closer look the the night’s headliners. I guess if you don’t know, Evan Dando founded the band, The Lemonheads which was pretty big in the 90’s and put out a bunch of albums including “It’s a Shame About Ray” with catchy alt-rock songs and a cover of “Mrs. Robinson” which got them a lot of attention. The album is a near-perfect pop-rock album and I think one of the best that came out at that time when grunge was all the rage. After about a 6 year hiatus, Evan reformed the band with a new lineup in 2004 and continues to record and play shows. Juliana Hatfield played in a Boston indie band, Blake Babies and after they broke up in 1991 she went solo, recorded a bunch of great albums which produced songs like “my sister” and “spin the bottle.” With all the attention, she sort of became a huge role model to a lot of young girls at the time for her views on issues that concerned young women. What’s interesting is that both Evan and Juliana have performed on each others albums but never toured or performed together until recently. Needless to say, I was pretty psyched for this show. After a short break, Evan and Juliana hopped on stage with their acoustic guitars and sang, taking turns on lead vocals and backing each other up through out the night. A screen behind them was set up and showed videos of driving through city streets and highways which played while they performed. Evan and Juliana looked the same as I remembered them from the 90’s when Lemonheads cassettes played in my car nonstop and at a time when everybody had a crush on Juliana. Anyone remember that “universal heartbeat” video MTV used to play? Oh, yeah she’s still a dream and her voice still sounds super sweet. Evan was rocking long hair again and a scruffy look, sang with his smooth vocals and played all the songs we came out to hear. The set included solo stuff, lots of Lemonheads songs, three Blake Babies songs, a Teenage Fanclub cover and a Gram Parsons song, “$1000 wedding” which Evan performed on a covers album. My only beef was that there was no encore… I guess both of them didn’t feel like playing more at the end of the night (I heard Juliana telling Evan that he could do another if he liked, while putting away her guitar) so they just bolted off the stage. It was a fun night of songs that brought back a lot of great memories. Evan Dando and Juliana Hatfield are a perfect combination and I hope they play again together and come back soon.

all my life (Evan Dando)
butterflies (Juliana Hatfield)
bit part (Lemonheads)
brain damage (Blake Babies)
cells (Teenage Fanclub)
choose drugs (Juliana Hatfield)
down about it (Lemonheads)
what is wrong (Juliana Hatfield)
hospital (Lemonheads)
it’s about time (Lemonheads)
my darling (Juliana Hatfield)
paid to smile (Lemonheads)
rain (Blake Babies)
ride with me (Lemonheads)
it’s a shame about ray (Lemonheads)
somebody’s waiting for me (Juliana Hatfield)
so alone (Juliana Hatfield)
outdoor type (Lemonheads)
$1000 wedding (Gram Parsons)
waiting for heaven (Blake Babies)
drug buddy (Lemonheads)

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