The Dandy Warhols at Gothic Theatre, 6/11/13
THE DANDY WARHOLS @ GOTHIC THEATRE | 6/11/12
When Peter Holmström put on his orange Telecaster and Zia McCabe strapped on a bass guitar rather than helming the Moog she plays most of the time, you knew what song was coming: "Bohemian Like You," of course, the band's biggest hit to date. By now you'd think the Dandys had played it into the ground, yet Courtney Taylor-Taylor put so much gusto into the vocals it was easy to get swept into the song, and that spirit of rediscovery and renewal coursed through the entire show.
- Review: The Dandy Warhols at the Gothic Theatre, 6/12/12
- The Dandy Warhols' Peter Holmstrom on going from major to indie
- The Dandy Warhols' Courtney Taylor-Taylor wanders through celebreality
When the Dandys first took the stage, they went right to playing their now-classic album Thirteen Tales of Urban Bohemia in its entirety. Holmström created that expansive and moody intro line of "Godless" with his ebow, holding the appropriate tones and letting the delay drag the sound along in the wake of each note. Hearing the songs from Thirteen Tales of Urban Bohemia back to back like this -- and in person rather than on an album -- gave you an appreciation for how well the band's music has aged.
The Dandys are masters of injecting pop songs with strong elements of the experimental, and they have a pronounced knack for making those tunes accessible without compromising the weird side of the songwriting. Holmström's penchant for using melodic drones and textured rhythms and atmospheres as leads, alongside Taylor-Taylor's more traditional rhythm guitar, created the usual, vibrant, dynamic contrast. Add in McCabe's creative modulation of low-end sounds and higher-register synth melodies, combined with DeBoer's drumming and accents, and what you have is ambitious pop music with enough room to breathe and experiment with the format and structure.
After a typically hypnotic and entrancing performance of "Good Morning," McCabe said something about how the band must have passed thirty marijuana dispensaries on the way to the Gothic. "Seventeen," Taylor-Taylor half-jokingly corrected, to which McCabe pointed out that the show didn't smell any more like marijuana than before it became legal in Colorado. "So it didn't really change anything," he sagely observed.
After "Well They're Gone," the Dandys wandered from the set list you could see on the stage if you were close enough. Taylor-Taylor consulted with McCabe on what should come next, and following the discovery that Holmström played different guitars on "You Were the Last High" and "We Used to Be Friends," Taylor-Taylor switched the initial order for consideration. Seeming to be in genuinely good spirits, the Dandys played both songs as a kind of treat for the audience and for themselves. McCabe then thanked the Shivas for coming on tour with them and told the audience to buy the band's album on the way out. "Follow their career right to the top," she said, "because that's where they're headed."
The Dandys' set ended with the crackling, yet quiet, moody and dark "Peter International Airport," which segued right into a rousing rendition of "Boys Better." After the rest of the band left the stage, McCabe stayed at her synths and struck a rhythm that sounded like her own take on what a hip-hop DJ might do in scratching a record between the low tones and higher frequency sounds. When she was done, she thanked the audience for dancing and noted how that that makes it so much better for the band. "We'll see you next year, we hope," McCabe concluded before heading off stage.