Published on January 3rd, 2011 | by Alicia0
The Dandy Warhols Rock San Francisco’s Regency Ballroom
The Dandy Warhols rocked out at San Francisco’s Regency Ballroom on December 11, 2010, in support of their album The Capitol Years 1995 – 2007, a best-of collection of the music they made while with Capitol Records (their 2008 album …Earth to The Dandy Warhols… was issued independently). The second-to-last show of their tour, the tour started in Europe in July and ends in their hometown of Portland. The band played like they have this concert thing down.
The show opened with the fantastically psychedelic “Nietzsche,” with the band mysteriously obscured in a haze of fog and dim stage lights, bringing out urge to do some drugs, man. To be sure, the smell of pot was present throughout the concert. The song, almost 6 minutes long, gave the audience a chance to study the band and the stage. Somewhat curiously, the band members were lined up evenly in a row, with the sexy and energetic Zia McCabe sporting a becoming metallic headband that caught the stage lights. McCabe frequently jumped up and down and danced to the music, injecting some much needed energy into the band members. No longer confined to the tambourine as in the Dandy’s early days, McCabe also plays keyboards and synthesizers. Next to her was drummer and backup vocalist Brent De Boer, who as far as I could observe did not interact with the crowd at any point in the show. Playing next to him was the tall and strapping lead singer Courtney Taylor-Taylor, followed by guitarist Peter Holmström, who seemed perfectly content to have his face hidden in the shadows of his captain’s hat for the show’s entirety.
The Dandy Warhols had a great stage, with Chinese lanterns of various sizes hanging from the ceiling at various lengths delivering the light show, alternately lighting up as appropriate to compliment the songs. The spotlight was typically centered on Taylor-Taylor. A huge Dandy Warhols tapestry provided the backdrop.
With “Nietzsche” receiving a hearty round of cheers and applause from the crowd, the band switched gears to play two of their hits, “We Used to Be Friends” and “Not If You Were The Last Junkie On Earth,” rousing the crowd after the dreamy opening number. That pretty much summed up the concert’s formula: The Dandys playing their catchy, upbeat tunes, interspersed with their far more stirring and affective psychedelic tracks, such a mesmerizing performance of “(You Come In) Burned,” which Taylor-Taylor knocked out of the park with his vocal-accompanying stand-up drum playing. Sure, after a while a lot of their upbeat songs started sounding the same with slight variations, but they’ve found a good formula, dammit.
About halfway through the show, Taylor-Taylor gave a shout out to San Francisco resident Joel Gion, tambourine player for the Brian Jonestown Massacre, inviting him to join them on stage to play their next number. After the infamous falling out between The Dandy Warhols and Brian Jonestown Massacre, chronicled in the documentary “Dig!,” Gion has remained friendly with the Dandys. With no movement from the crowd, Taylor-Taylor expressed his disappointment in Gion’s absence and the show went on.
The show not sold out, the crowd largely consisted of hardcore Dandy fans. What concert is complete without the biggest fan of all, sporting a tie-dyed shirt and fro of curls, who sang along to every song and enthusiastically waved his arms and gestured with his hands to the air, in sync with the music. Some fans just couldn’t help but giggle at his unabashed excitement. At one point the uber fan yelled, “We love you!,” when Courtney-Courtney paused while talking to the crowd, which garnered some loud cheers from the crowd.
One of the band’s last songs was the Christmas classic “Little Drummer Boy,” complete with accompanying green and red stage lights, which had a questionable coolness factor. McCabe explained it is a Dandy tradition to play the song at Christmastime, so I guess that’s okay.
While the band may have been a bit low energy, with the exception of McCabe (who, incidentally, had her fair share of male admirers longingly shouting out her name throughout the show), the Dandys played a nonstop two-hour show of their best songs through the years, punctuated with some funny commentary from Taylor-Taylor and McCabe. For $27 at the door, not a bad deal at all. Just don’t expect an encore; the Dandy Warhols don’t have time for that.