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31/10/2010 / Hackett

A Dandy Warhol-oween in Chicago

The stage was set and moments after the second song in the Portland-based trio’s set, it was clear the night was going to be a special one, not unlike every time they visit the Windy City.  After cranking out a crunching rendition of We Used to be Friends, flaxen-coifed frontman Corey Taylor-Taylor took a second to tie back his lengthy locks while declaring he was “done eating [his] hair”, to a chorus of chuckles from the costume-clad Chicago crowd.  He then looked out over his audience and, in the most coy manner possible, questioned: “Ready..?”

As with all of the Dandy Warhols shows I’ve seen, the energy took a similar arc.  Starts off straight and strong, with driving guitar riffs and pronounced choruses.  It then melts into long, psychadelic jams often quarterbacked by the always-lovely Zia McCabe on keyboard and sound effects before closing with rip-roaring versions of fan-favorites to send the faithful fans home with  smiles for miles.  The extended instrumental segments built up the anticipation so that when the first chords of Bohemian Like You were struck, the historic Vic Theatre was up for grabs. 

The set also included gems like The Last High, a song which Taylor co-penned with long-time Lemonheads frontman Evan Dando that ironically has Chicago roots.  Taylor explained: “This song is about a girl I used to date that was from Chicago.  She was 6’3″, and she would wear these heels, well, like Stevie Nicks-type boots, which made her like 6’7″.  I’m not a small man, but, damn.”  Towards the end of the night, the group completely tore through a hard-charging delivery of Boys Better (a personal favorite) which, to be honest, really completed the already stellar setlist for yours truly. 

One of the things I really dig about the Warhols is that they never do encores.  For the most part, encores are just posturing, and to me, the time the band spends off stage waiting for the (usually) inevitable applause to bring them back out is time better spent plying their trade for the crowd.  They played for a shade over two hours, and didn’t waste a second, as even when Zia needed to use the little girls’ room, Taylor stayed onstage and treated the crowd with a campfire-esque sing-along to Holiday.  

While I think it’s a bit sad that I attended this fine spectacle of rock by myself for lack of fans of the group in my immediate circle of friends, I must say it was nice not to have to strain my ears to hear the musings of a companion during a raucous jam or thrashing guitar solo.   That’s not to say none of you aren’t welcome to join me at my next rock ‘n roll outing…

Rock on.

-Hackett

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3 Comments

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  1. Zia / Nov 1 2010 13:24

    Thanks Hackett,
    It’s a ALWAYS a pleasure to rock Chicago and the magic of The Vic make it almost impossible to have a bad night and incredibly easy to rock for two hours.
    See ya next time!
    Zia

    Happy Warhol-oween. (I can’t believe we never thought to write it that way.)

    • Hackett / Nov 2 2010 17:29

      Zia,
      I’m honored that you took the time to read my thoughts on the show. The Vic is my favorite small venue, and you guys did it big-time justice. Thanks again, and I can’t wait for you to come back!
      -Hackett

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