The Dandy Warhols came back to NYC last week, and played 2 sold out shows at The Music Hall of Williamsburg. If you have never caught them live, you are depriving yourself of an existential experience. The Dandy Warhols have lost none of their edge or relevance. The show that I saw was thrilling from start to finish.
Has it really been 20 years since they burst on the scene with huge hit songs like ‘Holiday’, ‘Not If You Were the Last Junkie’, ‘We Used to be Friends’, ‘Bohemian Like You’, ‘Godless’, and ‘You Were The Last High’ to mention just a few of their ubiquitous hits?
Their songs are still everywhere. You hear them in movies, TV shows, and commercials. They starred in one of the coolest real time, reality documentaries of all time, ‘Dig’ about the friendship, mutual attempts to make it in the music business, and subsequent falling out between them and The Brian Jonestown Massacre. If you’ve never seen this flick, you really want to.
They have done very well these years for what is essentially an underground, psychedelic rock band.
So, fast-forward 20 years and The Dandy Warhols have never left. They tour the world, where they are way more popular everywhere else than they are here at home in the USA. Sure, they sell out the 400 tickets at the cozy and beautiful Music Hall of Williamsburg, but in Europe, they sell out Madison Square Garden sized arenas. At their excellent show, they do a lot of the old ones, a few of the new ones, and they do them all extremely well. The strategic mix of old and new made the 2 plus hours seem fast and exciting. And they are still true to their original vision. Instead of pandering to what they think people want, they just do what they have always done best, and that is real psychedelic music. They pair their mind blowing sound with a spectacular light show, and dramatic pacing with the totally accessible songs that helped to make them such an enduring world wide institution.
The show was one of the most satisfying concerts in all aspects that I’ve seen in a while.
It must be mentioned, though, that through either the use of psychedelics, healthy living, or their own picture of Dorian Gray in the attic, The Dandy Warhols look and act like they are the Benjamin Buttons of rock; they seem to be aging in reverse.
Courtney Taylor-Taylor and Zia McCabe look like they have not aged a day. I hope by being at the show, some of it rubbed off on me. Next time they come around, put it on your list. Meanwhile, check out ‘Dig!’
Photos courtesy of The Dandy Warhols