The Dandy Warhols rock Royale

A review of The Dandy Warhols at Royale on June 1, 2012

, Contributing Writer

The Dandy Warhols are a band valiantly battling the obstacle that all artists ultimately face: time. And with their show at Boston’s Royale Nightclub last Friday, this battle took on multiple meanings. Yet, The Dandy Warhols certainly have the experience and know-how put on a quality show through adversity.

Originally forming in 1994, The Dandy Warhols were an alternative rock group  that blossomed in popularity during the early 2000’s alongside The Hives and The Strokes. Best known for their singles “Bohemian Like You” and “We Used to Be Friends”, the band has since faded a bit from the limelight. However, with the recent release of their new album This Machine, the band took to the road with the adversity of trying to stay relevant in this era of dubstep and newer indie acts.

Another battle the band faced with this particular gig was the timing of it. With the doors opening at 6:00, instead of the normal 7:00 or 8:00, and the show being quickly followed by a disco dance hall event, The Dandy Warhols really did not have an ideal slot to showcase their talents. Yet, the band really managed to work with what they had in the purest sense.

One thing that was particularly impressive was their seamless transitions. Mixing a number of tracks from a multitude of their releases over the years, there did not seem to be a particular order to their setlist and it wasn’t obvious in the sound that they were ever shifting from old material to new. Some of the newer songs such as “Sad Vacation” and “Enjoy Yourself” fit right in with typical fan favorites like “Get Off”. This monotonic sound might have not have been really dynamic to some, but, considering the variety of the material, the fact that they were able to pull it off in this fashion was quite amazing.

Of course, the biggest pops came from the band’s well-known songs such as “Bohemian Like You”, “We Used to Be Friends” and “Not If You Were the Last Junkie on Earth”, but the audience seemed to welcome and get excited for the off-beat ventures that the band took as well. For example, there was a point in the set where keyboardist Zia McCabe, drummer Brent DeBoer and guitarist Peter Holmström all left the stage for a bit, leaving frontman Courtney Taylor-Taylor by his lonesome. Taylor-Taylor claimed they were taking a restroom break and took the opportunity to go solo for a bit and play a few of his personal own favorites including “Everyday Should Be A Holiday” and a cover of Kristin Hersh’s “Your Ghost”.

The move may have been risky but it proved to be a success with the band’s addoring fans, who seemed to be intimately knowledgeable with all of their material. The Dandy Warhols have a great kinship with their fans and it was evident throughout the show, most notably when the crowd happily sang happy birthday to keyboardist Zia McCabe even though her birthday wasn’t until the following day.

The Dandy Warhols might not do anything revolutionary in their act or their sound. However, the veteran poise that The Dandy Warhols displayed at Friday’s show in Boston demonstrated their experience and ability to keep it light and fun with their loyal fans, even when things did not go exactly according to plan.

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