TVD Live Shots: The Dandy Warhols at the Independent, 4/23

I remember the first time I heard the Dandy Warhols back in 1997. A promo rep from Capitol Records came into the record store I was working at with a stack of promo CDs. There was a black and white advance copy of The Dandy Warhols Come Down piled in between Starsailor and a few other bands that were supposed to be break out artists around that same time. I remember the Dandy Warhols for two reasons—one, the rep didn’t say anything about the band (which usually meant no hype) and two, it was due to be released on July 15, my birthday.

I remember putting this record on the overhead sound system in the store and hearing “Be In” for the first time blasting straight into “Boys Better” and I was hooked. It was pretty surprising to hear “shoegaze ” happening in the late ’90s, let alone “pop shoegaze,” as I call it.

It was as if ELO had a bastard child with Sonic Youth and a fetish for pop culture icons while deciding to kick the current Dave Mathews Band obsessed music scene right in the nuts. This would quickly become my favorite album of the entire decade and begin my 17 year love affair with the band—and to this day I still celebrate the Dandy’s entire catalog.

Fast forward to 2014 and here’s what you need to know: the Dandy Warhols are still going strong with all the original members, no attitudes, and a genuine love for playing live. They’ve even released their very first live album Thirteen Tales From Urban Bohemia Live At The Wonder—and it’s brilliant.

Finally the fans have the ability to take the show home with them from a band that does not tour nearly enough as we would all like them to. Thirteen Tales Live captures the magic of a band that I think is better than any shoegazer act to come before them. I would even go as far as to say their live show has surpassed even Sonic Youth in their prime. It’s fucking mesmerizing what this band can do live.

This particular night in San Francisco, the Dandys were be playing at the Independent and the club wass jammed to the gills. It was the most people I have ever seen packed into this legendary venue and tickets sold out in minutes.

The setlist was a cornucopia of the Dandy’s best work including a stellar opening choice with “Be In” and countless other classics such as “We Used to Be Friends,” “Boys Better,” “Godless,” “Horse Pills,” and of course “Bohemian Like You.” But, my absolute favorite song of the night was “Sad Vacation” from the terribly underrated 2012 release, This Machine.

Bottom line, the band continues to tour and celebrate the release of their brilliant live record. In the meantime check out a fantastic interview we did with eccentric frontman and all around super cool guy Courtney Taylor-Taylor a few years ago.

Also check out hi-res shots from the show in the gallery.

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