at Academy 2, Manchester
16th October 2006
Review by Kate Bradbury from Manchester Evening News
It was a far cry from the June evening in 1994 when Evan Dando walked on stage in a cream suit and stole my heart with Big Gay Heart.
But, as trips down memory lane go, this was by far the best. Indeed, it seemed as much a nostalgic high for Evan as it did the crowd of former grunge kids taking time out of the working week to sing along to It’s a Shame about Ray and other classics.
Walking on and humbly announcing ‘hi’, wearing a black and white striped T-shirt that looked as much a relic of the pre-Brit Pop era as he did, he wasted no time and launched into Down About It.
From there the night just got better and better. With just a smattering of new hits including Baby’s Home and Black Gown he made plenty of time for what we’d come to hear.
Bit Part, Confetti, Alison’s Starting to Happen, The Great Big No, Brass Buttons and Hate Your Friends were just some of the classics he played and it didn’t take long before the crowd of thirty-somethings had formed an unusual-looking mosh pit.
New bandmates Devon Ashley (drums) and Vess Ruhtenberg (bass) did a great job of re-creating the distinctive Lemonheads sound but who cares about them? Leaving stage for a while they gave us the chance to relish in pure, unadulterated Evan Dando.
Once alone he revelled in his former teenage pin-up status and launched into gorgeous acoustic renditions of Buddy, Being Around, and the enchanting Favourite T.
There was no time for banter with the crowd. His bashful grin beneath his trademark floppy hair told us all we needed to know. It was good to see us; it was great to see him.