Posted December 27, 2014 by Allison Keeney in Show Reviews

The Dandy Warhols // 12-20-14 // Crystal Ballroom

20141220DandyWarholsWhile the Atmospheric River (aka The Pineapple Express) flowed through PDX on Saturday night, the Crystal Ballroom warmed up to welcome Dandy Warhols’ fans to their third annual all-ages holiday shindig. The theme for this year’s show was Pagan Christmas.

To invoke the appropriate mood, the Dandy Warhols dressed in shiny-gold, ceremonial robes to a stage setting of Christmas lights, fake ferns, trees, rocks and a massive Mayan-esque ruin.

The long time hometown heroes started off their set with some of their older psychedelic songs including, “Wasp in the Lotus” from their Earth to the Dandy Warhols (2008) followed by “Ride” from Dandys Rule OK (1995) and “Be In” from The Dandy Warhols Come Down (2009).

The band– who have been making music together since 1995– have a large library to play from, so it was nice (especially for die hard fans) to hear some older tunes right out of the gate. After a few songs, amiable front man Courtney Taylor-Taylor, sporting long braids, greeted the crowd with:

Hello and merry f*cking Christmas, the most stressful time of year.

Zia McCabe, the band’s multi-talented, infectious leading lady spoke to the crowd a few times, but it was clear that playing music (not small talk) was what the Dandys came to do. Small talk with fans was done earlier in the week when the band (including drummer, Brent DeBoer, recognized by his big hair, and sterling lead guitarist, Peter Holmström) and McMenamins teamed up to host an elegant night of revelry out at Edgefield, where guests were treated to dinner and a show, with wines chosen by Taylor-Taylor, followed by a silent film with a live score performed by the entire band.

The Crystal’s springboard floors began to bounce (aka the crowd started to dance) when the band plunged into playing some of their fan favorites, including “A Long Time Ago We Used to be Friends,” “Not If You Were The Last Junkie On Earth,” “Horse Pills,” and their two biggest hits, “Bohemian Like You” and “Godless,” both from Thirteen Tales from Urban Bohemian (2000), which many consider to be their breakthrough album. Sprinkled in with that familiar stretch of songs was a new, unreleased song called “All The Girls in London,” which leads one to believe there may be a new album on the horizon.

Strobing, colorful lights accompanied each song while a soft red glow illuminated the tribal statue on stage creating a trippy-yet-beautiful backdrop that paired perfectly with the band’s beloved creative and psychedelic sounds. At times they roared, feedbacked and dense; a few times they wandered into Wilco country with sweet, rhythmic, anthemic jams.

And in the crowd, a red-eyed, six foot furry fox roamed the ballroom, conversing with an alligator-headed mate.

What would a Dandy Warhols Christmas show be without their catchy, pop-rock version of “Little Drummer Boy”, which was ironically the first video they ever released in 1994. See here:

If the two-hour-plus set of new and old tunes didn’t leave the the crowd feeling warm and fuzzy on the inside, then one could at least feel good that $1 from from each ticket sold went to help Ethos Music Center, a music-based community education organization. In the holiday spirit, each year of this tradition the group has chosen a different deserving recipient.

Allison Keeney



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