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No Shame in Missing Lyrics

A Parallel Planets piece by Mayee Gonzales

Parallel Planets presents The Lemonheads
in No Shame in Missing Lyrics
Story, Photos, and Video by Mayee Gonzales

Mentioned: torn pants, beer and synced sing-alongs, and an impromptu set list

* * *

“I like the vibe in here,” uttered Evan Dando while tuning his guitar in the middle of what seemed like a thirty-song set.

Dressed in a brown shirt, a cut-off denim vest and torn pants, The Lemonheads’ frontman was standing before hundreds of Filipino fans whose memory of the '90s consist of the band’s hits and Evan’s straight golden locks. Just right after equally impressive sets from local acts Ang Bandang Shirley, Ciudad, and The Itchyworms, the tall and mischievous Dando kept his guitar in hand for their show in Whitespace, Makati.

The night's front acts Ang Bandang Shirley, Ciudad, and The Itchyworms.

Quite buzzed but all the while pleasant to his audience, Evan together with the rest of The Lemonheads’ current line-up – Chris Brokaw on guitars,  Farley Glavin on bass and Todd Philips on drums – flew fresh from Hong Kong for their first concert in the Philippines.

Opening with “Hospital,” The Lemonheads’ played non-stop and only paused for a few remarks and occasional sips of water. Carelessly but still brilliantly singing and playing his guitar, Evan’s presence onstage felt like a personal show in one of your closest friend's backyard, beer and synced sing-alongs included.

The band’s set included a variety of songs from their albums “It’s A Shame About Ray” and “Come on Feel the Lemonheads” along with selected covers like Tenderfoot, New Mexico and Luka, a Suzanne Vega original which made it to The Lemonheads’ first record “Lick.” Shifting from full-band to acoustic, Evan poised all the confidence onstage in spite of missing lyrics and deliberately straying away from their set list.

“Let’s get the band in here? Okay? Okay” Evan calls after putting his acoustic guitar down and picking up a black Les Paul. The fans were going crazy during this time, on to the amazement of having the towering man play in front of them. It was a show that should’ve took place in the 90s, back when people exchanged tapes and kept Walkmans. But nobody was complaining, especially every time Evan acknowledged the collective screaming, singing, and jumping by playing more songs loud and unbothered. Shifting from fast to slow then slow to fast, Evan took the stage like he has never had it before.

Lights dimmed and intensity at rest, Evan asked the crowd for requests at the midst of his second acoustic set. Though nobody’s suggestion made it to his impromptu set list, an encore was enough to make the night last longer. Finally, The Lemonheads took the stage and gave the Manila audience a sweeter taste of their music. It may be decades before they visit the Philippine shores again but there's definitely no shame in that.

Check out our video of The Lemonheads performing If I Could Talk I'll Tell You and Dawn Can't Decide live at Whitespace, Makati. Our most special thanks to Joey Dizon and Jason Caballa of Pinoytuner for bringing The Lemonheads in Manila.


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