Dandy Warhols Draw a Diverse Crowd of Longtime Fans
By DONNA BALANCIA
The Dandy Warhols brought some holiday cheer, some fables and great music to a 2-nite stint at the Teragram Ballroom with the band Pow! It’s been a while since catching up with the Warhols but the the look, the sound and the fans have remained unchanged for almost 20 years.
The Warhols and Commercial Success
It’s not easy for an alternative band to keep it together after reaching such success as The Dandy Warhols have achieved. They seem humble enough and still vulnerable as they chat easily with the crowd, revealing foibles at soundcheck and rifling through their impressive setlist. An LA crowd was happy to welcome the Portland band on its annual holiday visit.
Courtney Taylor-Taylor, Peter Holmstrom, Zia McCabe and Brent DeBoer are a pretty smart group of musicians, and they’re survivors. They have managed to make it in an increasingly difficult profession, that of being a musician, something that was all you had to concentrate on in the olden days. Today musicians have to merchandise, promote and make deals to get their names out there and to sell music, which was the original concept.
Any thought of The Dandy Warhols being a sellout band for seizing commercial opportunities should be thrown out the window in these days where music is stolen by people too young to know that there was once a day when you paid for a recording.
Merchandising aside, it’s few and far between that bands find success purely by hitting the road and Tweeting about themselves. And with “Bohemian Like You,” the Dandys did what any smart music group would do with an amazing tune that shoulda woulda coulda. They licensed the crap out of it.
“Bohemian Like You” has been in more movies than some of us have even seen in the last five years. The song is catchy and when it was released in 2000 it was — and remains — a new alternative classic. It’s off the third album, Thirteen Tales from Urban Bohemia. “Bohemian Like You” has been in Clockstoppers, Delirious, Igby Goes Down, Foolproof, Man of the Year, Summer Catch and Man of the Year. It’s also been on millennial TV favorites like Numb3rs, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Six Feet Under, as well as the song from Test Drive Le Mans by PlayStation. The TV commercials include Ford and Vodaphone in the U.S.
The Dandy Warhols are releasing their next album some time next year, according to Taylor-Taylor who at the Teragram was about as gregarious as he can be. He even included a “Dandy legend” in illustrating how challenging it can be on the road. The audience enjoyed his story about a helpful cowboy type — one who chattered on non-stop, however — who came to the rescue of the band when their van broke down in Wyoming. Their lives are never boring, apparently. The fans on hand, who ranged in age from 14 to 60, ate it up.
San Francisco-Based Pow! Brings a Blend of Tech and Art
As for the opener, Pow!, this is a band that has slowly been building a fan base around California. They’re from San Francisco, where tech meets art and there’s certainly no shortage of either in their act. Pow! puts the fun back in music and took the Teragram Ballroom crowd by surprise with their futuristic and accomplished act.
Pow! is powered by human dynamo Byron Blum and the blonde Betty Boop-style Melissa Blue, and they perform songs like “Here Comes the Spade,” “Switchboard Scientist,” and “Sparks From a Shadow” with technological flair. Guitars grating against amps and the manhandling of switchers and stomp pedals are the name of the game with Pow! We look forward to many years to come with this innovative and fun band.
Dandy Warhols Setlist:
I Love You
The Last High