|Evan Dando of The Lemonheads. (All Cat Rose photos)
Slacker rock is alive and well.
Not much movement on stage this night, but the lyrics hit just as hard as they ever have once The Lemonheads and opener Tommy Stinson strapped on their guitars at the Tractor Tavern in Seattle's Ballard neighborhood on May 17.
We hadn't seen Evan Dando perform since The Lemonheads shared a stage with Soul Asylum at the Warfield in San Francisco in the early '90s. He was wearing a down jacket while playing that night, but only a hoodie this time 'round. The shoulder-length scraggly hair and hunched stance remain alongside his distinct vocals that meld the entire package together.
"My So-Called Life" popped into our heads and we kept scouring the room to see if Jordan Catalano was wedged within the crowd. Someone we met said that Juliana Hatfield's voice was missed on "Drug Buddy," so the MSCL connection was somewhat on target, since she appeared in one episode.
The crowd -- along with photographer Cat Rose -- was fully on board as they sang along to "Rudderless" and "Turnpike Down," along with copious other gems.
At one point, three middle-agers were seemingly reliving their college dorm-room days by pogoging in unison and smiling at each other during one of the songs. Count that as the guys' exercise for the day, they really worked it hard.
Hearing "Stove" brought Andy back to the day he purchased "Lovey" on cassette at Tower Records -- along with Goo Goo Dolls "Hold Me Up" -- in 1990 and was soon blasting those gems in his room.
As for Stinson, he belted out songs from his non-Replacements catalogue and was sarcasm supreme during and in between his tunes. At one point, he wondered why the fuck someone tossed a paper plate at him, and joked with Cat, asking her what she was doing while shooting a close-up of him during a song. It became part of the lyrics in a way and Stinson and people in the crowd enjoyed the moment. Our own Cat became part of the show. Later, he strolled over toward Cat and flashed her a goofy smile.