In honor of Thirteen Tales’ thirteenth anniversary, the album was re-mastered for a special edition re-release via Capitol/UMe, complete with the usual buy-it-again belles and whistles (unreleased tracks, etc.). But best way to celebrate a record’s anniversary is by hearing the entire thing in a live setting, and so the Dandys took to the road to play Thirteen Tales — dubbed the 13/13/13 tour — across North America, and on June 15, they brought the show to a sold-out crowd at San Francisco’s Fillmore auditorium.
Fellow Portland natives THE SHIVAS opened the show with a Kula-Shaker-meetsBest-Coast blend of ‘60s garage rock, surf rock, and psychedelica. The enjoyable set boasted songs from their debut album, Whiteout! (April 2013, K Records), and the California pop ballad “Baby I Need You,” sung by drummer Kristen Leonard, stood out as the band’s signature tune.
After a brief intermission between bands, the Dandy Warhols took to the stage with Thirteen Tales’ opener “Godless” – and yes, they even had a trumpet player. The hard rocking “Nietszche” followed the mellow jam of “Mohammed;” bathed in strobe lights, the band looked incredibly suave playing this fan favorite. The vibe switched for “Country Leaver,” seeing the auburn-haired key-bass goddess Zia McCabe don a washboard.
When we first met the Dandy Warhols in the mid 90’s, they were one of the coolest-looking bands in rock. These days they’ve got wedding rings and families but still maintain the cool-as-fuck style that made them music press darlings. Frontman Courtney Taylor-Taylor has grown his hair long and wears it in a braid; guitarist Peter Holmstrom currently favors the dapper mountain man look with long hair, a thick beard and a fashionable vest (very Portland!); and DeBoer still rocks his signature “fathead” hair. While the days of McCabe taking her top off during shows are over, she has retained her infectious energy bringing the crowd to their feet.
As Thirteen Tales unfolded Saturday night, Songs like “Horse Pills” and “Get Off” were especially fun. The haunting guitar riff of “Sleep” translated surprisingly well to a live setting. And as predicted, breakout hit “Bohemian Like You” had the entire Fillmore audience jumping and screaming along. The Thirteen Tales set ended with the old-time country religion of “the Gospel.”
Jumping into their remaining catalogue, Taylor-Taylor gave us a solo rendition of “Everyday Should Be A Holiday,” encouraging the crowd to provide vocals on the iconic chorus. The band rejoined him for the 1998 single “Good Morning,” and on “Well They’re Gone,” a track from 2012’s The Machine, McCabe found herself on melodica and Holmstrom took a violin bow to his guitar strings. The extended jam of “Holding Me Up” (from 2005’s Odditorium or Warlords of Mars) led to a brief call for fan requests, and an appropriately-named audience member called Tony asked for “(Tony This Song Is Called) Lou Weed” from 1995’s Dandys Rule Ok. It was followed by the 2003 single “You Were the Last High” and 1995 single “Ride.”
The band closed their nearly two-hour set with a wild rendition of 1998’s “Boys Better.” After the Boy Dandies leave the stage, McCabe stayed behind to profess her love for San Francisco. “We used to drive down [from Portland] on a Wednesday just to play a house show,” she told the crowd us before launching into an a cappella cover of Janis Joplin’s city staple, “Mercedes Benz.” It made for a very sweet end to an intense rock show.
Kayley Kravitz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org; follow her on twitter @britpopgirl.