The Dandy Warhols are currently on tour celebrating the 25th anniversary of the band’s existence. I didn’t discover them until 1997—some Columbia reps used to come into Danny’s when I DJed there and turned me onto their second album, Come Down, months before it came out—and while I immediately fell in love with the group I would have never thought they’d last longer than a few years. Their eventual first hit off that album was “Not If You Were The Last Junkie On Earth” and the band quickly established their image as a hedonistic collective just as focused on having a good time as they were on writing subversive hooks that got the indie kids dancing. As time went on and other hits surfaced, including the monster “Bohemian Like You, and the sneaky “We Used to Be Friends,” it was obvious the band could focus their songwriting chops with laser precision when they wanted to.
What I think everyone underestimated about The Dandy Warhols, myself initially included, was that the band is not made up of trend-chasers, but instead comprises rock and/or roll lifers. They live and breathe their craft, and have steadily released ten albums (not counting various alternate versions, demo collections, and live recordings) over the last 25 years since their debut, Dandys Rule OK. That’s a pretty decent steady clip for a band who initially came across as being into music for the sex, drugs, and kick-ass hipster clothes.
Through the years lead songwriter Courtney Taylor-Taylor and the group have managed to balance his deft approach to pop hooks with his more natural inclination to allow sounds to swell and form into long psychedelic jams. This results in a catalog with depth and breadth that appeals to both longtime and brand new fans. You can jump into virtually any segment of the band’s history and you’ll come out satisfied.
Earlier this year the band released album number ten, Why You So Crazy, yet another solid collection of the band’s trademark mixture of pop and heady psych. So it would be one thing if this 25th anniversary tour was in service of buoying a band dependent on past accomplishments, but it’s that rare situation where the group is just as creative and vibrant as they were at the beginning of their shared history.
The Dandy Warhols play The Metro on Saturday, May 11 and tickets are still available. Based on the setlist I’ve seen from earlier stops on the tour, the band is delivering monster shows, so you don’t wanna miss it.