Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
April 16, 2024

COURTESY OF KATHERINE LOGAN The Dandy Warhols were in action at Rams Head Live on Sept. 27.

When I found out I’d won tickets to see The Dandy Warhols at Rams Head Live! on Sept. 27, I was excited for the show. I mean, what could be better than free concert tickets? Plus, as an avid fan of Veronica Mars (watch it on Netflix if you haven’t already), I went through a period of several months when their song “We Used to Be Friends,” the show’s theme, was stuck in my head.

I went in not knowing many of their other songs other than their hit “Bohemian Like You,” but, as someone with a general appreciation for live music, it didn’t really make a difference to me.

Sure, sure, they’d been around for a solid 22 years, but why would they still be touring if they didn’t simply love playing music? Oh, I wish I could say that seemed even the tiniest bit true after this performance.

My companion and I were two of the first people to arrive at the venue, so we managed to score a spot at the very front of the stage. Later, this meant that I could barely hear what he was saying (like Sterling Archer with his tinnitus), but at the moment it was pretty sweet.

By the time the opening band, Savoy Motel, came on, we were ready for some music. The crowd was still pretty thin; It was mostly the hardcore Dandy Warhols fans that were curious to see what the band had selected to play, but my friend and I were managing to blend in pretty well.

When Savoy Motel came out, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. The band had a certain quality reminiscent of the ‘70s, which seemed to be in stark contrast with The Dandy Warhols’s darker, grunge vibe. While I wasn’t necessarily inspired to look them up on Spotify after the show, they served their purpose of getting me in the zone for some lit music. It also didn’t hurt that my friend and I were enraptured by the lead singer Mimi Galbierz’s flowing blonde curls, badass boot/skirt combo and general ethereal beauty.

But where to begin when describing the The Dandy Warhols’s set? Well, for starters, they had two extremely bright strobe lights on either side of the stage pointed almost directly at the audience.

Now, this is personal preference, especially given my epilepsy, but I felt like the strobes’ constant flashing took away from the music rather than adding to it. Rather than being able to fully engage in what I was listening to, my mind was full of buzzing thoughts of annoying the near-blinding lighting was. I tried to stay optimistic. After all, there was more than an hour left.

Unfortunately, whatever hope I had vanished when the band took a bathroom break in the middle of their set. I honestly couldn’t believe my eyes. Never before had I seen (or even heard of) a professional band that had been touring for 20 plus years leaving the stage to “use the potty” as lead-singer Courtney Taylor-Taylor put it.

As he fumbled to think of a song he could play solo to keep us entertained in the intermission, it was like all of the energy had been sucked out of the room. Then, last but not least, the band chose not to play an encore. They simply left the stage after Courtney Taylor-Taylor said something along the lines of, “Now’s when the real drinking starts.”

I felt like The Dandy Warhols were blatantly disrespecting their avid fans that stuck with them throughout their career. If they’re as sick of performing as they seemed to be, this could very well be their last tour. And if so, why not go all out?

I’ve seen several bands that have been performing for equally as long or even longer than The Dandy Warhols that still had that sparkle in their eyes, that clear love for showing up and giving their fans a show to remember. Heck, this past summer I saw the remaining members of The Grateful Dead perform with John Mayer as Dead and Company, and they still had it in them even though they’re in their 70s.

In my opinion, it’s a shame that The Dandy Warhols seem to have lost their passion and have resigned themselves to simply playing the music and collecting their check.

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