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Review: Dandy Warhols kick off U.S. tour in Eugene with crowded show at W.O.W. Hall

It’s week six of the term. The unrelenting stress of midterms has passed for most and now a majority of University of Oregon students are taking a quick breather in the eye of the storm before even more daunting final exams, essays and projects in the near future. And what better way to do so than to forget your worries with some live music?

Portland’s garage-rock, neo-psychedelia band The Dandy Warhols played an energetic set Wednesday evening, Nov. 4 at W.O.W. Hall, giving students a nice chance to blow off some steam and unwind, though not only students were in attendance. The crowd was speckled with salt-and-pepper haired long-time fans, who’ve most likely stayed loyal to the band since their 1994 inception as well as the younger crowd who was probably only a few years old when the band came to be.

The Dandy Warhols’ Eugene show was the first night of their newest U.S. tour, an occasion that filled the concert hall to the brim which, regardless of any circumstances, was an impressive act for a mid-week night. Though the band has played pacific northwest shows regularly in the past 21 years, the amount of people in attendance made it clear that no one is near bored of The Dandy Warhols’ company.

  • W.O.W. Hall is filled to the brim with fans waiting to hear The Dandy Warhols (Meerah Powell/Emerald)

L.A. garage rockers The Shelters opened the night up with a rambunctious set that entertained early audience members as the venue began to fill. Though it was the band’s first time playing in Eugene, the crowd reacted warmly with some members even calling for an encore though instead had to wait patiently for The Warhols to take the stage about a half an hour later.

The audience erupted in cheers as The Dandy Warhols walked across the dimly lit stage. Although Eugene has been a tour destination various other times throughout the years, Wednesday night was the band’s first time back in W.O.W. Hall since 1996, and they definitely received a grand welcoming. Lead singer Courtney Taylor-Taylor recalled the venue feeling a lot larger when the band first played it. “We’ve had a lot of practice since then,” Taylor-Taylor joked.

The Warhols kicked off their set with “Be-In”, a song off of the group’s second album sending the diverse crowd into an immediate dance party. The band is touring on their newest album Thirteen Tales From Urban Bohemia Live at the Wonder – a live recording in Portland’s Wonder Ballroom of their hit LP from 2000, and played some crowd favorites from the release like “Bohemian Like You” and “Get Off.” Though touring in support of Thirteen Tales, the group played a balanced set full of tracks from various releases throughout the years.

The group kept the pace well throughout songs though stopped a couple times to jam on atmospheric interludes and to have the crowd sing guitarist Peter Holmström “Happy Birthday.”

The Warhols played their biggest hit, “Bohemian Like You” late into the set sending the already-hyped audience into overdrive, with both younger fans and white-haired devotees jumping in unison and happily yelling the song’s various “woo”s along with the equally spirited Taylor-Taylor and the rest of the band.

“20 years?” Taylor-Taylor breathily mumbled into the mic after a song, “I think we’re still playing because we’re really fucking good.”

The rest of the band laughed humbly as Taylor-Taylor nodded matter-of-factly, but he’s definitely not wrong. The band played an incredibly tight and solid set, showing that the more than 20 years of practice that Taylor-Taylor was joking about has really done some good, and did its part in leaving audience members both sweaty and satisfied at the end of the night.

Listen to the band’s newest LP Thirteen Tales From Urban Bohemia Live at the Wonder below:


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Meerah Powell

Meerah Powell

Meerah Powell is the Digital Managing Editor for The Daily Emerald. She is currently studying journalism and philosophy at the University of Oregon. Before her current position, she worked as an Arts and Culture writer for the Emerald. She's also worked with Oregon Public Broadcasting, Eugene Weekly, Ethos Magazine and OR Magazine.