It’s been a crazy week. Of course it’s just a few days until Christmas, school finished up for the year, work got frantic before it could wind down, and HSC results came in, but undoubtedly the best part was that we managed to squeeze in an overnight trip to Melbourne to see Evan Dando and Juliana Hatfield.
For those of you that came of age in the 1990’s I don’t need to explain who they are. (The rest of you can google them, sorry). Suffice to say that whether as a solo artist or as frontman of The Lemonheads, Evan is right up there as one of my husband’s favourite singer/songwriters of all time. Juliana has one of the sweetest voices I’ve ever heard, and has sang on just about all of Evan’s albums. They have a long and fascinating shared history, so the chance to catch them together was too good to pass up.
Let me just say that they didn’t disappoint.
We flew down to Melbourne on Tuesday morning, spent the day sampling some of the great food (Asian for lunch, tapas at Movida for dinner), then walking it off. Due to my lack of map reading skills and non-existent sense of direction, we walked the whole town to get to Federation Square without realising that it was right near our hotel, where we started. We arrived at The Corner Hotel for the gig, sorted out some drinks (beer for him, vodka & lemon for me), and settled back to watch the opening band Bambino Koresh. (They were excellent, btw). As per usual I elected to stand front and centre, which paid off when Evan Dando himself came and stood right next to us! This might be a good time to mention my crippling habit of becoming so starstruck that when I see a musician who I totally LOVE, no matter how much I would like to, I cannot bring myself to even say hello, much less ask for an autograph or picture. (Embarrassing but true fact: the first time I met Adalita my hands were shaking). So I took a couple of pictures of him standing next to my husband. Who thankfully is more sensible than me, and when standing next to his favourite big gay crush, says hello, tells him he loves his work, and asks for a photo.
Then came time for Evan and Juliana. They alternated between his and her songs, most of the time singing on each others anyway. I desperately wanted to hear them sing Gram Parsons’ “$1000 Wedding”, which they did beautifully, as well as The Velvet Underground’s “Pale Blue Eyes”. So so good. They sound so amazing together, and seemed to be having a good time. Then towards the end I met Mary, a rock music photographer I “met” on Instagram. Is it weird that we hugged like long-lost pals? Anyway, it was a total pleasure to meet Mary and some of her friends, and she took some amazing photos, which you can see here. (Yes, the last one is of husband and I. Thanks Mary!).
Much as I wanted to hang around chatting and drinking, my feet were sore from all that walking and the rest of me was tired from the 6.30am start to the day, so we said our goodbyes. After a nightcap in the hotel bar I just about passed out at 1am.
Flying home the next day with a hangover was not fun.
On Thursday night we went to their Sydney show with our son, who at eighteen can finally join us at gigs. Another great show, Evan seemed especially cheerful, and it was worth the price of the ticket just to see his impersonation of Morrissey.
Did I mention that the tickets were only $49.00?
Now that’s entertainment.