Evan Dando Horseshoe Tavern, Toronto ON - February 11, 2006

Evan Dando Horseshoe Tavern, Toronto ON - February 11, 2006
As he's proven in the past three years alone — as well as throughout his 20-year career — Evan Dando is not a reliable entertainer. Whether it's his unexplained gaps of recorded material or his unpredictable gigs, you just can't count on the guy. As sad as it is, his drug problems and erratic behaviour have eclipsed a career filled with some of the finest pop songs written in the last two decades. Regardless, when the troubled/troublesome, oft-flaky songwriter finally appeared, all that mattered was that the man with the undeniable talent for penning songs as communicable as the common cold was actually in the house. With his boyish good looks still intact, he jumped right into a zone, knocking off fan favourites one after another, beginning with the endearing "Being Around." Things looked up as he began interrupting his set to play requests, like a playful version of "Alison's Starting to Happen" and a rare cover of the Misfits' "Skulls." His medley-like approach ensured a generous play count, and his range was near perfect. Playing something from every era of his career — "Don't Tell Yourself" from Hate Your Friends, "The Outdoor Type" from Car Button Cloth and "All My Life" from Baby I'm Bored — the fringe-sporting Lemonhead was on a roll. And then he lost it. After threatening to rip out the tongue of a loud, inattentive attendee mid-set, he finally gave up nearly an hour in. Frustrated, Dando put down his guitar, complained about a select crowd of disrespectful audience members and said, "I'm done. I've played a full set." As the lights came on, most people seemed confused over his abrupt departure, but as Dando supporters have learned over the years, anything can happen at one of his shows. Though it may have been cut short, for a solid 45 minutes he was untouchable, which these days is all you can ask from a character as fickle as Evan Dando.