The Lemonheads Celebrate the 30 Year Anniversary of ‘It’s a Shame About Ray’ at The Great American Music Hall in San Francisco California November 28 2022



This past Monday, November 28, 2022, brought me back to the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco, California. The Lemonheads were celebrating the 30 year anniversary of their break out album It’s a Shame About Ray. When this album came out in 1992, I was slinging CD’s at a Musicland in Colorado Springs, Colorado. I remember playing this disk quite a bit and selling quite a few. Fast forward 30 years, and now I buy CD’s (yes, I still buy them) instead of selling them and now, I finally get to see the band play the entire album in it’s entirety. Opening for them was On Being an Angel and Bass Drum of Death.

Up first was On Being an Angel. This band sounds like they were plucked right out of the 90s Alt music scene.  Their sound is simplistic yet, complex at the same time. Falling somewhere between Veruca Salt and Garbage, On Being an Angel is a well put together band riding the 90s sound resurgence and doing it very well. On stage, their presence was very good, their sound was great and it looked like they were having a lot of fun up there. The set consisted of about 40 minutes ending with a new song that, unfortunately, I didn’t get the name of but, Paige told the audience to record it and post it. I thought that was pretty cool. This is a band I will be keeping an eye on because they are on their way up.


On Being an Angel are:

Paige – vocals, guitar

Nick – guitar

Nolan – bass

Jordan – drums



Bass Drum of Death was up next.  They have been around for a few years but, this was my first exposure to them. If you were to mix Nirvana and Husker Du, you would get these guys. They capture that grunge sound really well while adding a certain flare to it, making it their own. Hailing from Oxford, Mississippi via New York City, this band checked all the boxes for me. Starting with “I want to be Forgotten”, they instantly engaged the crowd.  The set consisted mostly of their older tracks but they did throw two new songs in the mix, “Head Change” and “Say Your Prayers”, both of which will be on their upcoming January release Say I Won’t. By the end of their set the near capacity crowd all knew what Bass Drum of Death were all about and we loved it. So much so that, I purchased both their CD’s and will be getting their new one when it is released.


Bass Drum of Death are:

John Barrett – guitar, vocals

Colin Sneed – drums

Trent Choteau – bass



Set List:

1). I Wanna Be Forgotten

2). Nerve Jammin

3). Just Business

4). Find It

5). Velvet Itch

6). Head Change

7). Left For Dead

8). Say Your Prayers

9). Shattered Me

10). Lose My Mind

11). Get Found

12). Crawling After you


After about a 30 minute break, the moment we were all waiting for finally came. Evan came out on stage by himself and played four acoustic cover songs from various artists. On the fifth song, the rest of the band came out and they broke right in to the first track from the album, “Rockin Stroll”. When the title track, “It’s a Shame About Ray” started, the crowd went crazy and, quite frankly, was the best sounding song of the night from Evan. The entire album took a little over 30 minutes and to my dismay, they opted not to play “Mrs. Robinson” which is my favorite version of the song. The rest of the night was filled out by some Lemonheads songs and Evan going acoustic solo. This was unfortunately, with the exception of the album tracks, was not his best performance. Overall, this set skated the boundaries of genius and a complete train wreck. He struggled through the last part of the set stopping some songs early and at least once, he switched songs midway through. I truly hope he was just having a bad night and it wasn’t something worse. 


The Lemonheads are:

Evan Dando – vocals, guitar

Farley Glavin – bass

Lee Falco – drums



Set list:

1). Hospital

2). Break Me

3). Tenderfoot

4). Abandoned

5). Rockin Stroll

6). Confetti

7).It’s a Shame About Ray

8). Rudderless

9). My Drug Buddy

10).The Turnpike Down

11). Bit Part

12). Alison

13). Hannah & Gabbi

14). Kitchen

15). Ceiling Fan

16). Frank Mills

17). Speed of Sound

18). Dawn Can’t Decide

19). Big Gay Heart

20). Looks Like You

21) Style

22). Left For Dead

23). Old Man Blank

24). It’s About Time

25). Down About It

26).  Layin Up With Linda

27). Great Big No

28). Different Drum

29). Just Can’t Take It

30). Stove

31). If I Could Talk






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