This weekend, 90s alternative rock pioneers the Lemonheads are playing two shows in the suburbs, Fri 9/19 at Wire in Berwyn and on Sat 9/20 they headline Oaktoberfest in downtown Oak Park. Formed in 1987, this Boston trio quickly turned into the musical vehicle of singer and guitarist Evan Dando, who has spent almost 30 years surrounding himself with a revolving door of sharp, hard-hitting musicians, including Murph from Dinosaur Jr. and Juliana Hatfield. Dando and the Lemonheads broke into the mainstream in the early 90s and their 1992 record, It’s a Shame About Ray, a mellow take on what the Replacements had done before, pretty much summed up the post-Nirvana rock landscape perfectly: punk rock attitude, unbelievable melodies, and a slightly dark, introspective lyrical sense. The band fizzled out in the late 90s but reemerged in 2006 with a self-titled LP that featured Dando backed up by drummer Bill Stevenson and bassist Karl Alvarez—both of the Descendents and All. Those two aren’t in the current Lemonheads lineup, but this is the type of band that’s never released anything bad, so both shows should be excellent.
Check out a couple classic Lemonheads cuts below.