I’ll say this for Evan Dando: he’s economical. During his midnight set at The Rivoli, he kept the banter to a minimum and subscribed to the “less talk, more rock” motto for the duration of his set, cramming as many tunes in as possible. “Can you put some more echo on the vocals or reverb or something weird?” asked Dando a couple of songs into the set. “ More. More.” he added as the sound guy compiled to his demand. It was probably one of the few times I remember him saying more than a few words between songs. But the songs, of course, were what people came here to hear and when you’ve only got a 40something minute set to fill, I guess it makes sense to give the people what they want. Some of the highlights of his set were “The Outdoor Type,” “It’s A Shame About Ray,” “My Drug Buddy,” and a cover of “Long Black Limousine,” the latter making explicit the country undertones that came through in many of Dando’s own songs throughout the night.
One of the songs that definitely stood out to me was his performance of “Why Do You Do This To Yourself.” Not because lyrics such as “You stayed awake for 14 days and then you slept a week” would be easily related to later that night as I struggled to stay awake and catch Greys‘ 3AM set time while wishing I could sleep for a week. No, the reason they resonated with me on this evening is because they reminded me of what happened immediately before Dando’s set. On my way to The Rivoli, I decided that the Spadina streetcar would be my best bet to get there. This would turn out to be maybe not the quickest route but certainly the most interesting.
As the streetcar made it’s way out of the station, the driver stopped, announcing that we would have to remain there until they dealt with an individual who had seemingly gotten so drunk that he wandered into the streetcar tunnel and was having himself a nap by the side of the tracks. Keep in mind this was only just shortly after 11:00 on a Saturday night. I was mostly bemused by this as I didn’t have anything that I needed to see in the 11:00 slot, but other riders were getting more agitated since they probably had some terrible dance club to get to. I did feel bad for the two guys I talked to who were missing out on Shannon and The Clams at The Silver Dollar. I hope they got to see at least some of it. As for the guy sleeping on the track? He eventually got up and wandered away somewhere, perhaps to be taken into TTC custody or something. I hope things worked out OK for him too. Why do you do this to yourself indeed?