After more than a year after their rain-delayed-and-thusly-quite-shortened KEXP BBQ show, the lovely and talented Dandy Warhols returned to Seattle last night, playing this time at Neumos. They are one of those bands where I like just about everything they do, so I POUNCED yes POUNCED on tickets for this as soon as they were announced.

“This Friday, Saturday, and Sunday Caffe Vita will help us to celebrate a Fellini inspired Italian Holiday fete…Vita will be providing free espresso at all three shows, and free gelato at the Seattle show.”

Is that just the nicest thing? Band comes and plays and gives ya espresso and gelato for Christmas! Thank you, The Dandy Warhols. May Santa bring you many sweet licensing opportunities and stockings filled with royalties and shiny new guitar strings. I love you.

I late-started from home last night and was hungry past what I thought gelato could fill, so once again stopped for a quick salame pizza at Via Tribunali. The very pretty young waitress did not know who the Dandy Warhols were, she said, but wished me an excellent time and got the pizza out to the table in record time. She said she works every weekend and therefore has no fun. We agreed that there are pros and cons to that. There were no pros to the situation I faced at VT’s bathroom, when I discovered that the fashionista who had preceded me had decided to pee all over the toilet seat. I hope she gets violated by a reindeer.

As expected, Neumos was packed as I arrived about 15 minutes before the Dandies were to begin their set. A view spot opened up on the floor close to the stage so I grabbed it, which meant there would be no leaving for espresso and gelato. This was a sad thing, but we do what we must. The stage looked pretty with little white strings of lights around the mic stands and thin diffuse smoke, thankfully not from stank cigs. It quickly became obvious that tonight’s Ruiner was about 3’ in front of me: a loopy woman in long brown pigtails who perhaps had been on an Ecstasy drip. It’s never a good sign when you have someone dancing like a whirling Woodstock hippie to the pre-show audio over the PA. She smiled and smiled and bashed herself all over everyone standing next to her, completely clueless that people were getting upset. The nice couple in front of me got into it a bit with her, and the tall dude next to me got into it with them, cursing was had, and the nice couple gave up and left their spots.

When Ruiner looked at me and sloppily said, “Isn’t anyone here to see the DANDEEEE WARHOLLLLLLSSS??” I looked at her with the most blank expression possible, rendering her very essence invisible. The band began playing, she did her “my arms are forks in the sky!” dance for a few songs, looked at me again and said, “This isn’t the Dandy Warhols show I thought it was,” and drifted away permanently, hopefully to join Fashionista Fail Pee in the alley with Blitzen.

The Dandies sounded great. They know their stuff and their sound and they've got it down. They did not continue the Italian Christmas theme to their show, and I was very mildly disappointed by that – I was hoping Zia would come out as Sophia Loren and Courtney would be Marcello Mastroianni or Pope Paul or something. But they did play a cool version of “Little Drummer Boy” (you can download that for free at their website), which I did not catch on video because my arms were completely tired after shooting these. It's really hard to hold still like that, you know.

It was a long set – must have gone over two hours – with no encore. I don’t blame them, what with the generous regular set and a drive back to their home base of Portland still to come that night. The sound varied from crunchy garage to pep pop to swirly synth-psych in the Dandy Manner. Courtney’s voice was starting to shred a little towards the end which seemed to concern him a bit, but he’s all pro and worked it out. The crowd was for the most part happy and enthusiastic save for a few tired hack hecklers who thought their brand of funny was adding to everyone’s experience. I actually think these guys go to every show I go to just to shit on the band. Have I got a reindeer for them, the lesser-known “Donger.”

I left Neumos happy to have seen one of my favorite bands again, sweaty and tired and caribou-free, which is just how it should be.