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Last night the Evens played at Fort Reno, and it was everything you’d expect.
The park was packed with gamboling dogs, babies, and their minders. Henry Rollins made an appearance. A few young punks thrashed their arms around, but three times as many dads stood in front of the stage with kids on their shoulders. Ian MacKaye expounded first on the evils of war, and then on Internet-driven human disconnect (“I’ve never seen so many people socialize in solitude”).
It was the first Evens show in two and a half years, and MacKaye and partner Amy Farina were wonderfully on point. The drum and guitar duo—-both sing—-were as relaxed as the 75-degrees-and-breezy weather demanded. They played a healthy mix of songs from 2005’s self-titled album and 2006’s Get Evens, and were tight, confident, and totally in control. But, most importantly, Farina and MacKaye put on an enjoyable show, playing consistent, accessible tunes that sounded really, really good.
Toward the end of the set, the band offered “All You Find You Keep” and an accompanying dialogue: The song’s title was inspired by a robber who told MacKaye, “All I find I keep” (said robber, with that admission, was naturally better in character than the government).
The evening closed with “Blessed Not Lucky,” with its refrain of “What if there’s no end?” For the many fans of Farina and MacKaye present, the evening may have been just that: a chance to see two D.C. punk rockers whose legend still continues.