The Lemon Twigs & Savoy Motel wrapped up their tour @ Bowery Ballroom w/ Cut Worms (pics, setlist, review)
Bowery Ballroom's stage was wet due to the guy dressed as a giraffe who came out to dance during the last song of The Lemon Twigs' main set -- the giraffe guy himself slipped and busted his ass at one point -- and Michael D'Addario's penchant for high kicks and leaps found him on the floor twice during the encore. The first time he did leap from his back into crouching position; the second he decided to just continue playing guitar on the floor.
This Bowery Show on Tuesday (2/21) was the final night of their tour with Nashville's Savoy Motel and they pulled out the stops. Both Michael and his brother Brian take turns on guitar/vox and drums, giving you two different but related bands: tight, complex, '70s-style orch pop a la Todd Rundgren or The Raspberries when Brian is on guitar and vocals and Michael's on drums; and a decidedly more rock n' roll affair when they switch places. (Both owe a little to Sparks.) When Brian's at the helm they are technically a better band (Brian's the better guitarist; Michael's an incredible drummer), but when Michael fronts, it's electric. Sometimes the songs throw in two too many things, to watch them zig and zag without missing a beat is something.
The band, which includes Megan Zeankowski on bass and Danny Ayala on keys, have come a ways since they played BrooklynVegan's 2015 CMJ party. They're now signed to 4AD and have garnered a sizable following since releasing their debut album,The Lemon Twigs Do Hollywood. Bowery was sold out and the crowd sang along loudly to songs like "I Wanna Prove to You," "Baby, Baby," "As Long as We're Together" and "These Words."
A special treat: Brian and Michael brought out their father, Ronnie, to perform his 1976 song "Love Stepped Out." (Some video of that is below.) They also covered Alex Chilton's "All of the Time" which fit right in with Michael's set. They also played a few songs from an EP they say will be out in June, and a song they've got slotted for LP #2. Setlist is below.
While a little older, Savoy Motel share a similar fashion sense if nothing else, looking straight out of a 1974 JC Penny catalog. Jeffrey Novak (ex Cheap Time) and the rest of the band (including members of Heavy Cream) are going for a very specific aesthetic, musically, visually and otherwise, and have really honed it down to fine-tuned rock machine, set somewhere around 1979 between weirdo glam, disco, and pos-tpunk. (They're debut album is great.) Guitarist Dillon Watson was having tech issues the first few songs but things smoothed out and the band got into a groove by the time their signature jam "Hot One" rolled around.
Opening the night was Cut Worms in full band mode, including an excellent pedal steel player and Woods' Jarvis Tavineire on lead guitar. While Max Clarke charms as a solo performer -- he did a couple songs without the band -- this group has jelled since the last time I saw them and full band treatments of songs like the Everly Brothers-esque "Don’t Wanna Say Goodbye" sounded great. You can catch Cut Worms again in NYC at Berlin on March 10 with Lina Tullgren and headliners John Andrews & The Yawns. They'll also play NJ's WFMU Monty Hall on April 7 with Saint Pe and Miriam & Nobody's Babies. Tickets for both those shows are on sale now. Pictures from Cut Worms' set, and more from The Lemon Twigs and Savoy Motel, are in the gallery at the top of this post.
SETLIST: The Lemon Twigs @ Bowery Ballroom 2/21/2017
I Wanna Prove to You
Why Didn't You Say That
Love Stepped Out (with Ronnie D'Addario)
How Lucky am I?
All of the Time (Alex Chilton)
As Long as We're Together
A Great Snake
The Queen of My School
photos by Amanda Hatfield