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No smiles, but The Lemon Twigs should

Paradise Rock Club, Boston, January 14, 2019

Reviewed by Jeffrey B. Remz

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It was show time, and Brian D'Addario came on stage with tight jeans, a leather jacket and shades. One-half of The Lemon Twigs with his brother Michael, Brian peered out, scouring the crowd of 300 with utmost intensity for reasons unknown. No smile. No wave to the crowd.

Rest assured, nothing was wrong, at least based on the musically engaging show. The Lemon Twigs, who hail from Long Island, are a combination of The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and My Chemical Romance tossed into the musical potpourri, which even included a country song, baroque rock and a lot of pop sounds.

Both D'Addarios take lead vocals with Michael, decked out in a white pantsuit circa Barry Gibb of The Bee Gees, the prettier sounding (and more engaging). He took care of the high notes in songs that tended to be less rocking and more sonorous.

Brian rocked out more and had the moves to show for it. All of a sudden, he would kick out his leg high and strut about the stage a la Mick Jagger, a reference point stage presence wise. D'Addario had a certain charisma, even if he played the distant figure.

The Lemon Twigs live were different live than on the recorded version. Their most recent release, "Go To School," is a themed album based on the idea of a monkey going to school. The record was often quieter. That wasn't the case live where aided by a keyboardist, drummer and bassist, there was more depth.

The Twigs mined the worthy disc for 10 songs on this night. There are lots of tempo changes on the songs, and at the ripe young ages of 21 (Michael) and 20 (Brian), these guys showed a thing or two about putting together a song as well as a concert. That was a good thing because the disc has strings figuring prominently on several songs. Although nowhere to be found live, The Lemon Twigs made the songs ("The Lesson") work. There were several long stretches of letting the songs play out, reaching a welcomed crescendo.

Brian D'Addario may not have shown it much in bidding the night adieu, although he did thank the crowd, but The Lemon Twigs had a lot to smile about.

Jackie Cohen, who The Lemon Twigs backed on her release, opened with a somewhat satisfying set. Her songs and sound were on the generic side.