REVIEW: The Lemon Twigs (Great Scott 1/20)

It is hard to feel good about anything right now. And on Friday night, as the bitter reality of the next four to eight years started to set in, for a few hours there was respite.

That’s the result of a wonderful show from the Lemon Twigs, a four-piece band from Long Island that has quickly become a compelling draw for music festivals. The sold-out show drew hundreds to Great Scott (in a post-fact world, the show was attended by thousands).

Do Hollywood, the band’s major-label debut, was produced by Foxygen’s Jonathan Rado. He recently worked on an AP fave, Whitney’s luscious Light Upon The Lake. There’s a lot in common between these two albums; they both are innovative in sound, while simultaneously rooted in the ’70s and ’80s. (The two bands, however, plucked inspiration from distinct groups.)

The teenage brothers Michael and Brian D’Addario are the heart of the band, responsible for songwriting and splitting duties on stage: The siblings switched drums and guitars midway through the set. Both approach the stage with similar penchant for theatrics. Yes, there were high kicks, solos that overcome them and make them collapse on stage and energy. Shoes became untied (an audience member helpfully tied them, leading to some awkward stage banter). The two are flanked by keyboardist Danny Ayala (who provided lovely harmonies and backing vocals) and bassist Megan Zeankowski.

The on-stage theatrics aren’t a gimmick: The band sounds fantastic live. Album cuts “I Wanna Prove to You” and “These Words” burst with life on the stage. “These Words” in particular has a tension that runs through its choruses that were wonderful live. The band also teased songs off a forthcoming EP that sounded great in the club setting.

The Lemon Twigs put on a show that ended up being the perfect antidote to the overall climate of despair that everyone seemed to be feeling.

Cut Worms, a Brooklyn-based band, opened the show. The band played a breezy set of folky rock tunes, aided by a pedal steel guitar, which gave the set a decidedly retro feel.

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