By Jennie Orton
VENUE Night Club
January 30, 2019
As Lemon Twigs’ more flamboyant front man, Michael D’Addario, writhes up and down the mic stand like the pouty love child of Mick Jagger and Nomi Malone, you are captivated in the sheer audacity of it all. The unabashed homage to the Midnight Ramblers and the Hot Legs of yore, coupled with a undeniable level of real talent, delivered with the unvarnished and strained confidence of youth. It ain’t half bad. In fact – it’s pretty great.
Lemon Twigs is the glammy throwback act brought to life by the D’Addario brothers; the aforementioned Michael, and Brian with his second-coming-of-Bobby-Darin voice. They were on the road bringing the lofty operatic material from their new album, “Go To School,” to the stage of Venue and the results were surprisingly large. The Lemon Twigs discography waxes and wanes with 1960’s and 70’s sensibilities that run the gamut from sticky sweet to angry as all hell to life is meaningless. Harmonious sing-songs like These Words, Baby Baby, and I Wanna Prove to You, the latter with it’s belt-worthy malt shop chorus, and all three in attendance at the Venue show, showcase the brothers’ ability to harmonize past even the most muddy house sound mixing.
But this band isn’t just doo wop; the concept numbers off “Go To School” are room-engorging feasts of drama. The Lesson, a perfectly anguished song to accompany your mid twenties nihilism phase, is right at home with Michael D’Addario’s slithering fuck-it-all rock god persona. You see him morph on stage from a high kicking bottle rocket, to a pouting princess, to an in-the-zone soloist, to a flirty front man somewhat uncomfortable with his desire to interact with the crowd. During Lonely, he reached out and grabbed the hand of an audience member and held it a little too long while he sang “Well, lonely people, can’t you hear the screaming, I know that I’m not funny, But somebody else has got to feel the same way”.
As you watch this incredibly talented band of very young artists thrust and songbird their way through an on-point set list of whimsical poetic anthems about the fun house mirror that is existential angst and the theatre of life, you see your former self shyly hanging around in the wings with them. These are talented musicians who are just at the part of the climb where they begin to get the early signs of altitude sickness. The dizziness is palpable and the high lasts long after you leave the venue.The Lemon Twigs, Venue Nightclub