THE LEMON TWIGS
Michael and Brian D'Addario perform as The Lemon Twigs at Slim's in San Francisco
Band of brothers The Lemon Twigs were in San Francisco to promote their latest full length “Go To School” which came out last year, and well, shiet! These guys are ferocious. Plenty of “WTF” moments throughout their set promise engagement, never a dull moment. This marks the second time seeing The Twigs in a span of two years and come to think of it, they’ve changed a lot, but they also remain the same. Contradictive yes, but this says their rooting is fundamentally intact. They just seem more at ease with the whole thing.
Michael echoing his inner Lou Reed while he gets love from devoted fans
As it's been said before, sonically The Twigs are an amalgam of classic rock. The multi-instrumentalist brothers draw from the likes of The Beatles and The Beach Boys, but act like Pete Townshend with a touch of Bowie, Iggy Pop, Lou Reed, Elton John and Freddie Mercury, and though their sound has been evolving into a more original blend, their influences remain crystal clear, thus it's not their originality what makes them stand out, but their ability to blend it all with a distilled personality and in such young form.
Michael is undoubtedly the showman, with a level of theatricality and energy that truly makes their show unforgettable. He's got such a diva-esque attitude. The queer factor is fascinating, and seems to be an audience puller, which was surprisingly varied, although the very front row did have all the underage girls loving his gender bender attire (high heeled sandals, flared trousers, ripped open t-shirt that revealed his delicate and exquisite figure, topped with aviator sunglasses). Their gazes revealed allurement, perhaps because above all, he displays utter self-confidence, and nothing is ever more captivating.
Brian is certainly the quiet brother by comparison; dressed in a white jumpsuit a la Elvis, he remains focused on his instrument (mainly kills it on the guitar, and switches to the keys on a couple of songs). He is the musical director and as such, he appears to be more centered and aware. His voice strongly sounds like a young McCartney, and it's in his songs that the whole Beatles-ness is heard. He rarely speaks, if only ever to thank the audience or introduce a song, but just like the rest of us, witnesses his brother's unpredictable hiperactivity unfold and take a life of its own.
The Lemon Twigs share equal songwriting parts, but in reality Brian is the singer, Michael however, is the frontman.
The brothers share the stage with a backing band comprising of keys, bass and drums, and though they’ve always done it this way, Michael and Brian used to be the drummers, rotating between songs. This is no longer the case, as they now remain fronting the stage, both mostly playing guitar. Some people, myself included, miss the rotation aspect and although their current drummer is a real badass, the Twigs were actually better, Michael’s attacks on those toms were epic. Change is only essential and as such, this is the band in 2019.
Backing band for The Lemon Twigs
Michael did seem to be more cynic. Halfway through the set he announced that “this show, honestly, is just like all the others, we’re just in a different place”. It was such a funny moment, because the expectation was the complete opposite, a time to flatter the current city and its spectators, but no. There was nothing special about San Francisco nor its audience and he had no shame in saying it out loud. Attendees were clearly bummed, but it also underlined the hardship of touring and the inevitable monotony of routine. It was an understandable “bummer”. Having this in mind, Michael D’addario is quite the performer, a master entertainer ready to put on the rockstar hat on command, or maybe not, maybe he is always like that. He is after all still painfully young, yet quite the veteran, having done this for pretty much all his life, maybe this is him entirely. A sarcastic, hiperactive twenty year old rockstar.
Michael the provocateur.
Probably the biggest "WTF?" moment of the night came during a pseudo-homoerotic scene towards the end of “The Fire” when Michael pretended to ferociously suck his bassist’ junk. All the moms in the front row dropped their jaws. It seems like the older they get, the more controversial their antics on stage will be too.