Review: The Lemon Twigs Bring New Music, Personality, and High-Kicks to Black Cat

The Lemon Twigs gave an electric, heartening performance at Black Cat on Thursday, September 28th that left me riding high for days! In addition to astounding music, the group’s show featured a carousel of instrument swaps, high-kicks galore, and an array of comical faces made by band member Michael D’Addario. Michael and Brian D’Addario  –  the frontmen of The Lemon Twigsshare an obvious physical resemblance, but if that didn’t cue you into the fact they are brothers, Brian’s focus despite Michael’s distracting, attention-commanding faces is the tell-tale sign.

Michael and Brian D’Addario were joined on stage by keyboardist/guitarist Danny Ayala and drummer/guitarist Reza Matin. Each bandmate flexed their wide-ranging musical talents by trading off instruments all night long. In addition to his cathartic and cutting lead vocals, Brian played a revolving door of guitars throughout the performance. Michael bounced between vocals, rhythm guitar, bass, and even hopped on the drums for a few songs. For a good portion of the evening, Michael was busy balancing the guitar playing with acrobatics. He impressively kicked his leg over his head upwards of a dozen times. When he wasn’t nearly splitting his pants or playing the guitar, Michael flexed his drumming talents on “I Wanna Prove to You” as Reza took over the role of backing guitar. Reza’s shimmering orange and rose gold drum set featured a broken cymbal, which looked almost as if someone had taken a bite out of the side of it. Despite the cymbal’s battle scar, it rang clear! As the group juggled instrument hand-offs, their synergy was palpable. This chemistry was just as strong off-stage. Before the band’s performance, I was lucky enough to sit down with the group and ask a few questions.

When asked about the individual roles they inhabit during their songwriting process, Michael and Brian revealed that they write most of their songs separately and come together at the end to piece together the final product. Because they are solitary writers, I thought it only natural that Brian and Michael would run into creative dry spells from time to time. However, when we spoke about writer’s block and how they work around it, the duo claimed that they had never experienced it! For Brian and Michael, writing is easy; the pair explained that they feel like they have a litany of song ideas and plenty of songs in production. They said, “It seems like we’re always writing and the problem is getting the music out [fast enough].” Speaking to their constant creative flow, The Lemon Twigs performed two new numbers, the unreleased “Rock On” and “Golden Years”, which they had written just about a week before the performance.

Regarding the instrumental aspect of their writing process, Michael referred to Brian as the “de facto musician in [the] studio.” Brian can be heard playing nearly every instrument on their backing tracks. In the studio, Michael heads the engineering. On stage, though, we had the opportunity to see Michael take on various instruments. After the show, I spoke to tour manager Scott Rosenthal, who revealed that both brothers are wildly talented musicians but too humble to voluntarily boast their own instrumental abilities.

Get a taste of the insanely cool Lemon Twigs by listening to their new album Everything Harmony (and my personal favorites “No One Holds You (Closer Than the One You Haven’t Met)” and “These Words”)!

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