The Lemon Twigs + Jackie Cohen @ Corona Theatre – 12th January 2019

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Lemon Twigs Montreal

After a few weeks of downtime for the Holidays, the Montreal gig scene has exploded back into full swing. 3 solid options for Montrealers tonight: Panic! At The Disco, Kacey Musgraves or The Lemon Twigs?? What to do? At Montreal Rocks, we have them all covered! As for me, I’m going with the latter…

jackie cohen

Given the -20-something temperatures outside, the cosy Corona Theatre is a welcoming place to be tonight. LA’s Jackie Cohen and her 3-piece band (introduced as her husband, her biological husband, and her Legal Guardian!) are charged with warming up the crowd for tonight’s headliners, and much like them, her sound is extremely diverse, ranging from some pleasant rambling country moments to some that feel positively Sleater-Kinney in their ferocity. After Jackie switches between guitar and bass, she strips down to a black catsuit for the most Rilo Kiley moment of the set, before heading back to Country territory for the song Vegas. A thumping rock number closes out the 45-minute set to rapturous applause.

The Lemon Twigs Montreal

After a weird announcement over the PA that Kacey Musgraves is playing at MTelus (and not here, as originally booked… seems like some people didn’t get the memo…), the closing track from The Lemon Twigs excellent recent Go To School record plays out and the band bounds on stage. Sometimes, it can be a challenge to figure out what a band’s influences might be; in the case of The Lemon Twigs, its clear as day.

The Rolling Stones.

Lemon Twigs Montreal photos

Even before a note is played, you can see frontman Michael D’Addario has the haircut and overall look of a 70s Mick Jagger, and as the first bars of set opener Never In My Arms, Always In My Heart ring out, he has the voice and stage swagger to match. A guitar is no impediment on next song Foolin’ Around, as he throws the guitar around his back and launches high-kicks in all directions of the stage. Even his shoulder shimmy later in the set on Baby Baby is a perfect imitation! His brother Brian D’Addario seems a little more subdued in comparison, though that’s still infinitely more flamboyant than your average guitarist, dressed as he is in a white jumpsuit!

Lemon Twigs keyboards

The bands sound takes you in various directions on record, and in the live setting, it’s similarly unpredictable. Small Victories, a predominantly mellow strum in its recorded form, is a monster live. It starts off relaxed, but takes various detours in a manner reminiscent of A Day In The Life by The Beatles, culminating in a giant guitar solo from Brian and a supernova of strobe lights. It would make a perfect set closer, but it’s just the third song of the set! After a similarly energetic Student Becomes The Teacher, The Lesson affords Brian the opportunity to sit at the keys and catch his breath!

Lemon Twigs Montreal review

The energy of the crowd gradually picks up throughout the set too. A few jumps begin to appear around the floor on jaunty old song I Wanna Prove To You, and a few songs later, things have descended into full-on pogo’s on These Words and The Fire, which closes the set. The band aren’t gone even 30 seconds before being summoned back to the stage to the usual “olé olé olé” chants. The encore kicks off with the classic As Long As We’re Together, and epitomizes the contrast that this band thrives on. Compared to its recorded counterpart, the verses are stripped right down, but the choruses massively beefed up and sounds immense. Arms spontaneously sway in the air across the room, and Michael grabs the plastic wrap from the case of water bottles on stage and wraps it around his face as if to suffocate himself; actually, that’s a little creepy. After urging the crowd to “love everybody, ‘cos that’s what Millie Bobby Brown said today on Instagram,” a mellow acoustic Give Enough closes out the show after 85 fun minutes. 2019 well and truly kicks off with a bang!

Lemon Twigs Montreal setlist

Set List
1. Never In My Arms
2. Foolin’ Around
3. Small Victories
4. Student Becomes The Teacher
5. The Lesson
6. Lonely
7. I Wanna Prove To You
8. This Is My Tree
9. Baby Baby
10. Beautiful
11. These Words
12. Never Know
13. Home Of A Heart
14. The Fire

Encore
15. As Long As We’re Together
16. If You Give Enough

Lemon Twigs  bassistLemon Twigs singer

Review – Simon Williams
Photos – Annette Aghazarian & Simon Williams

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