Saturday, November 14, 2015

Lettuce at the PlayStation Theater

Erick Coomes
Lettuce began in 1992, when the members were teenagers attending a summer music program at Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. In 1994, the musicians reconvened as undergraduates at Berklee and asked jazz club owners and other musicians if they would "let us play," giving birth to the name Lettuce. The core of Lettuce has remained intact since then. Its members consist of guitarists Eric Krasno and Adam "Shmeeans" Smirnoff, keyboardist Neal Evans, bassist Erick Coomes, drummer Adam Deitch, and the Shady Horns (saxophonist Ryan Zoidis and trumpeter Eric "Benny" Bloom). The funk band has since relocated to Brooklyn, New York, and its fourth album, Crush, was released on November 6, 2015.

Lettuce lit up the funk for two headline nights at the PlayStation Theater. Playing a mostly instrumental set, Lettuce specialized in uptempo grooves and plenty of symbiotic jams. Riveted in place by the solid rhythm section, the guitars, keyboards and horns provided the bright, melodic leads. Occasionally the music would drift towards psychedelia, but for the most part focused on its smooth, jazzy foundation. Sounding very much like an updated Average White Band, Lettuce kept the energetic jams warm and bouncy, inducing considerable hip-swaying in the audience. For the finale, the band was joined by rhythm and blues singer Nigel Hall, who sang a soulful medley of "Makin’ My Way Back Home", "Do It Like You Do" and a cover of Curtis Mayfield's "Move On Up." For more than two decades, Lettuce has ignited dance parties by injecting rich textures and fiery vitality into classic funk rhythms; the closing night show at the PlayStation Theater was equally impressive and refreshing.

Visit Lettuce at www.lettucefunk.com.