The Lemon Twigs: Slightly Older, Much More Confident

Chicago has a tax that we all pay. No, not the new soda tax. I’m talking about the dues we pay at the beginning of each August: the days before, during, and after Lollapalooza, But along with all of its blitzed messiness and traffic, we also get the after shows. World-class performers headline our cities’ many venues, and we also get to see some of the most exciting and newest local bands under a spotlight.

At Schubas, one such exciting band was the four-piece Bunny. Fronted by singer and rhythm guitarist Jessica Viscius, the dreamy yet gritty garage band started just over a year ago. Loose in rhythm but succinct with melodies and guitar riffs, the quartet often trudged confidently with songs that build slowly, like “Not Even You” (which recently premiered on Stereogum). The crowd nodded their heads along to the shuffling drums and the anchoring bass lines.

After only the first few songs, people started murmuring in between their beer sips. “Who are they?”, “They’re called Bunny”, “I like them”. For this special night, a few local musicians filled out their sound too, including Paul Cherry on keys and Sean Howgreen on saxophone. If this is what they’ve accomplished in their first year together, it’s exciting to anticipate where they’ll be even just mere months from now.

The Lemon Twigs are young. But their musicianship, songwriting, and talent are still immensely impressive regardless of any age. Still, the musicians in the crowd still groaned while witnessing the band’s finesse and energy.

The band basically splits their set in half with the brothers rotating the roles of frontman with guitar and drummer. They work so well together not only because they’re brothers but also because they’re like fire and ice. While Brian D’Addario demonstrates delicate control and McCartney-esque vocals, Michael’s performance adds contrasts to the set with plenty of leg kicks and glam solos.

In spite of a technical hiccup during the beginning of their set, the band welcomes uncertainty and improvising on the spot. They worked the crowd with jokes, and then Brian jumped into a Leonard Cohen song as the sound person worked with the band to square away their sound.

Just like their last tour through Chicago at the Empty Bottle, they impressed and delighted the crowd with their Wings-era McCartney compositions and Todd Rundgren experimental sound. And this time they seemed all the more confident and professional.

Colin S. Smith
Colin S. Smith

Colin Smith thinks that Chicago right now is the place to be for music. He works for Illinois Humanities, is a freelance writer, and plays psychedelic-pop songs with his band.