Lettuce Lets Loose in New Haven, CT
Lettuce uncorked a monster, funk fueled, jam packed heater Saturday night at the College Street Music Hall in New Haven Connecticut, bringing a close to a lengthy leg of their Elevate tour. Indeed, the colorful and charismatic Grammy nominated, genre busting jazz/funk juggernaut made up of members Adam Deitch (drums), Adam “Shmeeans” Smirnoff (guitar), Erick “Jesus” Coomes (bass), Ryan Zoidis (sax), Eric “Benny” Bloom (trumpet) and Nigel Hall (vocals, keys), were in fine form on this night, ready to play, have some fun and simultaneously rip the roof off the packed out room.
Opening the show was the rapidly rising Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio, a soulful jazz/funk powerhouse based out of Seattle. Playing mostly songs off their yet-to-be-released album, as well as a lengthy Curtis Mayfield “Move On Up” cover, the band most certainly made believers out of unfamiliar fans who showed up early. With the undeniable chemistry and showmanship of Lamarr (organ and bass), Jimmy James (who channeled his inner Hendrix and played guitar with his teeth) and Michael Duffy’s perfect pocket drumming, the short but sweet set served it’s purpose…stimulating the appetite for the night’s main course, Lettuce.
After a brief intermission, an ominous ambient tone and beams of red light began to fill the College Street room, amping up the anticipation as the members of Lettuce slowly emerged in the smoky shadows. Once strapped in, the enduring road tested road warriors wasted no time getting the dance party started, as the excited near sell out crowd was more than ready to boogie down on this Saturday night in New Haven. Opening with “New Reel,”” Larimar” and an extra groovy take on “Krewe,” then came the first cover of the night, the Smokey Robinson/James Taylor classic “Ain’t That Peculiar.” Up next was Nigel Hall’s funked out version of “I Can’t Stand the Rain.” A unique version of Phyllis, dubbed Tryliss then segued into the ultra dancable song “House.” From here, the brass section really got a chance to shine, as a “Last Suppit/Oakland Stroke” hybrid jam launched the hot crowd into the next gear, ultimately landing on the emerging fan favorite”Trapezoid.” From here, it was time for some friends to join in on the fun, as Nigel Hall invited Delvon Lamarr and guitarist Jimmy James to the stage for a little help on a “Do It Like You Do,” a James Brown styled “Pappa Don’t Take No Mess,” and “Funky Drummer” sandwich to close out the wildly fulfilling and fun set.
After a very brief curtain call and a hard midnight curfew approaching, Lettuce would return the stage with the members of the Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio once again, this time for a two song encore of O.V. Write’s “Let’s Straighten It Out” and finally one of the oldest songs in the Lettuce catalog, “Squadlive” to close out the show.
Up next for the band, a couple weeks of rest before they embark on a highly anticipated month long European tour. For a full list of dates and ticket information, head to the bands official website for more details.
New Reel, Larimar, Krewe, Ain’t That Peculiar, I Can’t Stand the Rain, Tryliss, House, Last Suppit/Oakland Stroke, Trapezoid. Do It Like You Do*, Pappa Don’t Take No Mess*, Funky Drummer*
Encore: Let’s Straighten It Out*, Squadlive*
*Featuring Delvon Lamarr and Jimmy James