The Smithereens at The Kate in Old Saybrook, CT on 6/29/11
Rock & Roll, Smithereens Style
“I’m not sure The Kate is ready for this,” said the smiling emcee at The Katherine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center in Old Saybrook as he introduced the band, but an audience of loyal fans were absolutely ready for The Smithereens to take the stage and deliver two sets of blistering rock & roll. The band tore thru such classics as “Behind The Wall of Sleep,” and “Drown In My Own Tears,” and a generous helping of songs from their new album, 2011. The New Jersey based band has been around since 1980, and has been rocking audiences live & on record ever since.
The Smithereens are perhaps best known for songs like “Blood & Roses” and the 1990 hit “A Girl Like You” and they’ve been releasing fantastic albums full of power pop & crunchy guitar rock (with a heavy 1960’s influence) for years, beginning with 1986’s Especially For You. Friday’s show at “The Kate” was another electrifying live performance from the band. The obvious joy they have when playing together is infectious. They’re all amazing musicians, with Pat DiNizio’s solid lead vocals combining with Jim Babjak’s blistering guitar solos, Dennis Diken’s spectacular drumming and bassist Severo “The Thrilla” Jornacion’s energetic bass. Jornacion, who joined the band in 2006 (when original bassist Mike Mesaros left the group), encouraged the audience to participate throughout the show, and charged up the theater with his wild antics.
The band wears its garage rock influences proudly, and the show included some excellent covers of songs by The Beatles & The Who (the band has recorded tribute albums to both groups). New songs like “Sorry” and “One Look At You” fit comfortably into the band’s catalog; when you’re looking for old-fashioned rock & roll , you need look no further than a Smithereens disc or concert. By the time the 2nd set came to a close with the thundering chords of “A Girl Like You” part of the audience had moved toward the stage, and everyone else was on their feet. If they’re playing in your area, head out to see this under-rated, excellent band; you won’t regret it.
The author & the band