Rarely these days do I make it to a concert but a friend of ours follows all the local band scenes and has convinced us that 2013 will the year of concert going. First up, the Smithereens. I liked them “back in the day” and still like them now. They can still rock a show and appear to have the stamina from 20 years ago; although like all of us, have aged in appearance.
We saw them over the weekend at the State Theatre, an old movie house turned concert venue and not too far from us in Virginia. I had never been there before and really liked their cabaret-style set up. I like the Birchmere as well, closer to us and a more intimate environment, but this open and spacious layout took the lead. I didn’t know what to expect, the Black Cat maybe, which I would have liked but would have felt over age. Not quite the cane set (like the Birchmere mostly) but we were within age range, if not underage here. Although, a birthday this week may put me over the quota. :0
We got there early to snag a table and fortunately, were able to do so. Otherwise, we would have been standing in the pit in front. It wouldn’t have been bad but with a table, we had a place to hang and actually had good food. I had a pretty decent shrimp po’boy but too piled high to close the sandwich. Ahh, I didn’t need all that bread anyway. From our viewpoint (table in darkened area on right in back from the stage in this picture — they have since added balcony seating), we could see the stage pretty well and the pit was designed on a declined slope to not block the vantage of the table onlookers. Smart! I like their interactive website page too.
If you’re not familiar with the Smithereens, don’t get them confused with The Smiths, which I always tended to do. They are different, one being American (New Jersey, good old boys) and the other Brittish, but their sound for some songs seemed similar to me. Seeing them at the concert helped to identify and separate their differences even more. The Smithereens played their classics: Blood and Roses, Yesterday Girl, Only a Memory, and Top of the Pops, which I didn’t realize was the same song I listen to at least twice a week while still (admittingly) exercising to a Cindy Crawford video. We were all up our of our chairs, dancing (the only ones it seemed) when they played their finale A Girl Like You.
Pat DiNizio, lead singer and guitarist, has the same recognizable voice that is just as strong as the early years. Dennis Diken, the drummer, played one of the best solo performances for the drums that I’ve heard. Their recent sound has gotten more contemplative and even jazzy. Here’s Especially for You that we were able to record via the link below (give it a minute to load) and an earlier version for comparison.