It’s fair to say that rock and roll was at a low point when the Smithereens hit the national scene in the mid-1980s. By then, punk was almost mainstream and grunge was still percolating in the basements of Seattle and LA. There were certainly some great rock bands out there, but popular tastes had shifted away from the classic rock sounds that dominated the previous 15- 20 years.
Bands like the Smithereens never reached the popular acclaim of earlier acts, even though they brought just as much talent and energy to the scene. That feeling was still very much alive Saturday night (Nov. 17th) when the band played the Greenwich Odeum.
The near-sellout crowd saw the band offering up a retrospective of their career. The killer set included Smithereens classics, some newer tunes and a couple of covers where they really kicked out the jams. Since the loss of founding member Pat Dinizio, the lead singer role was filled admirably by Marshall Crenshaw. Overall, the band sounded great.
Highlights included the opener “Behind the Wall of Sleep,” “Only a Memory” and “Blood and Roses.” Covers included Buddy Holly’s “Well, Alright,” the guitar driven Who classic “Sparks,” and a tasty version of Badfinger’s “No Matter What.”
Ted Leo, who is rumored to be joining the band on tour in 2019, was a surprise guest for the encore, and the band hung around after the show to welcome fans for an extended “meet and greet.” There are no low points at a Smithereens show, the band knocks every song out of the park, with the energy of those half their age. Enjoy some photos of the show from WhatsUpRI photographer Rick Farrell below.
Photos by Rick Farrell, Mojo Photography