Getting Green

Finishing up our doubleheader of outdoor performing, we took to Government Center on Friday to perform on the main stage for GreenFest. And like I said on stage, what better way to show your love for Mother Earth than by doing it with The Lights Out? Whatever “it” is. For some, “it” was designing a vehicle that could go 100 miles on one gallon of gas and putting it on display. For others, it meant showing up and rocking out for the cause. We were on at 4, and Matt had to meet us there and then dash back to work after we played, so Adam, Jesse (who upgraded our trademark TLO lightbulb to a greener LED for the occasion) and I brought the gear over to the plaza and loaded up the ramp just in time to catch Jenny Dee and the Deelinquents. It was like watching the Ronettes, but with tatoos and a bit of light whammy bar thrown into the mix. The timbre of Jenny’s exuberant vocals even carries a hint of Ronnie Spector. Her guitarist and our good friend Eric Salt showed us some range, trading the straighter rhythms and americana rock stylings of his other outfit The Electric City for inverted snare motown girl group Steve Cropperisms. These guys were just really pro, and a lot of fun to watch and hear.

One of the nicest thing about playing on a big stage for me is the stumbling room. When I do my thing, I get on the mic for the verse, and then when it’s time for a guitar break, or whatever, I kind of stumble backward, or to the left to shake my head around with Matty. The Stumble: a time-honored move. And when you have all kinds of space, it gets ever more awesome, because you can totally pull out the “I’m working so hard for you people!” face, and you have three or four steps in every direction to keep the motion going. I could see getting used to it. Rita Carey from “Boston’s Independent Solar-Powered Radio” WXRV-FM (92.5 The River), had been spinning “Never Going Back” on the air, and was kind enough to introduce us. The sound out front was meaty and thick, I was told several times over by people out in the crowd. It’s an odd thing, but you never get to hear your own band play live, because you’re so busy actually playing. As ever, we had a blast up there!

Up after us were The Gentlemen, who we heard from the Narrangansett beer garden above, and they sounded great in their woolly, rootsy, boozy glory. And speaking of woolly, it was a personal milestone for me to be on the same bill as The Neighborhoods and Woolly Mammoth studio owner Dave Minehan. Everybody likes “Prettiest Girl”, and I do too, but I’m always especially partial to that opening guitar lick in “Pure and Easy” with it’s perfect balance of Rick Nielsen pop and the Edge-like angularity. Their cover of “Mama Kin” was spot on.

And just like that, we were out again. For us, it was surgical strike tourism rolled into an extremely short working vacation of, oh, a couple hours. Thanks go out to Lauran for inviting us on the bill, her able crew of Peter and Selene for making sure we were situated (and well-fed) and the volunteers from Foundation for a Green Future. It was great to be part of the cause, and hopefully part of the solution, but I’m not sure the solar panels on top of my amp are  going to work out so well. We usually only play at night.


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