December 08 2021 Lettuce performed at The Midtown Ballroom in Bend, OR. By Nancy Fairchild
As far back as this summer I started seeing ads online for nationally touring funkateers Lettuce playing at the Midtown Ballroom. Despite never having heard of them, the lights and energy in the little videos really pulled me in and I put this show on my calendar. As the months went by, I was pretty sure this was a band I needed to check out. Plus, the show was being put on by long time Central Oregon entertainment company Parallell 44, who has turned me on to so many fantastic acts in Bend over the years.
Now, I have a love hate relationship with this particular venue. I love it because of all the great shows I’ve seen there. But the venue seems to be unconcerned with anyone’s concert experience and there have been times where it negatively effected the show and experience. That being said, the line outside was positively vibrating with a palpable excitement that led me to have some great expectations. It was an all ages show, which I enjoy, and the youthful energy abounded. It was great to see such a multi generational crowd.
If I had to describe this show in a word, it would be ‘relentless’. There was no opening act, and Lettuce took the stage with an explosion of energy and really Just. Never. Stopped. I’m a fancy dancer and Lettuce kept me on my feet and in the crowd 100% of the show. And I was definitely not alone. The entire crowd was one joyful sea of smiles.
I don’t know if it’s their regular stage setup or something specific to this venue, but I liked how the setup kind of took the players out of the equation, with them taking a back seat to the magic of their music and impressive light show. Their sound is so rich and layered, and and still effectively fully egalitarian, all members getting the chance to shine on their instruments and drive the funk. The horns are so powerful and bring such emotion to the music, but are never overpowering, a fine line that Lettuce treads with ease.
Adam Deitch drums, percussion, arrangement
Adam “Shmeeans” Smirnoff guitar
Erick “Jesus” Coomes bass
Ryan Zoidis alto, baritone, tenor sax, Korg X-911
Eric “Benny” Bloom trumpet, horns
Nigel Hall vocals, Hammond B-3, Rhodes, clavinet, keyboards
NEW BRING BACK THE LOVE DATES
3/27 – Wilmington, NC • Greenfield Lake Amphitheater*
3/30 – Columbus, OH • Newport Music Hall*
4/3 – Syracuse, NY • Westcott Theater*
4/6 – Hartford, CT • Infinity Music Hall*
4/7 – Burlington, VT • Higher Ground*
4/8 – Boston, MA • House of Blues*
4/20 – Patchogue, NY • Blue Point Brewing
4/21 – Albany, NY • Empire Live*
4/22 – Port Chester, NY • The Capitol Theatre*
4/28 – Little Rock, AR • The Hall*
6/25 – Rothbury, MI • Electric Forest
8/13 – Richmond, VA • Brown’s Island / Jam Packed Festival
This is Nancy “Fancy Dancer” Fairchild’s first review with us, she is a life long live music fanatic with hundreds if not thousands of shows under her belt.
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