Tribute bands come and go and many jam fans – especially those of the Phish-y variety, tend to turn their noses up at them. But like most of life every rule has its exceptions. Band’s such as Dark Star Orchestra (Grateful Dead) and Start Making Sense (Talking Heads) have generated ample buzz and following, dedicating their lives representing musical heroes with great respect and talent. The Lawn Boys seem perfectly poised to join this upper tier with their spot-on recreations of composition-based Phish pieces and their own fiery originality within improvisational jam sections that scream “Phish 1.0”.
After a nicely executed sound check “Possum” and a short break, the Boys took the stage and wasted no time getting into the fan favorite and relative rarity “Curtain With”. Featuring shreddy lead passages from TLB’s resident “Trey” Darren Rodney – this rendition could easily stand up among the tops of those of the phab phour themselves. After a fan requested a well done Funky Bitch, came one of the best duo’s of the night: “46 Day’s” into Robert Palmer’s “Sneakin’ Sally Through the Alley”. The filled venue with fans of all ages did their part, bouncing all around the room dancing. The jam itself contained many hints at an impending “2001” funk-fest but ended up back into the main Sally theme. At least for this night, the band seemed completely focused on pre-hiatus material with the set ending on a peaktastic goose bump inducing “Slave to the Traffic Light”.
After a “we’ll be back in 10 minutes” break we all took a journey through the “Maze” before the second set got a phabulous anchor with a “Mike’s->Reba->Weekapaug” sequence with bassist Miguel Lantigua dropping soul shaking bombs all over the place and keys man David Kaufman making Page proud. Mid set the band showed their appreciation for Phish’s humorous side with the resident Fishman – drummer Andrew Mega – whipping out the vacuum for a hilarious take on “I Didn’t Know”. A well oiled “Harry Hood” would finish the set, but the packed Lovin’ Cup floor wouldn’t let them end quite yet so they came back out for a triple encore of “Chalk Dust,” “Fuego” (The only new era song for the night) and the obligatory “YEM” to finish it off. Boy Man God Awesome! Keep an eye on The Lawn Boys tour – and don’t miss your next chance to see them.