With most members living in New York City, there’s no shortage of chances to see Lettuce in the big apple. This year they did three nights at the Brooklyn Bowl, a major show in Central Park, and just recently two nights at the (newly named) Playstation Theater to celebrate the release of their new album Crush. The new LP is a modern snapshot into the sound of the most interesting band playing funk music. It’s a mix of classic sounds and running-forward progression that seemingly crept its way into Lettuce’s sound while the majority of them were on tour with Pretty Lights. That new vibe, some kind of mix between J Dilla and classic soul instrumentals, can best be heard on the album’s interludes.
Playstation Theater is the biggest indoor venue that the band has headlined in NYC, their spiritual home. Two nights to celebrate the new record is a hell of a way to celebrate, and the spirits were pretty high at Saturday’s show. Lettuce soundtracked the dance party with a mix of new songs, old favorites and a healthy dose of instrumentation. A few songs into the set they played an unreleased cuts that no one had ever heard before, the mesmerizing untitled joint was referred to as “New Neal,” before diving into one of their most popular tracks “Blast Off.” New joints like “Trillogy” translate extraordinarily well to the live experience, and it doesn’t hurt that every member of Lettuce is at the top of their class.
With sometimes-member Eric Krasno in tow, the band was absolutely unstoppable. The grooves were long and focused, allowing each member to flourish when they took a solo. For the crowd, it meant really honing in on Deitch’s beats and allowing them to effortlessly move their limbs about. By the time Nigel Hall joined the stage to sing a few songs, the crowd was like play-dough in the palm of the band’s hand. Hall sang “Makin’ My Way Back Home” before playing “Move On Up,” a song that apparently he never planned to sing with Lettuce again. It was beautiful, and sandwiched “Do It Like You Do” in a way that made the whole place go wild.
Lettuce has a pretty huge tour planned, and will play two nights at the Brooklyn Bowl come New Years. We’ll see you there on January 1st and 2nd.
Evil Wu, The Force, Yakatori, New Reel, New Neal, Blast Off, Trillogy, Slippin, Pocket Change, Elephant Walk, Lettsanity, Makin’ My Way Back Home*, Move On Up (Curtis Mayfield cover)* > Do It Like You Do* > Move On Up*
* w/ Nigel Hall