ACL Fest 2017: Lemon Twigs deliver high-energy baroque rock ‘n’ roll

“You should see me when I’m really getting hot.”

That tongue-in-cheek line came courtesy of Brian D’Addario, who was no doubt roasting Friday afternoon as his band the Lemon Twigs took over the Miller Lite stage with an hour of high-energy, dramatic and hooky-as-hell baroque rock ‘n’ roll.

Brian D’Addario of The Lemon Twigs performs at the Austin City Limits Music Festival in Zilker Park on Friday October 6, 2017. JAY JANNER / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

D’Addario – who fronts the buzzed-about band with his brother Michael – punctuated his time at the front of the stage with regular exaggerated kicks, jump splits and a showman’s swagger well beyond his years. Things were less over the top when Michael D’Addario took over on guitar and vocals, with his brother and keyboardist Danny Ayala frequently exchanging instruments throughout the set, which at times recalled the weirdo chutzpah of Ween and Of Montreal’s dramatic pomp.

Live,  the band trades some of the intricate orchestration of last year’s “Do Hollywood” LP and the just-released “Brothers Of Destruction” with rock bombast and energy. That meant that “Baby, Baby” saw multi-part A capella harmonies switch into zealous overblown rock riffing in a snap, and pulled off without a slip.

The high point come on future yacht rock staple “These Words,” sounding like the best Steely Dan deep cut you’ve never heard. That being a sterling compliment.

It says a lot when a band covering Roky Erickson’s “I Walked With A Zombie” is the most restrained part of a set. That’s what happens when a band’s lead guitarist pops his guitar strap and is still pulling off jump splits and delivering searing solos without missing a beat.


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