Support Local Journalism. Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Lettuce Heats Up Some Funk in Cold Cleveland at Last Night's House of Blues Show

Concert Review

Posted By on Thu, Jan 24, 2019 at 10:11 AM

click to enlarge ERIC SANDY
There was no way around it. By the time Wednesday's workday had wrapped and another strange January afternoon had slipped into evening, there was no getting around the bald truth of the thing. America had fallen on nasty times. People were losing their minds! Here in Cleveland, thankfully, we had an out. We had funk music to dance to.

Lettuce stopped by the briefly balmy climes of the north shore for a half-sold House of Blues show last night, and it was a hell of a trip. If you were there, you're probably feeling all hale and hearty this morning. If you made the mistake of missing this one, well, there's a pot of coffee brewing in the break room. Have a ball!

For more than 20 years now, Lettuce has been providing top-notch party music for the masses. With a smattering of studio and live albums under their belt and a handful of lineup changes over the years, they're really firing brilliantly these days. The current Vibe Up tour has been garnering accolades up and down the touring circuit in January, and Cleveland was treated to another fine installment.

The band's musicianship is just incredible. I felt tempted throughout the show to focus on one guy's sound over others, but the full-group cohesion was impossible to ignore. For the uninitiated, we're talking mostly instrumental grooves here, although keys player Nigel Hall took vocal duties on a few songs.

Bassist Erick Coomes kept the foundation thumping, and sax man Ryan Zoidis found plenty of room to wail. A lot of Lettuce's grooves allow for open-ended improv to work into a set, letting the band take some killer liberties last night.

The night built to a triumphant climax in the second set, when a friend of the band came out and joined Lettuce onstage with a djembe. He kicked the energy through the roof. At one point, Hall walked out to the front of the stage and just sat down to watch his friend play. It was a wonderful moment.

In fact, the whole night was a blissed-out retreat from the outside world. There's too much stuff going on out there. In here, at the show, with your pals in Lettuce up on the stage, things seem brighter, easier, more uplifting.

Tags: , , ,

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

Read the Digital Print Issue

December 1, 2021

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.


© 2021 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 505-8199
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.

Website powered by Foundation