The Smithereens are back.
Not only is the New Jersey rock quartet issuing a wonderful new collection, “Live in Concert – Greatest Hits and More” on May 27, but the band will be returning to headline at the Coach House in San Juan Capistrano on Thursday night, May 15.
The forthcoming KOCH Records commercial release showcases tracks captured during the Smithereens’ four-night run at the Court Tavern in New Brunswick, New Jersey, that played out Jan. 30-Feb. 2, 2008.
The shows marked a true homecoming celebration since the band (singer-guitarist Pat DiNizio, lead guitarist Jim Babjak, drummer Dennis Diken and bassist Severo ‘The Thrilla’ Jornacion) was launched from nearby Carteret and Scotch Plains, New Jersey and often performed at the Court Tavern at the beginning of their career.
All of the band’s best-known hits are delivered powerfully on the new disc, including gems such as the set-opening “Behind the Wall of Sleep,” explosive “A Girl Like You” and haunting “Only a Memory.” But long-time fans of the group will also be eager to hear two new songs, “Any Other Way” and “Since you Went Away.”
The Smithereens are fronted by DiNizio, who has a distinctive and powerful baritone voice able to fully deliver material that recalls the rich tradition of artists such as the Byrds, Buddy Holly, the Who and Nick Lowe. But the band’s sound is truly its own and the Smithereens’ performances at the Coach House are legendary, with DiNizio and Babjak often walking out on the tables while deploying all their skills on electric guitar.
Anyone who has seen the Smithereens since the outfit exploded on the scene in the mid-1980s knows the powerful approach, best described as the perfect blend of Beatles melody-making and AC/DC riff rock. The Smithereens remain a enduring reminder of how much rock ‘n’ roll matters, and those attending the upcoming show at the Coach House will have plenty of chances to sing-along and cheer for one of America’s few artists able to masterfully blend hard rock, power pop and singer-songwriter instincts together into a perfect brew.
The Smithereens and Orange County's own the Relatives will perform at the Coach House, 33157 Camino Capistrano, San Juan Capistrano, at 8 p.m. on May 15.
Admission is $20 in advance or $23 on the day of the show.