Review: Dot Wiggin Band & In Heat @ Lilypad (4/5/14)

Bands: Dot Wiggin Band, In Heat
Date: Saturday, April 5, 2014
Venue: Lilypad (Cambridge, MA)

Dot Wiggin Band – First and foremost, it’s a pleasure and privilege to have  Dot Wiggin of the legendary Shaggs in our city. I’ve been a Shaggs fan since high school, so it’s exciting.

I can’t speak for other fans, but I’ve never been one to say “ohh this sounds so bad it’s good!” I’ve never understood that logic. I am just a fan of “pop” music and as long as I feel the passion behind that music and its pleasing to my ears then I can get behind it, regardless of technique or fidelity. Dot and her sisters created “outsider” rock ‘n’ roll back in the 60s and it is still being celebrated today as this show is evidence of that.

Tonight, Dot Wiggin takes care of the vocals while Brittany Anjou plays piano, organ, and also sings, and bashing away on the drums is Laura Cromwell aka Helen Jr – her mother Helen Wiggin, Dot’s sister was the original Shaggs drummer. Apparently, this isn’t the usual Dot Wiggin Band line-up, in fact not even half the line-up because the other members had other commitments though as Dot puts it “they are here in spirit.” Word, this one night deal works for me. The unusual is only fitting.

The Lilypad is a sweet, little spot and it is filled up with Shaggs/Dot Wiggin nuts. It’s amusing watching these devotees geek out over the Dot. Their eyes light up when Dot and her band rip through classics such as “It’s Halloween,” “I’m So Happy When You’re Near,” “Who Are Parents?,” and the biggest “hit” “My Pal Foot Foot.”

The Dot Wiggin Band isn’t just a Shaggs tribute band. They are their own entity and they have a new album entitled Ready! Get! Go! out now on Alternative Tentacles. Among this new material is a catchy, little number known as “Banana Bike”, very much keeping that freaky deaky Shaggs spirit alive and well.

It’s great to see an older performer that’s out there playing shows and not doing the typical shitty reunion WE OBVIOUSLY NEED MONEY BADLY! tour. I may not be a hardcore Shaggs/Dot Wiggin fan and honestly there’s only a few songs I really love, but I still admire the music as a whole and recognize its place in history. The influence is indisputable.

In Heat – I saw these Providence dawgs back in September at the JP Drive In. Goodtimes. Indeed, In Heat is massive contrast from the marshmellowy Dot Wiggin Band. In Heat are loud, hardcore, perhaps even death metal, though I am not totally sure on this. They certainly scream their lungs out and it’s a big wall of  noise. It’s ok, my ears are dead at this point anyway. In Heat is the nail in the coffin.

Here’s a video of this evening’s performance from the Dot Wiggin Band You Tube Channel:





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