Lit – Great Hall Hartford
There’s a scene in the Edward Burns movie The Groomsmen, where Jay Mohr, Matthew Lillard, and Donal Logue – three aging friends, trying to reclaim their former glory – have what can only be generously described as band practice. Seeing Lit perform after all these years, or at all really for that matter, was kind of like watching that scene. That’s a bit-too-harsh characterization of their performance, but it’s not really that far off. The remaining Lit trio (more on this later) were a lot like the trio from the movie – playing their hardest, trying their best, working their damnedest for that “A for effort”.
Now that’s not at all to say that their performance was poor – but it was nowhere near up to the caliber they were capable of in their heyday. They are a lot like Edward Burns’ movies actually (See The Brothers McMullen, Looking for Kitty, Nice Guy Johnny, Newlyweds, et al.) – always containing a character, often times played by Burns himself, that is introduced to you with mixed intentions, mixed motivations, but always has you rooting for him in the end.
And that’s exactly what I did, root for them. Lit has come a long way since they broke out on to the modern rock scene close to 15 years ago. In that time they found a good deal of success, but also plenty of heartbreak and tragedy. The bio on the band’s website reads like their very own episode of “Behind the Music”. With the success of their performance at Woodstock ’99 and touring in support of No Doubt and Garbage came the serious motorcycle accident which killed the brothers’ Popoff’s stepfather and seriously injured their mother. And just days before they were to start a European tour in support of KISS, their original drummer Allen Shellenberger was diagnosed with a brain tumor that would claim his life a year later.
Lit were a man down that night (as they have been for the past 4+ years), and it showed. They sounded like they were playing catch-up, trying to get back to those glory days when A. Jay’s shirtless antics and Jeremy’s fast licks would entertain crowds the world over.
With all this history behind them, and a new album (and probably an attempt at a larger tour) in front of them, Lit still rocked out a set mixed with new songs, as well as some of the old classics like “Ziplock”, “Miserable”, and “My Own Worst Enemy”. At the end of night I was left hoping for a better future for Lit, hoping they can find that spark that used to light them so brightly. Here’s to Lit – and another shot of Jäger. -J.
For the past few years, every time Lit were in the area I either was unable to go because of work or I found out about the shows after they had already played. This time, my friend Rick Bober from (FYC Entertainment) was the promoter so I found out they were opening up for Buckcherry in time to plan (even though I had forgotten to put in my request until the week of the show, oops). The last time I had seen them was some time in the early 2000s so I was definitely excited to see if they were still the same energetic group that they used to be. The show was basically in the middle of a train station in Hartford called Great Hall. The way it was set up, it reminded me of some private party that happened to have a stage and lights and all the basic needs of a concert venue. When it came time for Lit, I was all set to take a ton of photos but unfortunately, due to a camera malfunction, I was unable to produce anything from the show.. that’s why I’m adding my own little review so I can still contribute something from the show. Trust me, I’m super bummed about not having anything fun to show you but there’s always next time, right? Anyways, the band did not disappoint. Their stage presence still included a great deal of energy, although not quite as much as they used to.. we can blame getting older for that one. They played a nice combination of their older hits and some material off their new album (The View From The Bottom). I wouldn’t mind seeing them when they are headlining so that I could hear even more of the songs I used to love, which will hopefully be sooner rather than later. One thing that did bother me a little was that something seemed to be a little off throughout the evening. It could have been technical difficulties but there were some timing issues here and there. Then again, it could be that the Jager sponsorship is finally catching up with them and hitting them a little harder now that they’re older. A.Jay’s voice is starting to sound a little more scraggly then it used to, but that could be from wanting to try a different sound. I would also like to note that it was my first time seeing them since their former drummer, Allen, had passed away due to cancer and I definitely took a moment during their set to remember his talent and how sweet he was any time I had interacted with him at a show. He was a great guy and it is sad that he is no longer with us. Their new drummer is a good fit for the band and I hope things go well for them with him since good drummers can be hard to find. And yes, at the end of the performance, A.Jay, Jeremy and Kevin still form the rock pyramid and honestly, I doubt they will ever get too old for that one. Hopefully next tour we will get the chance to take photos minus a malfunctioning camera and maybe even do an interview for you all to enjoy. Thanks again to Rick, as well as Nicole from Lit’s management team for hooking us up on short notice. – Envy