I met Sean Lennon in Dublin, Ireland eight years ago. He was humble, a bit shy and somehow apologetic, playing to a seated crowd of about 50 in the upstairs of a pub called Whelans. There were no sorry’s at the Great American Music Hall Tuesday night as GOASST. Lennon’s project with model babe bass-player girlfriend Charlotte Kemp Muhl, seems to gives him permission to shine on. Sean is a bad ass, vibing and technical, guitar player. Still, I can’t help to say his spirit still feels like a musical giant bent over and cramped into a glass house. He has so much potential.
Before GOASTT started, the keyboardist was out on stage tuning up. Dude looked like he was planning to play John Lennon in a theater production: striped pants, St. Pepper-esque jacket, the hair and the glasses. The fans were fooled. “Sean, we love you!” one yelled. The keyboardist shyly spoke back “I’m not Sean.”
The performance flowed with peaks and valleys and didn’t sound like one outdrawn song typical of some psychedelic labeled bands. You can hear some of Lennon and Harrison’s guitar licks and riffs melted in their music, and they even directly pulled from the Beatles’ “Because.” If anyone is allowed, Sean is and in fairness, who doesn’t want to hear it? The night was capped with Bob Weir joining GOASST on stage for a rendition of the Grateful Dead‘s “I Know You Rider.” No one had left, trapped mesmerized in the rainfall picks, drips and drops of Lennon and Weir’s dueling plucks.
Sean said San Francisco was his favorite city in the world that night; then, the day after he posted on his Facebook wall that their van window had been smashed at Franklin and Hayes and a computer was stolen while they were in a coffee shop that afternoon. Fade in song “If you’re going to San Fran- ciscoooo, be sure to take all your valuables-outta-yer-car” or instead of your heart, you’ll be leaving your Mac.. You see where I’m going with this. UGH San Francisco, you sure know how to
not keep a friend.
The GOASST’s new record, Midnight Sun, is available from Sean’s label Chimera.