From left: Jim Babjak, Marshall Crenshaw, Dennis Diken, Mike Mesaros | Photo by Bob Gramegna
Six months after the death of frontman Pat DiNizio, the remaining original members of The Smithereens – Jim Babjak, Dennis Diken, and Mike Mesaros – will play shows this summer with singer-songwriter Marshall Crenshaw sitting in as the band’s guest vocalist.
So far, dates have been announced in New York, Illinois, Ohio and Massachusetts, and they follow a June 1 concert in Montclair, N.J., by the Crenshaw-fronted Smithereens. (The surviving bandmembers also played at least one show this past spring with Robin Wilson of The Gin Blossoms on vocals.)
Crenshaw is no stranger to the The Smithereens, not only have guested during a memorial concert for DiNizio earlier this year, but having contributed organ and piano to “Strangers When We Meet” on the band’s 1986 debut Especially For You under the pseudonym Jerome Jerome.
In an interview with NJArts.net prior to the June concert, Crenshaw said he realizes “it’s a pretty significant thing” to be fronting The Smithereens. He added:
“If I think too deeply about it, there’s a little bit of painfulness. I really just try to tune out everything and just play the music. … I’m just there to be the surrogate; I’m just like the mouthpiece, so to speak. I’m there to do justice to the songs. The energy that the band has is exciting to be around.”
In that same article, Diken, the band’s drummer, called Crenshaw “part of our extended family.”
See the full dates below.
The Smithereens with Marshall Crenshaw tour dates:
July 14: Iridium, New York City, NY (8 p.m. and 10 p.m. shows)
July 26: Arcade Theatre, St. Charles, IL
July 27: Evanston Rocks, Evanston, IL
July 28: Southern Theatre, Columbus, OH
Aug. 24: Suffolk Theatre, Riverhead, Long Island, NY
Aug. 25: The Center for the Arts, Natick, MA
PREVIOUSLY ON SLICING UP EYEBALLS
- Watch: Little Steven, The Kinks’ Dave Davies and more honor The Smithereens’ Pat DiNizio
- Pat DiNizio, The Smithereens’ lead singer and songwriter with ‘the magic touch,’ 1955-2017
- The Smithereens reunite with Mike Mesaros, recording new album — watch this 3-hour set
- The Smithereens mark 25th anniversary of ‘Green Thoughts’ with digital live/rarities set