Del Fuegos back in the 1980s

A few thoughts about the reunited 1980s Boston rockers the Del Fuegos’ 85-minute performance Tuesday at the Varsity Theater -- one of 12 stops on their first tour in 22 years:

* The garage rock songs — including "It’s Alright," "I Always Call Her Back" (with some cool surf blues guitar) and "Don’t Run Wild" (with its Kinksian bass and guitar lines) — were as fun and exciting now as they were back in the day. I also liked their Ann Peebles cover with its deep groove and the jangly "Night on the Town," which sounded like Bob Dylan meets the Jayhawks.

* Apparently like all brothers in the same band, Dan and Warren Zanes remain rock-star thin. And they still fight. Well, they feigned a fight onstage, with Warren offering to sell his solo CDs for $5 while the Del Fuegos discs were $10 and Dan protested.

* Dan looks strangely like Steve Martin with Napoleon Dynamite’s hairdo.

* During the medium-tempo tunes, it felt like the original quartet (plus an unintroduced keyboardist) was dumbing it down musically. They’ve obviously improved as musicians over the years but had to play in a rudimentary styles for many of the tunes. By the way, Dan Zanes has won a Grammy for one of his nine children's music albums, and Warren Zanes and bassist Tom Lloyd both have Ph.Ds

* The Del Fuegos’ new material from the EP "Silver Star" had more textures and musical depth.

* The first encore selection, the 1986 hit "I Still Want You," suggested a slow-burn Tom Petty number. The Del Fuegos toured with Petty in the '80s.

* Dan gave props to the Replacements, Del Fuegos’ old pals and tour mates. He recalled the Boston boys' first trip to Minneapolis. "Some of us slept on the Stinsons’ floor and some on Peter Jesperson’s floor," he said referring to bassist Tommy and guitarist Bob Stinson and band manager Jesperson. "We wanted to be like the Everly Brothers or Sam & Dave, but we couldn’t even tune our instruments."

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