Despite having several opportunities to see them play live, the show at Jack Rabbits on April 23, 2017 was my first Twiddle show. I had heard many great things about them, mostly from friends and acquaintances whose musical opinion I valued. While I was still recovering from my overnight trip to Spirit of the Suwannee, I was really pumped to finally get to see this well-respected band.
As we were walking up to Jack Rabbits, I could hear that the opening act had already started. What caught my attention first was Elliott Peck’s soulful voice that could be heard clearly outside. Anxious to hear more, I rushed inside to see what the band had to offer. It’s impossible to label Midnight North as any genre of music – they have their own unique sound. That night, I heard almost every musical genre used to describe them. Between the lead guitars, 3-part harmonies, Hammond B3 organ, and powerful bass lines, it was clear to me they have a sound of their own.
Midnight North shared tunes from their upcoming album, Under the Lights, which arrives in stores on June 16th, intermixed with previous hits and cover songs. Highlights of their set were “Roamin’”, which is a soulful tune off their new album that flawlessly exhibited each members’ talent. It wasn’t until they broke out in “Viola Lee Blues” that I really heard the Grateful Dead influences. (I learned after the show that lead guitarist Grahame Lesh is Phil Lesh’s son.) Twiddle’s Mihali Savoulidis sat in on guitar and vocals for “Viola” and their last song, Jimmy Cliff’s “Harder They Come.” These guys (and gal) had the crowd pumped, proving they were the perfect warmup to the main act.
As we were waiting for Twiddle to take the stage, my friends and I walked around, chatting with the crowd. Half the attendees still had their bracelets on from Wanee, still reeling from an epic weekend of music. One girl told me “Yea, we weren’t ready to reintegrate into normal society, so we came here.” As Twiddle took the stage, I understood why this was where they felt they needed to be.
The boys wasted no time, starting out with one of my favorite tunes of the night, “Cabbage Face”. I love this tune, as it offers listeners a taste of several genres of music. This jam has a drum and bass-y and ethereal sound, with a little side of country. The crowd was pumped and clearly came to get down.
They continued to ignite the crowd, as they transitioned from “Indigo Trigger” to “Gatsby the Great.” Everyone seemed to favor these songs, and I can understand why. They had a very funky vibe with a driving baseline. At times, I had the conscious thought, “Now I understand why these guys are named Twiddle,” as the interplay between the keys and guitar offer a “twiddle-y” sound that keeps you on your feet and moving. As I left the show, everyone was mingling inside, still moving to the music we could no longer hear. Twiddle played for a packed house of fans that clearly came to get down. And boy did they!
If you haven’t yet, check out Twiddle’s new album, PLUMP, released on April 28th, just a few days after the Jack Rabbit’s show.