Sunday April 9, 2017
@ the Rickshaw Theatre
Twin Peaks has the ability to pull vitality from a crowd. They work like a sun at the centre of the solar system, releasing a radiant energy that is drawn on and amplified by every person in the room. The moment the band steps onstage, it’s as if a switch has been turned on. To the audience’s delight, the band quickly launches into “Butterfly,” and everyone is singing along, everyone knows every word. It’s electric.
Starting in Vancouver, the Chicago garage rock band is continuing down the west coast for the month of April, co-touring with Spanish indie pop girl band Hinds and accompanied by rock duo White Mystery. Twin Peaks’ latest 2016 release, Down In Heaven, delivers a mature, more polished sound than their previous records, and onstage, the album’s ballad vibes and abundance of melodic guitar riffs are clear, with the youthful noise carried over from 2014’s Wild Onion still shining through. As the enthusiastic moshing and crowdsurfing begins, it’s clear that the gritty liveliness in their music is what everyone came here for.
Halfway through their set, the band is sweating. “I need a drink,” declares Clay Frankel, and pops open a beer as Jack Dolan tosses an empty stray one into the crowd. Dolan keeps up conversation between songs, indulging the audience. “Who paid for this thing?” he asks when someone throws a Blue Jays hat onstage. After a brief conversation with an audience member, he generously throws it back.
One thing that is clear about the five-piece is that each member brings a visible passion to both the band’s sound and to their performance. Connor Brodner, the band’s drummer, is happily settled in the back, delivering snare hit after snare hit. Cadien James serves a sick guitar solo as he shakes his head vigorously to the music, as he tends to do. To his left, keyboardist Colin Croom is doing his own thing, banging out the keys with fervency, and Frankel is lost in his own world, eyes shut as he feels out the melody with his guitar. Then there’s Dolan, pleasantly standing in the middle of it all plucking away at the bass. They’re all having such a good time that together, each individual becomes a piece of a beautiful rock and roll amalgamation. Through every thoughtful riff, every beat, they make each instrument shine in every song, mingling together like ingredients in a recipe to form a delicious concoction for the fans.
Lighters are held up as their slowest jam, “Stain”, fills the room, lulling the crowd into a contented entrancement. “Now, THIS is rock and roll,” I hear a person slur loudly in front of me as the song comes to an end. Rock and roll, indeed.
Follow Twin Peaks on their tour here.