Twiddle at Baltimore Soundstage
Written By Haley Halwany
Edited by Cait Deane
Last Wednesday’s Twiddle show at the Soundstage in Baltimore, MD was one of the last shows in a whirlwind spring tour for the band. The show was also only the third performance since their highly awaited release of album, PLUMP chapters 1 & 2. The night was filled with intense mid song jam breaks, familiar song teases, and three songs from chapter 2. The East Coast always shows the love for Vermont based quartet and Wednesday was no different. The Soundstage was packed and the energy was high. After opening band Pasadena finished, anticipation PE/\KED and the crowd was ready! Much talk of what new songs would be played, as well as shouts for familiar songs like “Carter Candlestick” and long time fan favorite, “Frankenfoote,” that has not been played at all in 2017. Although neither of those songs were played the night was filled with tasty jams and left the crowd relaxed and dreaming of their next show.
Opening the show with “Doinkinbonk!!!” was a sure way to get the entire venue moving, the song broke into several extended jams and you could feel the energy between frontman Mihali and bassist Zdenek Gubb. “Shifting into Moments,” a song from their new album was the perfect segue into a night of old and new. The song is one of my personal favorite tracks on PLUMP chapter 2. It is a song that in true Twiddle fashion, focuses lyrically on letting music and happiness prevail during life’s trying times. I could feel my smile growing as I let the music heal. The first set continued on to “Latin Tang,” with Mihali playing two Jimi Hendrix teases on guitar, “Voodoo Child” and “Purple Haze.” The crowd was also given a special treat when Ryan Dempsey and Mihali left the stage, giving the spotlight to Gubb and Brook.
After the full band returned to the stage, the set continued with Tiberius, although it was not played to its entirety, it is such a special song to me, being the first twiddle song I ever heard. And the band played it into another new song, Drifter, with DJBJ taking the lead on vocals. this was most likely everyone in the rooms first time hearing this live, being only the second time it has been played & it is always so special to see drummer, Brook Jordan sing. His vocals are a sharp contrast to Mihali’s, and the love and support he gets from band members when singing always reminds me why I love this band so much. They have fun, they love each other, and they’re never afraid to change it up.
During a short set break, I was smitten to hear so many positive remarks, especially from those who had never been to a Twiddle show before. I was eager to get back inside and see what the second set would hold.
Opening the set with local musician and Pigeons Playing Ping Pong’s guitarist, Jeremy Schon, is always a great way to get Baltimore excited. I’ve seen Jeremy sit in with lots of bands, but the chemistry between Schon and Twiddle is unmatched. Keyboardist, Ryan Dempsey played much of “Greenleaves,” prior to the band plus pigeon, busted out a heated “Syncopated Healing.” The two guitarists fed off each other and kicked off the set right.
The fire only continued when the band played “Gatsby the Great,” after another key solo of heart and soul. “Gatsby” was interchanged with Dempsey’s pet duck “Chauncey” who passed just a few weeks ago. RIP CHAUNCEY THE GREAT. The song brought smiles to Dempsey who proudly displays his stuffed ducks in front of his set up, with a giant knit Chauncey in front. Good night continued with a guitar heavy jam entitled blunderbuss also from the band latest album. Blunderbuss was debuted almost a year ago as their first track the band previewed off plump chapter 2. The jam showcases Mihali’s extreme guitar talent as well as highlighting Brook Jordan’s drumming. As a self proclaimed biggest fan of Ryan Dempsey I have to give it to Brook as the VIP of the show. His drumming kept the vibe of the show strong and his vocals, lead as well as back up, were a delight. As the night was coming to an end blunderbuss quickly sagged into cabbage face a funny song about a guy who just can’t catch a break with the ladies.
While the energy at the moment was light and fun it quickly shifted into another brand-new song off PLUMP Chapter 2 and titled “Juggernaut.” “Juggernaut,” like no other Twiddle song before, is a very heavy almost Rage Against the Machine-esque style track. this is the type of song that makes you want to jump into a mosh pit or at the very least head bang and scream. The energy on stage, while seemingly angry, is still true to their jam band nature and allows the audience to have some fun and let loose.
The entire band gets very into the song, going crazy on stage and I found myself trying to hold back laughter as I watched the band I know as tender, looking like they could explode at any second. I knew this was going to be a crowd favorite from the moment I heard the track, but I underestimated just how many twiddiots were ready to let some rage out. I tried hard to focus on the technical components to the playing but it was just too hard not to close my eyes, head bang, and get a little of my own rage out. As the song came to an end, the band said their thank yous and good nights & I anxiously awaited to see what encore we’d be blessed with. As they returned for a juicy Beethoven & Greene, I couldn’t help but smile at how much this band has grown in just the short two years I’ve been following them. The future is insanely bright for Twiddle, do yourself a favor and check out a show this summer!