Twiddle Rocks Playstation Theatre in Times Square (Recap Video + Gallery)
It was the first day of Twiddle’s two day run in New York City, which spanned from March 31 to April 1, and the rain was coming down hard. In fact it rained all weekend, but it stayed nice and cozy in the bottom of the futuristic Playstation Theatre.
“Do you want to go to Time Square?” Ryan Dempsey, Twiddle’s keyboardist, asked Zdenek Gubb, Twiddle’s bassist, as they stood outside of New York City’s Playstation Theater.
After a short pause Gubb answered, “Eh, not really.” Half smiling under his lime green beanie.
That was an expected answer from a band member of Twiddle considering that checks out with the lyrical portrayal the band has painted for themselves, but the Vermont Natives went and checked it out anyway.
The east coast rockers seemed very calm before an incredibly big show for them. Their new album, Plump
II, will be released on April 28 and they were planning on show casing a few new tunes — their first in a year-and-a-half — and they definitely weren’t shy to bring out some heavy hitting sit-ins that really made for some scorching sets. Night two particularly stands out, both of which can be found on nugs.net.
Both nights started off with Aqueous playing two scorching sets. On the second night Twiddle’s bassist Gubb sat in with Aqueous for a cover of “Band on the Run” by Paul McCartney & Wings. Aqueous returned the favor when guitarist/vocalist Mike Gantzer hopped out with Twiddle, where Gantzer and Mihali Savoulidis respectfully traded solos.
Twiddle started off both nights with acoustic sets, which made for a great transition into the Twiddle realm as the vibes of Aqueous’ energy subsided in the crowd. Twiddle brought the energy back down and into their control with songs like “Bronze Fingers,” “Five,” “White Light,” and “Hattibagen McRat.”
Set two began with “Earth Mama” and transitioned into some of their big hits like “Amydst the Myst” and “Lost in the Cold.” After loud waves of approval the band closed out the set with a Spotify hit, “When It Rains It Pours.”
Set three started off with crowd favorite “Jamflowman” and then they brought out the horns including James Casey from Trey Anastasio Band on “Moments.” The set went on to feature “Daydream Farmer” and “The Juggernaut,” a debut song written by Mihali.
Capping the night off with a very loose encore of “Rocky Raccoon,” by the Beatles, that remained upbeat and peppy, sending everyone off into the rainy Friday Night.
Night two began with another acoustic set, beginning with a delightful “Dusk Till Dawn.” The highlight of this acoustic set was undoubtedly the “Glycerine Medly,” which included a beautiful mashup of Bush’s “Glycerine,” Bob Marley’s “No Woman, No Cry,” Ketch Secor’s “Wagon Wheel,” Matisyahu’s “One Day,” and Phish’s “Farmhouse.” What a truly fun song to participate with, especially if you’re graced with being old enough to remember all of these when they first came out. This was undeniably the musical highlight of the weekend.
The second was short as far as the song list goes, however it does include a massive 26 minute “Gatsby the Great” that included a Bela Fleck tease of “Big Country.” The second song, “Polluted Beauty” featured James Casey on saxophone and Enrique Sanches on trumpet. It closed out with a sit in by Aqueous’ Mike Gantzer on guitar on “Milk.”
Set three had two debuts “Nicodemus Portulay,” and “Fat Country Baby” as well as some help with vocals by Shira Elias of Turkuaz, who sang on “I Want You Back.” The climax of the whole show happened when Brandon “Taz” Niederauer came out to trade blazing guitar solos with Mihali. They went from shredding standing up, trading glances, then Mihali had to get on his level, Taz locked in, and Mihali blasted it off to the next level as he was obligated to solo over his head and behind his back. Taz was much obliged to follow. It was definitely a crowd pleaser and listening to the recording of the song is just unreal.
This stunning venue and carefully crafted show ended in a gorgeous and holy way. “Hallelujah,” which featured Shira Elias on vocals, was accompanied by a disco ball and a few hundred harmonic voices that tied the ends of the show together, whether or not those voices were in tune is irrelevant. We were there, and together, and that’s what a Twiddle show is all about.
Recap video made by Brian Stollery.
Photos by Sean Hersch at Sean Hersch Photography. Find more on the Sean Hersch Photography Instagram page.