Twin Shadow at the 7th St. Entry, 8/6/12
Twin Shadow with Poolside
7th Street Entry, Minneapolis
August 6, 2012
After their triumphant, high-profile performance at Lollapalooza on Saturday, you could perhaps forgive Twin Shadow if they decided to come into the 7th St. Entry on an uneventful Monday night and go through the motions while making their way through a listless set. But George Lewis Jr. and his talented three-piece backing band were clearly energized by the sold-out club and the boisterous fans who packed the place, and they delivered a soaring, ebullient 75-minute set that showcased the pulsing, love-drenched songs featured on Twin Shadows two stellar records.
A massive ovation greeted Lewis and his bandmates as they took to the tiny stage, with one fan asking straight away, "Take your shirt off." Lewis laughed, and said, "Already?" And with that, the band launched into a funky, bass-driven version of "Shooting Holes" which got the set started with a shot. After dealing with some nagging technical issues that George referred to as "spring cleaning," the band got everything sorted for an absolutely towering rendition of Confess' lead single, "Five Seconds," which featured an infectious, irresistible beat which built to a rousing chorus. Lewis led the crowd to enthusiastically clap along to the relentless rhythm as the song and the club exploded.
Rather than match "Five Seconds" triumphant urgency, the band wisely slowed things down a bit with a smoothed out and soulful rendition of Forget's lead-off track, "Tyrant Destroyed." The song featured many textured sonic flourishes that added to the track's passionate appeal. "Golden Light," the first track from Confess, soon followed, and was dynamic and lush, with a sound almost too big for the Entry to contain. It seemed the band didn't scale back a bit on their festival sound, and filled the small club with their towering, pulsating beats.
A smoke machine clouded the stage during a spirited run through of "When We're Dancing," with Lewis' vocals showing some signs of strain from his recent Lolla experience over the weekend. But the song still took flight, with George shredding away on an epic, Prince-like solo during the song's lengthy outro. Lewis then joked with the crowd a bit: "It's been a while since we've been back to Minneapolis, and I've got to say, you guys are really in shape. I'm looking out at a whole room full of people who obviously take care of themselves. I thought the Midwest was just the opposite. Now, don't get me wrong -- I like the big girls and big boys too."
"Patient" was given a throbbing, retro vibe, and was quickly followed by an impassioned rendition of "Run My Heart," which featured a spare intro before the groove eventually found a spark. But those tracks just proved to be mere preludes to the glorious swing of "Slow," which was one of the night's clear standouts. The song built to an absolutely jubilant chorus, and had everyone in the club singing along in full voice. So much so that Lewis let the audience sing the last few choruses while he and his band danced in time to the vigorous tempo of the track.
"Castles In the Snow" was more bass-driven than the recorded version, and featured hints of an entrancing middle-eastern rhythm layered in the mix, before giving way to a hypnotic outro which again featured Lewis letting loose on his guitar. George then thanked all of us for "pretending it's not Monday, and after a stirring version of "Beg For the Night," he regretfully said, "This is the part of the night where I say goodnight to you." And what a goodnight it was, as Lewis lead the band through a riveting, vibrant version of "Forget" that got the whole club dancing. George stepped to the edge of the stage during another of his ripping guitar solos, slapping hands with fans in the front while still managing to shred away before leaving the stage to thunderous applause.
The ovation continued until the band sheepishly retook the stage, with Lewis even taking a seat behind the kit for a few jocular drum rolls. George thanked the crowd and said, "We'll play a couple more -- though I think we're just going to do Black Sabbath covers. Is that cool?" And indeed it would have been, but the menacing riffs proved to be just a tease and a tip of the hat to the recently reunited Lollapalooza headliners. The encore officially kicked off with a slow-burning rendition of "I Don't Care," which really proved to be more elaborate and involved than the rather cursory recorded version.
Lewis then addressed the exuberant crowd one last time, "Minneapolis day one, you've been fucking amazing. They've got a lot to live up to tomorrow night. Now, if you don't dance your asses off to this song, I'll be really disappointed -- I'll never play this city again." Well, you needn't worry, Lewis and company will indeed be back (tonight, actually), because the club dutifully danced like mad during the euphoric show closer, "At My Heels." The chorus turned into such a unifying singalong that Lewis turned his microphone around to face the crowd who boisterously sang the second half of the number for him while he lost himself in the spirit of the song. It was a joyful, exhilarating finish that made it quite clear that Twin Shadow can indeed command any crowd they want.
Personal Bias: This was my third time seeing Twin Shadow, and while my lofty expectations have grown with each successive show, George and company haven't let me down yet.
The Crowd: Packed, with plenty of fans outside looking for any way to get in.
Overheard In The Crowd: "You're the golden light, George!"
Random Notebook Dump: After catching some of the Tallest Man On Earth's set next door in the sold-out Mainroom, it was quite a shock to switch things up with Twin Shadow--though both Kristian and George were wearing matching white tank-tops, though Lewis did dress his up with a snazzy jacket.
When We're Dancing
I Can't Wait
Run My Heart
Castles In The Snow
Beg For The Night
I Don't Care (Encore)
At My Heels (Encore)
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