Twin Shadow at the Entry, 10/01/11
October 1st, 2011
7th Street Entry
Nearing the end of their current U.S. tour, Twin Shadow spent three relaxing days in Minneapolis leading up to their sold-out 7th St. Entry show on Saturday night, and you could definitely tell, as the band seemed energized and refreshed throughout their exhilarating 70-minute set. Frontman George Lewis Jr. was charming and affable during the entire lively performance, while his stellar three-piece backing band provided the added texture and tone that his captivating songs demanded.
The set started with a slowed-down, alternate version of "Castles In The Snow," which found the band bathed in darkness as they settled in to the sound of the room. It proved to be just a short tease of a song that the band would revisit towards the end of the night, as the group transitioned smoothly into a hypnotic rendition of "Shooting Holes" that featured a long, guitar-laden outro from Lewis. "Tyrant Destroyed" kept the strong start going, as the slow-burning number caught fire at the finish.
Lewis greeted the overflow crowd with a warm cheers, saying, "Two songs and some whiskey in the dark, that's the theme of the night." And with that, the band launched into an ebullient version of "When We're Dancing," which did indeed get everyone dancing, provided that you had enough space to move in the packed club. "I Can't Wait" was rich and soulful, with an explosive finish that has a much rawer edge than their studio version. In fact, Twin Shadow's entire live performance is filled with an added bite and intensity that brings a welcome potency to their entrancing songs.
Photos by Erik Hess
There were a couple new tracks sprinkled in to the show, one of which is a simmering, impassioned number called "Changes," which is actually a reworked, updated version of a song called "Circus Is Gone," by an '80s band named Bagarre. They also did another new song named "On The Heart," which was an atmospheric, moody number that should be on Twin Shadow's forthcoming record in 2012. But it was the songs from Lewis's stellar debut, Forget, which people really wanted to hear, and he satisfied all of us by tearing though all 11 tracks from the record.
Lewis also went out of his way to bizarrely praise the cab drivers of Minneapolis, saying that we had the best cabbies in the United States here in our fair city. I can't say I agree, but I was in no position to argue with the man. Especially when he was leading his group through glorious, uplifting versions of "At My Heels," "Slow," the standard version of "Castles In The Snow," and main set closer, "Forget." It was such a potent, rousing end to the set that I questioned if the band should even bother with an encore. But when Lewis finally retook the stage, asking us playfully if we wanted one or two more (guess which one we choose?), we all knew we wanted the band to keep playing all night if possible.
Lewis then went on to tell us that he "picked up my first pack of Tarot cards here in Minneapolis. And if this whole music thing doesn't work out, next time I'm through here I'll be doing readings out on the sidewalk outside. I'll give you discounts if you show me your ticket stub." That story seemed to serve as a segue while the band became settled for the encore, which featured a spirited version of "For Now," and closer "Tether Beat," which found Lewis leading the band through a wildly experimental breakdown before he ended the show with an explosive, guitar-laden flourish. Based on the strength of this fervent performance, that music thing is indeed working out well for Lewis, and he has no reason to seek out another gig as long as he keeps us dancing.
Critic's Bias: I loved Twin Shadow's opening set for Pains At Being Pure At Heart back in April, but this was a longer, and better, performance from the group.
The Crowd: Whether it was the overflow crowd from Girls next door in the Mainroom (which Lewis also checked out prior to his gig), or just rabid fans looking to dance on a Saturday night, the Entry was packed.
Overheard In The Crowd: Lots of inane, endless chatter, which I don't really understand. The band is up there for just over an hour, shut the hell up and talk to your friends after the show--be quiet and let the music take you somewhere.
Random Notebook Dump: This was billed as Twin Shadow's "Clean Cuts Tour," which promised a different haircut for Greg during each stop. We were due to get a high-top fade for this show, but Lewis had a hat balanced precariously on his head throughout the entire performance, so we couldn't see if he followed through on his 'do.
Castles In The Snow (Alternate Version)
When We're Dancing
I Can't Wait
At My Heels
On The Heart
Castles In The Snow
For Now (Encore)
Tether Beat (Encore)
Opener Diamond Rings
Photos by Erik Hess
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