Friday, October 15, 2010

Show Review - Twin Shadow - Brillobox - 10/10/10 - PIttsburgh - Concert Review - Live Review

“I let my hair down for you, Pittsburgh” playfully protested George Lewis Jr., having earlier removed his ponytail while playing for the half-full crowd at Brillobox on Saturday night. We had demanded one more song when he had said it was their last after a great set. The band conceded to play a final number and finished the night with a rousing alternate version of “Castles in the Snow” off Twin Shadow’s debut album Forget. Part of the deal (with the audience) was that the guy dancing in front of the stage all night had to join the band onstage to dance out the final number. Jeff, the night’s “number one dancer,” thankfully complied, gyrated, and we got our encore.

This was an exciting show which introduced an artist who is at the beginning of something big. His excellent debut is a work made in the studio – lush with brilliant vocals and the clean sounds of synthesizers, drum machines, and surfacing guitars. The live show was something else entirely. A full band complete with drums, bass, live synth, and Lewis Jr. on guitar. It took on a rawer and more energetic feel from the album. While it’s evident on the album that Lewis Jr. sings beautifully and writes moving emotional lyrics, I didn’t expect him to be such an exciting guitar player. He easily traded between atmospheric strumming, discordant noise, and virtuoso shredding. For “Slow” he pulled out a white Fender and let us know that this song “has to be played on a white guitar.” The live drumming was faster and wilder to go along with the rock sound Twin Shadow uses in translating their music to the stage. It is a smashing success, making them one of those bands where the live music is not a reproduction of the recorded sound, but an organic complement to the whole.

It was clear that the band is still new to touring the record – they didn’t yet know how to play all the songs from the album. But even for an audience who seemed mostly unfamiliar with Twin Shadow, they managed to win a roomful of new fans.

--Daniel Hammer

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