Vermont jam band Twiddle and Buffalo groove rockers Aqueous teamed up for a legendary weekend of music. Saturday March 4, not only marked Twiddle’s first two-night run at the historical venue, but also marked Aqueous’ debut. Saturday night was marked a sell out, while Sunday night ticket sales landed just under capacity.
Aqueous made the most out of their debut weekend. The band’s hometown fan base came out in full support, with many AQ fans traveling to witness the group’s first shows at the Town Ballroom. Mike Abrahamson made the five hour drive from Hudson Falls, NY and commented, “I’ve never heard a crowd that loud for the opening band. It was insanity.”
Saturday night, Aqueous opened with the fan favorite “Strange Times.” Moving forward, the set progressed to a newer tune, the recently debuted “Second Sight.” “Numbers and Facts” took a highly talked about turn, when the band switched gears midway and debuted a cover of the NWA classic “Express Yourself,” featuring bassist Evan McPhaden on vocals with Twiddle bassist Zdenek Gubb on bass duties. McPhaden took to crowd surfing before returning to the stage to conclude “Numbers and Facts” with the band. Aqueous closed out their debut set with the high energy “Don’t Do It” from their EP Best in Show.
Twiddle held nothing back on night one, instantly commanding the room with “Blunderbuss” an intense, high energy instrumental that is slated for release on the upcoming Plump – Chapter 2. Their Saturday night set was a varied list of fan favorites that spanned the band’s catalog including “Brick of Barley,” “Carter Candlestick,” “Indigo Trigger” and “Lost in the Cold.”
Twiddle also welcomed Aqueous guitarist Mike Ganzter for the Twiddle instrumental “Latin Tang.” Ganzter’s guitar work added an incredible layer of guitar harmonies. It also added an incredible layer of on-stage camaraderie. There is an evident level of musical respect and appreciation between the two bands that shines, specifically when Gantzer and Twiddle guitarist Mihali Savoulidis take the stage together.
The night concluded with Ganzter returning to the stage with McPhaden on synth. The pair sat-in with Twiddle for the Ray Parker Jr. hit “Ghostbusters.” The encore choice was inspired by a plaque in the venue, listing the site at one of Western New York’s most haunted buildings. Formerly known as the Town Casino and used as a speakeasy during Prohibition, employees of the Town Ballroom often report ghost sightings, unexplained sounds through the venue’s basement tunnels and the venue’s equipment often turning on without explanation.
Both bands used Saturday night’s momentum to launch a Sunday night burner. Aqueous came out firing, bringing a unique twist to some of their most beloved tunes. The night was kicked off with “Underlyer” and “Marty.” AQ then fired into an alternative funk version of “Eon Don” (nicknamed “Eon Ron”) before bringing on Twiddle drummer Brook Jordan for the David Bowie classic “Let’s Dance.” Vocals on the tune were handled by Aqueous drummer Rob Houk. Aqueous concluded their two-night run at the Town Ballroom with the high energy favorite “Origami.”
Longtime Buffalo fan Matt Shotwell enjoyed the band’s take on songs he’s heard at many previous shows: “Still can’t get over how they gave seemingly every song at least a slight reworking. New tempos, new licks and teases aplenty.”
Sunday night proved that Aqueous is poised to move into larger venues. Their sound is built to fill a larger space. Abrahamson summed it up best telling NYS Music, “The boys absolutely commanded the attention of the room without hiccups. The sound was perfect in my opinion. It can be hard to upscale your sound to a bigger stage but they had no problem whatsoever.”