New Year’s Eve is not just a day that people reflect on the past twelve months and make goals for the new year, it is perhaps the single greatest live music night of the year. The first signs of the holiday season means different things to different people. Holiday shoppers imagine Black Friday super sales, kids think of the presents under the tree, but diehard music fans start to salivate over New Years Eve shows in there area. For Saratoga Springs, it was an easy decision – Putnam Den was hosting the jam party of the year with local favorites, Twiddle from Vermont and Albany’s own Way Down.
Way Down lays down a funky, progressive jam with influences throughout the musical spectrum. There were times that you could close your eyes and imagine guitarist Justin Hendricks being center stage jamming along side Jimmy Herring or Derek Trucks. There was a hint of southern jam in the long jams and upbeat progressions that got the crowd dancing early in the night. The dance floor was packed a couple songs into the set and stayed that way for the entire evening. While Way Down may be fighting popular appeal because of lack of singing (only two vocal numbers for the entire set), they make up for it in mastery of their instruments. It is no surprise to discover that bassist Dylan Perrillo and drummer Kevin Urvalek graduated from the Crane School of Music. Just before the end of the set Mihali (Twiddle) hopped on stage and jammed with the young trio.
By the time headliner Twiddle took the stage, the Putnam Den was already packed. The usual crowd that hangs outside for cigarettes or fresh air were hiding inside because of the subzero temperatures lingering around. Inside it was nice and toasty and the drinks were refreshing. The New Years party was in full swing and owners Tiffany and John Albert were behind the bar. Twiddle’s jams build up and develop throughout the song. Whether you are a jam fanatic or a jazz purist, you can rest assure you will be delighted by the complex nature of the band’s music. While the crowd at the Putnam Den was geared toward twenty-somethings out for a night of gold skirts and gold shirts and gold shoes and any other gold accessory that you can imagine, the slightly older fans hanging out in the back or on the sides appreciating that these four artists are the real deal. Delighting fans with favorites like “The Box”, “When It Rains It Pours” and finishing with a special encore of “Frankenfoote”
Thirty years ago another band formed in Vermont with adept control over their instruments and the understanding and appreciate on how to build a jam to the point that it quite literally split open and melts. Mihali Savoulidis (lead vocals/guitar), Ryan Dempsey (keys), Brook Jordan, (drums) and Zdenek Gubb (bass) are equipped with the talent and state of mind to take the reins and start their own legacy. New Year’s Eve at the Putnam Den is just the beginning of Twiddle’s journey in 2014. Twiddle’s upcoming shows include a couple in New York and Vermont in January before traveling south to Florida to start the festival season off at AURA.
Putnam Den is no stranger to incredible shows like the one they offered patrons on NYE. Look for these great shows coming up: Mallett Brothers (1/10), Ghosts of Jupiter (1/24), Particle (2/5), and Donna the Buffalo (2/6), and more giving way to an exciting new year.
Set 1: Doinkinbonk!, Hattibagen McRat, Apples, Countdown-> Auld Lang Syne-> Mamunes the Faun, Wasabi Eruption, The Box -> Too Many Puppies -> The Box
Set 2: Syncopated Healing, Polluted Beauty, Wildfire, Tiberius, Cabbage, Hattis Jam > When It Rains It Pours > Somewhere Over the Rainbow > WIRIP, Theme to “Friends”, Earth Mama