Twiddle rolled into Syracuse this past Saturday to a sold out crowd at the Westcott Theater. The third stop on the band’s Plumperdump Tour was also the third sold out show of the short winter run. An indication that the band’s stock is rising, backed by a continuously growing fan base.
The house wasn’t packed with just Twiddle fans from central New York. Before the band took the stage, the room was energized by swarms of fans from all over the Northeast. Some chatted about the half day drive or relived the tour’s first two shows in Maine and Rhode Island and many new fans simply waited in anticipation of their first Twiddle show.The evening’s set list showcased songs from the band’s latest release, PLUMP- Chapter One, as well as a playful blend of covers and Twiddle fan favorites. The music showcased a growth in exploration of self-education. Twiddle has found ways to weave together its new momentum and classic jams; a seemingly tricky task of bridging a new polished studio sound while exploring the space between the choruses.
Beyond the much hyped message of the band’s music, is a less discussed musical workmanship that sometimes get lost within the hype of “frends” and “pe^king”. What fans of the band are witnessing so far on the Plumperdump Tour, is the harmonious blend of the band’s musical journey; a tasty mix of hooky lyrics and feel good singalongs with whimsical improvisational composition while still creating an effective and intriguing blend.
Twiddle is on a journey, that if continued, will shine best during the summer festival season, where Twiddle is poised to play a mix of regional festivals and high profile events, such as this summer’s Lockn’ Music Festival.
The high profile growth seems to be giving the band a new approach to its performance. On this tour, Twiddle plays with an overwhelming sense of love for the journey.
In the show opener “Syncopated Healing” as well as in the evening’s extended version of the PLUMP single “Every Soul”, the band presented with a cleaner and brighter quality to their sound.
In “Carter Candlestick” and “Doinkinbonk”, Twiddle continued to showcase an onstage brotherhood by creating stand out moments for bassist Zdenek Gubb, who has eagerly driven the band toward a more dark, funky, but yet playful groove.
What makes Twiddle endearing is that, as highlighted in the evening’s version of the disco classic “Funkytown”, they explore a more playful space. Among their own original material, the song “Dr. Remidi’s Melodium” treated fans to the signature Twiddle reggae/funk/rock fusion that kept the crowd in a rhythmic bliss of engaging lyrics and danceable grooves.
Twiddle also seems to be finding new ways to take risks within its sets. The first set ended with not only a rousing rendition of the Beatles’ “Rocky Raccoon”, but also a seldom heard vocal jam. And although they may not be the first jam band to explore this technique, they are doing it their own way. The Twiddle vocal jam is a captivating blend of beat-boxing and vocal rhythms that mimics the best video game soundtracks and electronic grooves – a group of twenty something musicians playfully distorting and manipulating the sounds of its generation into a unique musical moment.
The only downfall of the evening was that the energy of the crowd felt too big for the venue. The Westcott Theater staff found themselves turning fans away at the door. And while continued sellouts are great to encourage the band to book larger venues, it’s that larger space that the band’s sounds is looking to fill. For a band like Twiddle that is clearly looking to attract a mix of fans while blending a variety of musical textural sounds, the band will only continue to grow if the size of the spaces they play grows as well.
Twiddle continues the Plumperdump tour Thursday, Feb. 25 at the Town Ballroom in Buffalo before heading to the Upstate Music Hall in Clifton Park on Friday, Feb. 26 with Formula 5 and Irving Plaza in New York City on Feb. 27.
Setlist: Syncopated Healing, Every Soul, Carter Candlestick, Five, Dr. Remidi’s Melodium, Dusk ‘Til Dawn, Doinkinbonk!!! > Funky Town > Doinkinbonk!!!, Rocky Raccoon
Encore: Hattibagen McRat