It was fitting to see a sold out Upstate Concert Hall in Clifton Park on Friday night for many reasons. Mainly, it signified maturity and growth for Formula 5 and headliner Twiddle, a jam-rock group out of Burlington.
Formula 5 has been working very hard lately, just wrapping up their first full tour. Led by Joe Davis on guitar, James Woods on bass, Matt Richards on keys and Greg Marek on drums, Formula 5 has quickly carved out its spot in the Northeast jam scene. It’s impossible not to draw the parallels between the four-piece and Phish, especially because the group formed while waiting in line to get tickets to a Phish show in 2009. Davis has studied Trey Anastasio and it shows in his precise, swirling, soaring guitar work
“Earthbound Tim” led way to “Pedro” which bled into “Excalibur.” Somewhere in the mix were “Down With Disease” and “Harry Hood” teases. “Floating,” “Epiphany” and a reprisal of “Earthbound Tim” closed out the show, leaving the hometown band exiting the stage with grins of approval.
Following a short break, Twiddle took the stage, backed by the Frendly Horns, which added a layer to the band not seen very much. Touring in support of their latest release Plump, Mihali Savoulidis performed using a new guitar at the show, which looked like a custom mix of a Stratocaster and a classic Guild and it sounded wonderful. It was the third show of the band’s Plumperdump winter tour.
“Gatsby the Great,” “Honeyburste,” and “Brick of Beauty”, which featured a “Shakedown Street” jam, started the two-hour set and it featured periods of extended jamming. The horns allowed Savoulidis and keyboardist Ryan Dempsey a layer of rhythmic space and both used it wisely, trading licks and staccatos before weaving their way into “Polluted Beauty” where bassist Zdenek Gubb took the lead this time and pushed the band, with the help of drummer Brook Jordan, through a funk excursion.
“Classical Gas,” “Be There,” “Complacent Race” and “Frankenfoote” closed out the set, with the audience singing along with seemingly every word.
For the encore, Twiddle had one final treat in store. Lowell Wurster, of Lucid notoriety, joined the stage to play the washboard on a version of “Did You Ever Look So Nice.”
This is the second year in a row Twiddle has sold out Upstate Concert Hall which has a capacity of nearly 1,300. Last year they did it with the support of Kung Fu. Formula 5 displayed it has the chops and dedication to continue to rise while Twiddle showed just how far they have come. It was apparent by the joyous mood outside the venue post-show that both these bands are just getting started and it’s been nice to watch them grow in the past two years.
Twiddle Setlist: Gatsby The Great, Honeyburste, Brick Of Barley, Polluted Beauty, Classical Gas, Be There, Complacent Race, Frankenfoote
Encore: Did You Ever Look So Nice?
Show Notes: This show was a part of the “Plumperdump” 2016 Winter Tour. The Frendly Horns were featured for the entire show. This was a sold-out show. Formula 5 opend the show.
 “Brick Of Barley” contained a “Shakedown Street” (Grateful Dead) tease.
 “Classical Gas” contained an “X-Files Theme” tease.
 “Did You Ever Look So Nice?” featured Lowell Wurster (Lucid) on washboard.