Did I miss the memo requiring an Interpol-esque wardrobe only? Well, apparently not. Wearing black jeans and a sleek leather jackets, we all seemed to stick to a monotonous color scheme allowing the red lights to illuminate us oh so artistically. Welcome to Bardot.
Under the soft glow of dimmed lights, concert goers swayed along to the Sweat Record Owner, Lolo’s perfectly situated DJ set. All anticipating Twin Shadow, she set the vibe flawlessly as everyone lounged and conversed, drinking and puffing on their Unfiltered Cigarettes. No stage necessary, the set up included a drum kit, 3 keyboards, a couple of guitars, and six different types of pedals scattered about the paisley carpet where they would play.
Then, after much of the puffing and drinking, the opening band stepped out onto the, um, carpet and announced that they’d “be brief” and Twin Shadow would “be awesome”. It was a three man band- lead singer was a shorter guy and a definite advocate of the grey scale Interpol clothing, lead guitarist wore his impeccably shaped mustache and suspenders, and keyboardist stood smiling in anticipation of their set. After crouching down to set some loops up on his Macbook, he announced that they were a Miami band called Hunter of the Alps.
“Hunter of the Offspring?” I heard one guy ask, “No, I think it’s Hunter of the Elk.” his friend answered. Not exactly the clearest of introductions, boys. But efficient intro or not, they began to play their four song set. Everyone sat gazing, and the surprisingly large cluster surrounding them slightly bopped to the songs, but failed to go along with the lead singer’s hopeful clapping.
Sliding into their second song, he tried again, but failed to enthuse the crowd enough to get them to join in, all except for one overly enthusiastic mom who, even without being able to sing along, was evidently their number one fan for the night. I’d say that the crowd needed to lighten up a bit, maybe loosen their ties under their stylish blazers, or stop fidgeting with their pencil skirts, but the music WAS a bit hard to dance to. Not to say it wasn’t good, they still got loud and supportive applauses, but at times it was hard to find a way to groove along to it.
They finished their set and thanked the crowd, and once again praising Twin Shadow, they packed up their instruments and blended into the ever growing crowd. Finally, around 11:20, Twin Shadow front man himself, George Lewis Jr stepped out to a cheering crowd and greeted everyone, along with a dread locked drummer, a leather jacket clad chick keyboardist, and stylishly funky bassist. Next to the keyboard player, I saw a setlist handwritten on a napkin- they didn’t make their presentation more formal then it needed to be.
They started out their set with Shooting Holes, and as I looked around, I realized just how large the crowd had gotten, all gathered in a semi circle around the band, the swaying began. By their fourth song, I Can’t Wait, the audience really loosened up, jamming to his deep and sultry voice, the funky bass, the synths, the dance inducing drum beats. For some reason, I hadn’t expected their electro/new wave sound to translate very well live, but boy was I wrong. Eyes closed, bopping and swinging to the music, they had the energy and dynamism that could fill a stage. Each member danced and never missed a beat, they really kept the energy up and did so while delivering the emotion and dynamic of each song. You don’t realize until you’ve seen them live, just how wide Twin Shadow’s spectrum of sentiment AND party anthems is. They truly have so much going for them, and I for one couldn’t stop dancing.
At one point, George talked about how cold it must be in New York, and how Miami was a great greeting, but that we’ve gotta toughen up. To which a friend of the band, Shaneeka shouted, “I LOVE TWIN SHADOOWWWW! New York bitches!” Standing next to her, there was no way you couldn’t dance. George was a conductor of his own orchestra of groove. A couple of guys directly in front of him, followed his sways and jammed harder than a shoegazer on ecstacy. Everyone stuck to their own dance instincts, but still seemed to be in sync with the leaders themselves, Twin Shadow.
Then, after some more songs, they played a track that will be on their next album, it was called On The Heart, and it did not disappoint. A couple songs afterward, they announced that they had two more songs, and that they are “Old, and tired,” and had to be on a flight at 5 in the morning the next day. But still, they asked the electrified crowd, “So should we sleep, or should we party?” And with that they got a loud and roaring applause. I mean, where had the night gone?! Time seemed to slip away with every thump of the bass, and no one wanted it to end. Especially the enthusiastic Mom, who, get this, knew every word to every song they played. Fans like this helped keep the audience up and boogying down.
Finishing their incredibly energy filled set with Tether Beat, the crowd applauded and whooped until they packed up and Lolo continued DJing. George went off into the crowd, humbly greeting everyone who talked to him, taking pictures, talking music, and being a genuinely sweet guy. One thing that makes this band so endearing, is their lack of a pretentious attitude, despite their prospective popularity. They were all down to earth and likable, which along with their irresistible retro sound, can and WILL get them very far. Walking out of the venue, a man who had seen them before in California, told me that “They have the potential to be the next big thing.” Well, right you are bearded dude.