Scenes From Last Night's Twin Shadow Album Release Show at the Granada.
Record release shows can sometimes be a drag. The band wants to play the new stuff, but the fans don't really want to hear it. Crowds mostly want the songs they fell in love with, not the songs they don't know.
So credit where it's due to Twin Shadow: Last night, as the band played the Granada Theater for a gig that lined up with the release date of its third LP and first for major label Warner Music, Twin Shadow mastermind George Lewis Jr. and his backing players took the roundabout way of promoting its new songs. Following a well-received opening set from local soundscape artist Botany, Twin Shadow opened its headlining set by first acknowledging that this was indeed its release show, but then launched into 2012 single “Five Seconds.”
The charming Lewis, clad in a kilt — perhaps as a nod to the fact that it was St. Patrick's Day, a source of banter all night long — and a leather jacket, was certainly in no rush on this night: “Whose are these?” he joked when, during just his band's second song, a fan threw a pair of underwear onto the stage. “I usually prefer my panties being thrown on stage after the fourth song.”
Awash in the glow of his band's lighting rig — just as alluring a set-up as we've seen from Twin Shadow in the past, the highlight of this one being the light-up cube inside of which the band's drummer was perched — the band certainly looked the romantic part as it emoted its way through its hour-long set. Unfortunately, their music sounded less so, through no real fault of its own, quite winsome on-stage efforts: The room's mix was a little too boomy on this night; and though it added something of a stadium appeal to the already reverb-heavy guitars, it diluted the rest of the band's moody sound. That was perhaps ironic: Eclipse, the album celebrated on this night is't quite the 180-degree aesthetic turn away from New Wave influence that it's being billed as, but in Lewis' efforts to be less “elitist”, it certainly stands as a sleeker production.
Still, the newer songs, which accounted for around a third of the material performed, are poppier takes, for sure. And while their accessibility helped bridge the gaps between old favorites capably enough, the crowd — filled with fanboys and drunk St. Patrick's Day types alike — applauded the older songs most. Even an otherwise stellar cover of Sade's “No Ordinary Love” received only a middling response. That was a shame, but not indicative of this night on the whole; of the Twin Shadow songs it knew, this crowd was overwhelming supportive.
For all the chatter about Eclipse — that it's a disc meant to expand this band's reach — Twin Shadow largely did a fine job of walking the old-meets-new line on this night, blending new material well into a set that was mindful of not alienating the band's earlier-earned fans.
The only real drag at this particular record release show was that it only last an hour.