reCAP :: Twiddle w/ RAQ + Madaila :: 2016.12.16 + 2016.12.17
If there's a next-generation jamband vanguard -- those younger scene bands that are hitting their stride as national touring acts now some two decades after H.O.R.D.E. and the heyday of titans like Phish and Widespread Panic -- it includes Twiddle, the Vermont quartet that sold out the Cap the first time it headlined, and, on Friday and Saturday, did it again. Twiddle's arrived. And they've got everything from a much-talked-about Page McConnell sit-in to coast-to-coast sell outs and increasingly more visible gigs to show for it.
Weekend shows, at this time of year, with a band like this and the fan base it attracts, almost always mean a long, sparking night, and these two Cap adventures didn't disappoint. Twiddle loves their jams -- the long, wring-it-out protractions that build and shift and build and splay out and maybe resolve or maybe don't -- and with each tour, they're learning to focus and shape them more, favoring more patient exploration where a less mature band would lean on build-peak-build-peak guitar heroics sandwiched by choruses.
Over two nights, they stretched out, favoring high-energy, shape-shifting songs with free-associative titles -- "Indigo Trigger," "Cabbage Face," "Doinkinbonk!!," "Subsconcious Prelude" -- that underscore their freewheeling approach.
Both shows had furious building jams and rhythms galore in stacks and ripples, thanks in part to Kung Fu's Adrian Tramontano, who guested on percussion for the entire weekend. There were curiosities -- both nights had nods to Primus in the form of a "Southbound Pachyderm" tease the first night and a full-blown reading of "Too Many Puppies" the second -- and there were well-chosen guest spots, especially from RAQ's Todd Stoops playing coursing keys in night one's "The FRENDS Theme," and Teddy Midnight's Wiley Griffin bringing guitar to night two's "Complacent Race."
There was an extended jam segment in the fan favorite "Dr. Remidi's Melodium" that featured bassist Zdenek Gubb owning the spotlight and then engaging drummer Brook Jordan, who played on Gubb's bass with his sticks. There was a nicely-capped encore the second night of "Beethoven and Greene," which is old enough in the Twiddle catalog that the band now has "classic old songs." There was a "Carol of the Bells" jam in "Classical Gas" that got everyone rightly fired up. There was a "Freebird" featuring most of first night opener RAQ that did what "Freebird" does, which is rock the place. Throw a dart and hit a fun moment -- those kinds of nights.
Gubb, Jordan, Ryan Dempsey and Mihali Savoulidis have a lot to show for their success -- here's a band that just loves to play and made a bet that people would show up, even if they didn't quite get what a "Doinkinbonk" was at first. This Cap two-nighter felt like a tradition in the making.
12/16/2016 Set 1: Daydream Farmer, Beehop > Dr. Remidi's Melodium > Beehop, Jamflowman, Moments, Honeyburste Set 2: Indigo Trigger, Classical Gas, Tiberius > The FRENDS Theme* > Tiberius E: Freebird*+# Entire show with Adrian Tramontano, percussion * w/Todd Stoops, keys + w/Scotty Zwang, drums # w/Chris Michetti, guitar
12/17/2016 Set 1: Subconscious Prelude, Doinkinbonk!! > Too Many Puppies > Doinkinbonk!!, Latin Tang, White Light, Complacent Race* Set 2: Cabbage Face, Gatsby the Great, Mamunes the Faun, Every Soul E: Beethoven and Greene Entire show with Adrian Tramontano, percussion * w/Wiley Griffin, guitar