Fans of the jam-rock band Twiddle and accompanying show-stopping act, The Higgs, descended onto Santa Monica Boulevard in Los Angeles, CA on Friday for a sold-out show at the iconic Troubadour. Known for their genre-fusion, positive lyrics, and tempo changes, Twiddle packed the house, reminding fans that there may be an ‘i’ in friends, but we’re much better together.
To open the evening, The Higgs ran the show through a gambit, beginning with Pink Floyd‘s, “In The Flesh”, which felt spacey, yet grounded. The Higgs have that kind of gutsy low sound that keeps the song weighted. Next was an original, “Meet My Baby”, that has funky feels and underscoring twang. With a reggae transition, the band went into “Progressing Regressing”. Relishing in the jam, Garrett Morris on the drums cut through with chopped cymbals. With a quick break between songs, John Lovero (guitar/vocals) greeted the happy crowd and mentioned that 100-percent of the proceeds for the night’s merchandise sold will be donated to the Make-A-Wish Foundation in honor of Kobe Bryant.
Next the band, which also features David Barsky (bass/vocals), and Jesse August Jennings (keys/organ/synth) in addition to Lovero and Morris, lead into the recent single, “Rhyme or Reason”, and they made it look easy. With a jovial and lighthearted sensibility, “Dude Wears Socks” was played with Lovero on the vocals. There were moments of double-time in “DWS”, and it’s clear, The Higgs are a band with a strong emphasis on instrumentation. Exciting the crowd in preparation for the next act, Twiddle keyboardist Ryan Dempsey joined the opening band on the keytar for a bit. To close out a great introduction to the night, The Higgs busted out the ending to classic rock song “Layla” by Derek and the Dominos.
Twiddle, comprised of Mihali Savoulidis (guitar/vocals), Dempsey, Brook Jordan (percussion/vocals), and Zdenek Gubb (bass/vocals), began their two-set show with “Every Soul”. A feel-good hit inspiring freedom and dreams, the song has a bluegrass mountain feel. Next the band went into a progressive jam of “Brown Chicken Brown Cow”, airing toward backyard folk-rock. Dempsey on the keys kept the lower notes moving along with Gubb on bass. Mihali shined through on the guitar, as they took us back into “Every Soul”. The lyrics serve as guiding posts to the listener through Mihali’s vibrato and pleasant-to-listen-to voice in “Be There”.
The next song, “Blunderbuss”, began with a speedy drum roll by Jordan with the rest of the band joining in for an ’80s rock feel. With jumps between syncopated rhythm, the band alternated between time signatures. Then came the joyful crowd favorite, “White Light”, that had everyone singing along in celebration. Singer Mary Corso joined for “Angel from Montgomery” by Bonnie Raitt to close set one.
Set two began with grungy, hard-rock vibes and a good deal of mojo. With steam behind them, Twiddle roared in with “Zazu’s Flight”, where there was tension and release with Gubb on the bass. Transcending tempo, the band went into “Doinkinbonk”, then the funky “Just Gravy”, and back into “Doinkinbonk III”. There was a thoughtful lead in by Mihali back into “Zazu’s Flight”, followed by “Beethoven and Greene”, which incited a sing-a-long from the crowd as the song’s upbeat clasping on the high hat inspired dancing all around. Twiddle ended the second set with the melodic and heartfelt “Lost in the Cold”. For the encore, Corso returned to the stage to sing Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah”.
Twiddle is headed up to Stateline, NV for a co-headlining show with Nahko And Medicine For The People on Sunday, March 8th. For tickets and a full list of dates, head to their website.
Scroll down to check out a gallery of photos from photographer Kendra Muecke.
Setlist: The Higgs | Troubadour | Los Angeles, CA | 3/6/20
Set: In The Flesh (Pink Floyd), Meet My Baby > Progressing Regressing, Rhyme or Reason, Dude Wears Socks, Layla (Derek and the Dominos) % #.
Setlist: Twiddle | Troubadour | Los Angeles, CA | 3/6/20
Set one: Every Soul > Brown Chicken Brown Cow > Every Soul, Be There, Blunderbuss, White Light, Angel From Montgomery (Bonnie Raitt)*
Set two: Zazu’s Flight > Doinkinbonk > Just Gravy > Doinkinbonk III > Zazu’s Flight, Beethoven and Greene, Lost in the Cold
Encore: Hallelujah (Leonard Cohen)*
% ending only
# with Ryan Dempsey
*featuring Mary Corso on Vocals