By all accounts, Vermont jam four-piece, Twiddle, has been having a great year. Since playing together at the band’s own Tumble Down Festival in Vermont last year, the group has befriended iconic Grateful Dead bassist Phil Lesh and his son, Grahame Lesh, with Twiddle, Grahame’s Midnight North, and Phil and Grahame’s Phil Lesh & The Terrapin Family Band teaming up and collaborating at frequent joint appearances.
Twiddle packed out Red Rocks Amphitheatre during their headlining debut earlier in the year, during which they were joined by Phil and Grahame Lesh. Twiddle’s guitarist, Mihali Savoulidis, later returned the favor later in the weekend, joining Phil Lesh & The Terrapin Family Band during their highly anticipated performance co-headlined with Leftover Salmon. In fact, over the weekend at The Peach Music Festival, Twiddle invited even more “frends” into the mix, inviting Phil, Grahame, and Midnight North’s Elliot Peck for collaboration, in addition to members of The Revivalists, Pigeons Playing Ping Pong, Spafford, Turkuaz, and Kitchen Dwellers.
Twiddle similarly had some special friends on hand yesterday in Burlington to help the band kick off their annual Tumble Down Festival at Burlington’s Waterfront Park. United States Senator and 2016 presidential candidate Bernie Sanders made an appearance ahead of Twiddle’s headlining performance, thanking fans for making it out and introducing the group. Sanders, a U.S. senator representing Vermont, has made his appreciation for Twiddle known in the past, so the cameo was not necessarily surprising. Bernie first wrote a letter of appreciation to the group in 2016 after the inaugural Tumble Down, later showing his love for the band and the event the next year in 2017.
Welcomed with an explosion of huge applause from the group, Sanders took the stage, using the platform first to address the younger crowd.
Your generation is the most progressive generation in the history of Vermont. Your generation is helping to lead the fight against racism, sexism, malicious bigotry, homophobia, xenophobia, and all the other phobias that Trump is trying to push now. Your generation understands that climate change is real. You understand that we have to public colleges and universities tuition-free; that we have to substantially lower student debt; that we have to bring about real criminal justice reform, immigration reform; that we will not accept Trump and his friends tearing babies from the arms of their mothers.
Let me also say, your vision is not going to be implemented unless you get involved in the political struggle. That means you got to register to vote, you got to get involved in campaigns, you got to run for office yourself. If your generation can do that, we can transform this country. We can defeat Trump and his friends to make the kind of beautiful nation we know we can become.
With the crowd breaking out into huge cheers throughout his address, Bernie Sanders wrapped up his introductory speech with a thank you for attendees, noting “Thank you all for what you do and what you will do,” before adding, “And now, it gives me a great deal of pleasure to introduce to you one of the great bands in Vermont! Let’s hear it for Twiddle!”
From there, Twiddle took the stage, offering up the start of their first set of the weekend. However, issues with the weather truncated their set, with the band only making it through “White Light”, “Drifter”, “Doinkinbonk”, and “Syncopated Healing” before the venue was forced to evacuate (with the group offering up an “evacuation jam” as fans departed from the area).
While Twiddle was scheduled to perform two headlining sets yesterday, the weather delays cut short Friday’s festivities. With Tumble Down continuing today, the four-piece has promised that they will rearrange the schedule, making up Friday’s lost second set with an extra third set today. You can check out Twiddle’s shortened first set at Tumble Down 2018 and watch Bernie Sanders’ complete introduction below, with Sanders taking the stage around the 1:10 mark.
Full Set Video
[Video: Michael Liacos]
Full Set Audio
[Audio: Edmund Edwards]
Official Recap Video For Day 1 Of Tumble Down 2018