On Friday night, Twiddle hit the legendary Red Rocks Amphitheatre for their fiery debut headlining performance with reggae-roots band Stick Figure. During the show, the Vermont four-piece invited out a number of high-profile guests, including Grateful Dead bassist Phil Lesh, Terrapin Family Band and Midnight North guitarist Grahame Lesh, and Electric Beethoven keyboardist Todd Stoops. The following night, during Phil Lesh and the Terrapin Family Band’s own Red Rocks performance with Leftover Salmon on Saturday, Phil and Grahame returned the favor, welcoming Twiddle guitarist Mihali Savoulidis during their encore for takes on “Fire On The Mountain” and “The Music Never Stopped”.
With Mihali and the rest of the members of Twiddle still on hand over the weekend, on Sunday evening, Mihali headed to Denver’s Ophelia’s Electric Soapbox for a special “Mihali & Frends” set. Given the immense musical talent on hand, both locally and following Friday and Saturday’s Red Rocks shows, Mihali Savoulidis brought together a high-caliber group of musicians to celebrate at the intimate venue.
For the special “Mihali and Frends” set, Mihali tapped locally-based talents drummer Jeff Franca (also known as Congo Sanchez of Thievery Corporation), saxophonist Nick Gerlach (formerly of Turbo Suit), and bassist Chuck Jones (Dopapod) to join him. Denver-resident keyboardist Todd Stoops, as well as Grahame Lesh—both of whom played with Twiddle on Friday—were also on hand to round out the featured lineup.
However, in addition to this already stacked lineup, a number of other musical special guests made appearances throughout the night, including Phil Lesh, Midnight North multi-instrumentalists Elliott Peck and Alex Jordan, and Stick Figure keyboardist and vocalist Johnny Cosmic, in addition to his Twiddle bandmates.
Following the show’s set-opening cover of Bob Marley‘s “Iron Lion Zion” and Mihali original “Stubborn Smile”, Phil Lesh and Elliott Peck came out for an extended four-song run including Grateful Dead classics “Bertha”, “Deal”, and “Scarlet Begonias”, as well as Midnight North’s “Greene Country”. Next up, the house band switched out with the members of Twiddle (plus Grahame Lesh and Todd Stoops) for a rendition of Twiddle’s own “Every Soul”, off the band’s recently completed, two-chapter album PLUMP.
After this Twiddle cameo, Mihali and Frends invited out Stick Figure’s Johnny Cosmic for Sublime’s “Pawn Shop”, Mihali’s “Fading State”, and Bob Marley’s “Get Up, Stand Up”. Closing out the band’s set, the group offered another Mihali original, “Over Land & Sea”, which featured Midnight North vocalist Elliott Peck once again—a song no doubt familiar to both Grahame Lesh and Elliott Peck, given that Midnight North invited Mihali to join them for a cover of the song during their 2017 performance at Twiddle’s Tumble Down.
For the two-song encore, Twiddle keyboardist Ryan “Norb” Dempsey, Peck, and Cosmic joined the band for a rendition of Jimmy Cliff’s classic “The Harder They Come”. Making his first appearance of the evening, Midnight North’s Alex Jordan came up to join Elliott Peck and the core Mihali & Frends band for the band’s final song, “Last Dance For Mary Jane”, which served as a tribute to the late Tom Petty.
Setlist: Mihali & Frends | Ophelia’s Electric Soapbox | Denver, CO | 5/6/2018
Set: Iron Lion Zion, Stubborn Smile, Bertha 1, Deal 1, Greene County 1, Scarlet Begonias 1, Every Soul 2, Pawn Shop 3, Fading State 3, Get Up Stand Up 3, Over Land & Sea 4
Encore: The Harder They Come 5, Last Dance For Mary Jane 6
Notes: 1 – w/ Phil Lesh & Elliott Peck | 2 – ONLY Twiddle w/ Stoops & Grahame | 3 – w/ Johnny Cosmic | 4 – w/ Elliott Peck | 5 – w/ Norb, Elliott Peck & Johnny Cosmic | 6 – w/ Elliott Peck & Alex Jordan