My First Twiddle Experience
“Somewhere on the mountain
It’s said that there’s a potion
That makes you truly happy
And infinite in wisdom
It makes you shine as bright
As the sun do shine
Keep your life doing right and your
Mind being kind
If your heart is true, and your heart is pure,
Then this won’t undo
The potion will endure in you”
After experiencing the righteous love, positive energy, and optimistic folk music that Twiddle brings to the table, I am convinced that this particular lyric will stick with me. Their show on the evening of March 13th at the Ogden Theater was an adventure; being my first jam-band concert I really wasn’t sure quite what to expect. I knew I would hear some songs that went on and on and on for what seemed like an eternity – no one told me that the type of flow the musicians onstage would create would be dynamic, engaging, and ever-entertaining. I figured there would be a lot of tie-dye wearing, dreaded Dead Heads there – I was right, but I was also pleasantly surprised to find people of all creeds, cultures, and ages. Catching the opener wasn’t my first priority, but boy was I glad I did.
In the lobby, I could hear some classic rock bounding out of the venue. As I approached the stage, I saw that the lead singer of this band was at most sixteen years old. Jaden Carlson, a Boulder, Colorado native, was straight up slaying the electric guitar – only fourteen years old and a lifetime of music ahead of her, she’s already halfway to giving Mihali Savoulidis a run for his money. Accompanied by still-young-but-older keyboardist (Eric Luba) and drummer (Will Trask), The Jaden Carlson Band wowed everyone in the entire venue a multitude of times. Twiddle brought Jaden out during their set two or three times to melt everyone’s faces more, having call-and-response guitar duels and grinning ear to ear. Her style far surpasses her age, giving her live performance a very classic feel through funk, soul, jazz and rock. Even her vocals were on point, with an innocent, soft voice with a gruff rock-n-roll tone. Writing music of her own and covering those of old favorites, The Jaden Carlson Band blew my socks off. The woman next to me said, “She’ll be the next Derek Trucks. I’m telling you, she’s what you need to write your story on!” So hats off to you, Jaden.
As I claimed my spot on the balcony overlooking the crowded Ogden Theater, The Revivalists opened their set with “Concrete (Fish Out of Water)”. The lead singer, David Shaw, was vibrant and powerful in his guitar strumming and vocals, with his afro of brown curls bouncing so hard I was sure they might go flying. The audience immediately jazzed up, swinging their hips, laughing with their comrades-in-composition and singing along to the positive lyrics. This 7-man-band of four types of guitars (slide, acoustic, electric, and bass), keyboard, drums, and brass accompaniment was groovy, upbeat, and flat-out winning. Their music is full of soul; it’s very evident that they put tons of love and positive energy into the making of their songs. Their progressive indie-rock style complements their folky, jammy feel.
Their set eventually gave way to Twiddle, who to the excitement of the crowd, began with a tune called “Daydream Farmer”. Everyone on the dance floor started jumping around and throwing their hands into the air. A live painter began his (what would soon to be) an abstract turtle, carrying crystals and some kind of crazy line-work protruding from his shell. The keyboardist, Ryan Dempsey, came onto the stage in printed footie PJs and a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles hat. The four men on stage never took the show too seriously – at one point, in the middle of a song, Ryan started playing Beethoven’s 5th, and the entire band started going along with it. At another point, the keyboardist also played with his foot. Incredibly enough, Twiddle had the grace of going so out of sync, changing time signatures, tempos, and rhythms so crazily that every member was just playing whatever the hell they felt like (or so it seemed), and then magically, after one more count, the song climaxed into an almost-relieving melody that got the whole joint boogying. Twiddle’s mix of music was superior – their set was jam-packed with fan favorites, changing from bluegrass to reggae in one song, such as “Beethoven and Greene” (which is also the song the lyrics above belong to). “Earth Mama” was another favorite, belting out positivity with the lyrics “This is my toast to livin’ on the good life, so put your glasses in the air,” and of course tons of beer cups rose above the mass of heads. Twiddle also welcomed three talented musicians to join them onstage, including a banjo player, saxophone player, and of course, Jaden Carlson.
The entire night had an air of welcoming, all-bullshit type of fun for all ages. Each band had a very positive message, and my impression was that all the musicians onstage throughout the night enjoyed each and every moment of their performance. It seemed like every act was over too quickly. The sense of community in this atmosphere was very refreshing, the music completely mesmerizing, the talent out of this world, and the experience so beautiful. I vow to never miss another Twiddle show (or The Jaden Carlson Band or The Revivalists) in Colorado ever again.
Written By: Jaelyn Kohl
Photos By: Benna Coben
All photos are property of Bass Feeds the Soul