Making their second trip to Toronto within this past year, on the winter stint of their never ending Down In Heaven tour, Chicago’s Twin Peaks took to the stage at Lee’s Palace on the night of December 3, 2016. Joining them were Californian boys Golden Daze and together PANGEA, promising a night full of rambunctious energy and loud guitars.
Disappointed to have only caught the tail end of what seemed to be a very strong set by Golden Daze, our anticipation was high for together PANGEA. The live four-piece kicked off their set with stoicism and ease, offering tidbits of fan acknowledgment between songs. Cadien of Twin Peaks egged the boys on from side stage, cheering and beckoning at them one hand while gripping onto a beer in the other, before diving off the stage and into the crowd to join the pit of eager attendees for a song or two. While initially expecting more of a stage presence and energy from together PANGEA, it quickly became clear that they didn’t need wild antics to get the crowd on the feet or to help deliver an exceptionally tight performance. Songs like “My Head Is On Too Tight”, “Sick Shit” and “Too Drunk To Come” sounded like even more of a smash party anthem live than any recording could ever do justice to.
Gracing the stage shortly after 11:30PM to a packed Palace and a swarm of adoring fans at their feet, Twin Peaks assembled in their typical fashion – Colin Croom on keys and guitar, Cadien Lake James on guitar, Jack Dolan on bass, Clay Frankel on guitar and Connor Brodner holding it all down together on drums at the back. Wasting no time, the group of best friends made sure to get everyone dancing right off the bat with opener “Butterfly”, one of the strongest tracks from their latest record Down In Heaven. The formal addition of Croom, who shone as the band’s newest vocalist during “Keep It Together”, only continues to prove to be an excellent decision. One of the things that makes Twin Peaks stand out above the rest is their cohesive songwriting and seamless ability to play off each others’ vocals. Croom is a natural fit into the dudes and it was exciting to see how much the band continues to evolve with him.
Playing a steady stream of new material such as “Have You Ever?”, “Getting Better”, and “Wanted You”, it was refreshing to hear these songs that had already resonated so deeply through their recordings flourish in a live setting. Not neglecting to play some older favourites from Wild Onion and Sunken, much to the delight of the crowd, the boys declared “This one’s the hit!” before launching into “Making Breakfast”, which could very well be the band’s best known song (if not, THE best). Their energy and genuine appreciation for the city of Toronto, the only Canadian stop on this leg of tour, was palpable. Ending the show with a three-song encore, Cadien launched himself into the crowd, guitar in hand, once more into the crowd that had truly become his by the end of that night. It truly feels like a privilege to be able to watch these talented young guys from Chicago follow their dreams and have it amount to something so true and well deserved. Looking forward to what the future holds for the beloved Twin Peaks dudes.
Review by Ava Muir
Photos by Benjamin Bush