Tuesday, June 25, 2013
Concert review: Twin Shadow leads ‘80s synth pop dance party at Granada
Supported by Swedish duo Elliphant, the show made for a blissful Monday fun day.
DALLAS A “Texan energy” filled the Granada Theater Monday night; George Lewis Jr., better known as Twin Shadow, said it himself.
With nearly 700 fans at the mercy of his blissful beats, Lewis lead the crowd through an hour-and-a-half synth pop dance party that is sure to be one of the most memorable of the year.
Twin Shadow is currently touring in support of Lewis’ latest album Confess, which dropped late last year. The Brooklyn-based musician works alone when composing and recording — Lewis told ABC he prefers avoiding the politics of working within a band — however, he performed with a three-piece live band that saved him from what could have been a lackluster solo show.
True to the nature of the tour, Lewis went around the country “confessing” true personal stories. Dallas was near the end run of show dates, but Lewis, clad in a knee-length overcoat and glowing yellow Mohawk, had no trouble conjuring a real-life tale from his childhood.
Apparently inspired by the smell in the room, he divulged his first adolescent experience buying marijuana for a sassy older cousin who was known to push him around. (Lewis also had a cousin in the audience who he asked to attest to his fact.) The naïve Lewis accidentally purchased oregano to the distaste of Sasha, his cousin who forced him to return the stash. Audience members keeled over in laughter.
“I’m only telling this story because I’m getting high from what you’re smoking,” Lewis laughed.
From the start of the set, Twin Shadow commanded the crowd with ‘80s-inspired power ballads and like “Run My Heart” and “You Call Me On,” as well as soft rock jams and catchy shoulder-shaking tunes. In a curious move, Twin Shadow played its most popular single “Five Seconds,” an upbeat indie dance floor hit, early in the set. But this was no fair weather crowd, and many stayed until the band played a two-song encore and the house lights came up.
Aside from the intoxicating nature of Twin Shadow’s sound, perhaps what was most refreshing about the set Monday was Lewis' willingness to engage the audience — a tactful move forgotten by most of today’s indie rockers.
I could spend time describing the way in which Lewis belted the hard-hitting lyrics like John Legend, or the way he paid tribute to guitar gods like Van Halen through his shredding technique. However, it was a moment like when he asked the audience to stomp its feet ravenously, then used the sound to introduce the last song of his set, that was most memorable.
Creatively, Lewis made the Dallas show one of a kind.
It helped that the opening band, Elliphant, set the tone for a high-energy evening. The Swedish duo rocked the stage with wide range of generic sound from bass-heavy techno and chill hip-hop to dubbed-out reggae and peppy girl-pop. The result was a cross between the loudness of Die Antwoord, the tribal roots of Santigold, and the irresistibility of Icona Pop, a sound that had booties bouncing in an urban hipster revival of sorts. The music was so estranged it was enticing. (Check out the band's song "Down On Life" for further listening.)
Leading lady Ellinor Olovsdotter spent most of the set rapping and gyrating, but in between tunes would coyly flirt with attendees, her accent winning them over. Half the time, on-lookers couldn’t understand what she was saying, but make no mistake, they were listening.
The vibe inside Granada Theater was pure guilty pleasure. And yet, crowd members did not seem to feel shameful as they bobbed, swayed, and shimmied with their neighbors. Twin Shadow provided the sonic backdrop for a bunch of kids born in the ‘80s who wanted to groove to that same decade of music they missed. And judging by the smiling faces at the end of the night, the headliner was overwhelmingly successful.Follow @tineywristwatch
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