words // photos by Sarah Rix (@sarahrix)
“…there was a real sense that the members of Twin Peaks were getting as lost in the music as the crowd was.”
It turns out that seeing Twin Peaks in a fragile emotional state is a not-so-great decision.
But sometimes life throws things at you and there you are, watching a (by all accounts very good) band play upbeat songs about being alone and lingering sadness in the midst of your own very topical turmoil. Cool. Nice one, universe.
Obviously Chicago’s Twin Peaks isn’t to blame and, in many ways, what they do could be considered cathartic. It would certainly appear to be the case for the general masses – their show at Melbourne’s Northcote Social Club a collection of sweaty, crowd surfing bodies.
Touring Australia on opening duties for Byron Bay’s Skegss, they’ve made the most of their long journey over from the United States and been able to fit in a healthy string of welcomed headlining sideshows of their own.
Bringing bouncy tunes to a bouncy audience, it was a show packed with vocal harmonies and all out jam sessions – not unlike those of their friends from King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard, if you need a reference point.
Early set highlights included 2016’s “Holding Roses” and the “love is fleeting, but it’s going to be okay” summer jam “Tossing Tears”, from 2017 Sweet ’17 release. While it lacked the recorded version’s orchestral and horn lines, it was nevertheless a resplendent, lively take.
From the hair flips on stage and the eloquently presented intertwining instrumental lines, there was a real sense that the members of Twin Peaks were getting as lost in the music as the crowd was. They’ve been at it for long time and the five-piece are also evidently comfortable with how they play – both as separate parts and together. It was also nice to see a band where they all share vocal duties. In doing so, they were able to keep a fairly lengthy 16-song set seem constantly new and shifting.
Slower sad song “Shake Your Lonely” was perfectly complimented by the upbeat follow-up, “Have You Ever?”. Meanwhile, on both “Getting Better” and “Walk to the One You Love” from 2016’s Down in Heaven, the band was able to push out some more alt-country offerings.
That’s not to say they’re keen to give up their garage rock roots, though – they’re definitely still there for a good time.
“So who’s throwing a house party tonight?” guitarist Clay Frankel asked the Wednesday night crowd at one point. “Where we going? It’s okay. We’re good guests. We don’t do much.”
“Making Breakfast”, off of 2014 sophomore record Wild Onion, probably received the loudest cheer of the night. The band ended on a high, forgoing the stage walk-off and launching straight into their two-song encore.
“Can I ever love again?”, the band harmonized to the crowd during “In the Meadow”. The couple next to me took the opportunity to continue their ongoing and lengthy make out session. Oof.
They finished up the night with a jolt of guitars and bass on “Smoothie”, the band breaking the song down into all its extended instrumental glory as they followed each other through its twists and turns.
Hopping off stage with a wave, the crowd waited for more. It didn’t come. Perhaps that was the real, true heartbreak of the night. Twin Peaks clearly know how to soundtrack that.