Photo Credits: Amanda Fotes, AUX.TV 

This past Monday night I had the pleasure of watching Chicago-based group Twin Peaks play their first Canadian show as a part of an album release tour. The show happened at the Horseshoe Tavern with opening acts Jimmy Whispers and punk band White Reaper. Despite it being a cool, stormy Monday night in May, the turnout at this small venue was impressive—and it was possibly one of the best shows I’ve ever seen.


Twin Peaks is comprised of five members: Cadien Lake James (vocals, guitar), Clay Frankel (vocals, guitar), Jack Dolan (vocals, bass), Connor Brodner (drums), and Colin Croom (keyboard, backing vocals). These gentlemen have been providing the world with garage rock since their high school years, having formed in 2009. They just released their third album, Down in Heaven, this month, following their more famous sophomore album Wild Onions (2014).


Now on to the fun stuff!


The first opener, Jimmy Whispers, fit the “drunk-uncle-at-the-wedding-trying-to-sing-karaoke” persona perfectly; he was basically a love-child of Ariel Pink and Mac DeMarco. He appeared on stage and beckoned the audience to move closer (no thanks), and eventually members of the audience obliged. I, however, wanted to keep my distance, and with good reason too. Jimmy Whispers forced interaction with the audience through crowd surfing, lying on the floor, and overall just getting into people's faces while singing and stripping. To be fair, it was entertaining wondering if this one-man show was serious or not about the tunes he was belting. The audience seemed to enjoy it all anyways, even chanting his name at the end in support.


Next on was White Reaper. This band was one I was looking forward to seeing live. I love their pop-punk music and I was praying that their stage presence would live up to it—and it sure f***ing did. From the warming up of the instruments at the beginning to lead singer Tony Esposito jumping into the newly-formed mosh pit to sing (such a courageous soul), I was hooked. The energy and performance, along with great music, made it feel like I was watching a headliner, not an opener. Playing a mixture of both old and new music, White Reaper embodied the sound of the Sex Pistols.


On to the much anticipated headliner: Twin Peaks blew my MIND. I have also been a fan of their music, and they proved to be the real deal. Caiden was decked out wearing an American bandana tied around his forehead to make him “feel like karate kid,” and the rest of the boys seemed to be rocking their ‘casual high-school band’ look. The singing switched between Caiden, Clay, and Jack, highlighting how similar they each sounded, and creating a stronger unity amongst the band.

Twin Peaks was great at interacting and engaging with the crowd. The mosh pit was at its peak while the headliners played; beer was thrown, crowd surfing increased, and umbrellas were opened. Twin Peaks sounded like the Rolling Stones during passages of guitar in the song “Walk to the One You Love,” and “Holding Roses” had elements of the Black Lips’ acidic vocals and Lou Reed’s mellowness. There was a great balance between playing some of their older tunes as well as their new ones—and of course, they played their well-known song “Making Breakfast.” This song was the cherry on top of a very awesome sundae. After their hour-long performance, the crowd wanted more and cheered until the boys came back on stage for an encore, finishing off the night with a bang and making probably the best rainy Monday night ever a reality.

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