The Werks with Twiddle 10.11.13

Aggie Theatre
Fort Collins, CO

Words, Photos & Video By Nicholas Stock

Arriving at 9:30 PM meant that by the time I grabbed my first beer, Pigeons Playing Ping Pong were exiting stage left. What I heard sounded like a promising blend of electronic, funk, and jam. Forming in 2009 and averaging over a hundred shows a year this four piece has a lot of potential. In fact, all three bands on the bill were four man outfits that focused on their own brand of improvised composition. Some have pontificated that we are in a post jam era where the music has become split by genre and focus. However, when I witness performances like what I witnessed from both Twiddle and The Werks, my faith in jam is somewhat restored.

Twiddle came on after a short set break and kept the night moving smoothly. It was homecoming weekend at CSU and there was an abundance of youth in attendance. It seemed like Twiddle had gained a few fans from their performance at Arise Music & Arts Festival in August. They are an impressive unit who finally seems to be branching out beyond their Vermont roots. Much of the basis of their music comes from the school that Phish built. Beyond that they have a drive and musical prowess that absolutely makes an impact. Deep intrepid jams highlighted this set that culminated with a huge psychedelic style trance jam. As this is just my second time seeing them I am still unfamiliar with their songs. What I can say is that Twiddle can play, and they have a genuine enthusiasm about performing together. Their set at the Aggie seemed to end far too quickly.

Again, after a short set change The Werks emerged for their extended headlining slot. They opened with “O.G.”

Set One: O.G., Heading South, Light, BG, Duck Farm, Hard To Find, Moetry, G Funk, 2001> No Diggity> 2001

Encore: Killing In The Name Of

I’m sure many can relate, but at times, no matter how hard I try, I just can’t seem to make seeing certain bands live happen. The Werks have been one of those bands for me. I have listened to their recordings for a number of years but despite my best efforts failed to see them play live. That is until now. The Werks began performing together in 2004 and released their first album in 2007. Since then they have been touring across the country with several stops at top festivals like All Good and Wakarusa. They currently host their own yearly event called The Werk Out Music Festival. Their show at the Aggie, much like their opener Twiddle, was first-rate. They started the show by delving into a wide variety of their catalog. Slicing through musical styles like instrumental ninjas The Werks demonstrated why they are so revered. Songs like “Duck Farm” and “Moetry” punctuated a fantastic set of songs. They closed with their version of Strauss’s “Also Sprach Zarathustra” split by a bridge in the form of Blackstreet’s “No Diggity.” The crowd went absolutely nuts. However, The Werks came back to the stage to drop an even heavier encore. They covered Rage Against The Machine’s “Killing In The Name Of.” Stoic keyboardist Norman Dimitrouleas took the microphone for this spot on rendition that left fans mesmerized.

I have to say it was a fun night out. With a bill that consisted of names like The Werks and Twiddle it would be easy to overlook this Friday night, but that would have been a mistake. Both of these bands deserve your attention, so take a deeper look. Thankfully in some corners of the country jam is alive and well.

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