Twiddle, The Revivalists & Jaden Carlson Band 3.13.15

The Ogden Theatre
Denver, CO

Words & Photos By Brad Yeakel (Opti Mystic Outlooks)

The Spring-like weather rose with the sun and Denver was rejuvenated. Often the sunlight's tones influence the day, and this particular Friday was aglow with the promise of fun, not just for the weekend, but as we rounded the corner towards summer tours and vice du jours. The only real dilemma was where to begin. I heard Leftover Salmon was at the Stanley, that Umphrey's McGee was in Aspen, that Greensky was at the Boulder Theater, and that Twiddle was hitting Denver and Ft. Collins. Having spent a decent amount of time listening to all of them, I decided to go with the one I knew least. Twiddle.

Fourteen year old Jaden Carlson was working the crowd as we walked in. Her musicianship was not only impressive for her age, it was impressive for anyone of any age. She and her band spanned genre after genre, pulling from the pop, jazz, funk, and progressive worlds with apparent ease. Having seen her band before, I expected to see a child prodigy, but was surprised by how much she'd developed her skills even in the short time I've been seeing her perform. Her set was very well received and touched on Floyd's "Time," as well as "Crazy" by Gnarls Barkley.

The Revivalists were up next, and brought a high-flying energy to the Ogden. Singer, David Shaw, was a showman, climbing into the crowd on several occasions throughout their set. The music was in the vein of the Black Crowes, but with a touch of the Motet. The resulting sound was one I felt immediately comfortable with, and my enjoyment never wavered throughout their hour. Each musician was competent, creative, and connected to the overall sound. I had no idea what to expect, but I was thoroughly impressed.

By the time Twiddle took the stage, the crowd was packed in like Rosie O'Donnell in a phone booth. The night was growing late already, and my intentions to get weird were stifled by beer and a rapidly escaping evening. I guessed right that Twiddle's show would only be one set. A trade-off I was happy to make given the talent of the openers. The set was filled with tunes I did not know. It was dynamic, structured, intricate, and tight, but there was some generic quality to the overall sound. There were several jams that seemed to meander aimlessly like Mick Dodge. They found enough moments of transcendence to entertain the crowd and kept the vitality from waning too much. Each member of the band seemed to bring a key ingredient to their recipe, enhancing each other's flavors and coaxing the nuances that made good things better. On the whole they were better than most bands that play their circuit, and I got the feeling that the potential for enjoyment was proportionate to the level of commitment on the listener's behalf. Had I been more familiar with their repertoire, I feel I may have enjoyed the night more.

The crowd dumped out into the Denver night as amplified spunions offered a variety of reviews from "meh" to "outstanding." Having seen the band a few times now, I was of the opinion that the band was great, but the show was average. I also felt the single set aspect may have robbed them of some thunder. The only way to be sure was to make my way to Saturday's show at the Aggie Theater and see if they had something more to offer. I had a feeling they did.

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