On Saturday May 6th, two top-tier jam bands are throwing down at the infamous State Theatre in Portland, ME. Based out of Vermont and originally formed at Castleton State College, Twiddle is headlining the evening with support from Strange Machines. The State Theatre is a historic venue with beautiful, vintage decor and excellent acoustics, so May 6th will be nothing short of magical.
Strange Machines, based out of Boston, MA, features Mike MacDonald (guitar, vocals), Christian Perron (keyboard), Isaac Civitello (drums, vocals) and Craig Holland (bass). Their upbeat, fun vibe will turn the State Theater into a party before Twiddle even takes the stage. They were originally conceived as a reggae band but have recently branched into other genres, making for an eclectic mix of jam, funk, reggae and electronic music.
This is not the first time Twiddle has teamed up with Strange Machines for a show. On St. Patrick’s Day weekend of 2016 at Toad’s Place in New Haven, CT, Twiddle’s 2-night run was opened by Strange Machines both nights. That was the first time I had ever seen Strange Machines, and since then they’ve become a staple in my music collection. Because of this, I’m looking forward to seeing them support Twiddle once again as they close out their Spring Tour.
The State Theatre reopened in 2010 as an 1870-seat performing arts venue, and has since hosted several world-class acts including Umphrey’s McGee back in January of 2017. This is not Twiddle’s first time at the venue, either. They played the State Theatre back in November of 2016 as the third show of their Thanksgiving Tour, supported by The Jauntee and the one-and-only lespecial (check out interview with lespecial here). At that show, they debuted “Moments,” the fourth track on Plump (Chapter 2) (read our thorough review of the new release here), and closed out with “Frankenfoote,” which happened to be one of the last times it was heard live to date, with the final time being New Years’ Eve. This said, hopefully we get a tasty “Frankenfoote” on Saturday, complete with its hallmark Ryan Dempsey piano solo.
For those unfamiliar, Twiddle is a jam quartet based out of Vermont comprised of Brook Jordan (drums/vocals), Zdenek Gubb (bass), Ryan Dempsey (keyboard), and Mihali Savoulidis (guitar/vocals). They’ve been around the scene since 2005, but have recently started to develop a significant following – sometimes referred to as “Twiddiots” or “Frends” (cause there’s no “i” in “friend,” get it?) Their repertoire has a great deal of variety, ranging from fun songs with catchy, positive lyrics to 25-minute super jams that any jam fan can get happily lost in. I had the opportunity to see their shows in Columbus, OH, on this Spring tour, which made it clearly evident we won’t be able to see Twiddle in small venues for much longer. Since Columbus, they released PLUMP (Chapters 1 & 2) on Friday, April 28th. With so much solid, refined new material released just a few days ago, this upcoming show will be one that keeps everyone guessing— even those fans who think they’ve heard it all! Buy your tickets here.
(This is a terrible quality video below, but below watch a couple get engaged at the State Theatre last Thanksgiving)