03/05 Missoula, MT - Stage 112+
03/06 Seattle, WA - Tractor Tavern+
03/07 Portland, OR - Doug Fir Lounge+
03/08 Vancouver, BC - Biltmore Cabaret+
03/10 Sacramento, CA – Blue Lamp+
03/11 San Francisco, CA - Bottom of the Hill+
03/12 Costa Mesa, CA – The Wayfarer+
03/13 San Diego, CA - The Merrow+
03/14 Phoenix, AZ - VivaPHX
03/17 - 03/20 Austin, TX – SXSW
+ Port St Willow to Support
With a name like that, lyrics and song titles like the ones on their setlist that could even make Robert Smith or Morrissey weep, and a newest album called Nobody Wants to Be Here and Nobody Wants to Leave (Fat Cat Records), you’d think they maybe are not the mostideal band to see, to cure the winter blues. But, like a lot of things, there is hidden beauty inside their perceived darkness.
Port St. Willow
Songs flowed one into another, creating a layered soundtrack, with Principe’s vocals sometimes going high like Jónsi from Sigur Rós and their keyboardist/effects pedalist occasionally picking up the trombone to add more elegance to their sound.
From the beginning ‘Tourist’ to set-ending ‘Consumed’ (both from Holiday on Downtown Records), the Brian Eno-endorsed project effectively set a mood and the attentive audience was thanked for their silence by Principe at the end.
The Twilight Sad
Like a panzer tank with daisies in the barrels, a massive wave with a rainbow behind it, or a spinning black hole with a glimmer of light at its eye, the band’s noise-folk and morose lyrics have some shimmer in them, if you know where to look.
Vocalist James Graham was a dervish on stage, looking sometimes semi-possessed as eyes rolled slightly back with arms outstretched and some jerking movements, in sharp contrast to the four other members remaining relatively still. Most of the newest album was played, including the two opening songs, 'There’s a Girl In the Corner’ and ‘Last January’.
The Glasgow band is dramatically cheerier in-between, with Graham appreciating the Monday night crowd coming to see them on this, their 4th time playing the venue, and giving an obligatory Prince reference, which vexingly then led into ‘I Became a Prostitute’, and crowd laughter.
“Monday night’s the new Friday night!” and ”thank you for embracing us miserable bastards” Graham declared, before launching into ‘Alphabet’ from 2012’s No One Can Never Know, with its somewhat positive lyric, “And I was hoping on a good day that you would be fine”.
‘And She Would Darken the Memory’ from their 2007 full-length debut, Fourteen Autumns & Fifteen Winters ended the 14-song, encore-less set with the appropriately closing lyric, “Because I’m putting the boot in tonight”.
And somewhat inexplicably with it, a ray of sunshine shone through (and maybe as a result of all) the gloom—attribute it to the effectiveness of The Twilight Sad’s music, to turn sadness into a gift.
Twilight Sad at 7th Street Entry, Minneapolis (02 Mar 2015)