Twin Shadow and Poolside 8/25 Glass House Pomona Review

By Ace Ubas

For two of the acts that played at the Glasshouse on a sold-out Saturday night, their individual performances were a testament to their success in 2012 with each taking a different route. The Los Angeles-based disco duo Poolside released their debut album Pacific Standard Time to rave reviews while local DJs have dubbed them the ideal band to listen to during the summer and have even described their sound as “daytime disco.” While for George Lewis Jr. (a.k.a. Twin Shadow), his recently released sophomore album Confess, which has also garnered positive reviews, delved deeper into his emotional psyche while furthering his retro 80s synth-pop sound. But if there is something in common that both bands managed to do on Saturday night, it’s that they turned the Glasshouse into one big dance party.

Comprised of Jeff Paradise and Filip Nikolic, Poolside came out on stage ready to blare their disco tunes to the crowd. However, their keyboardist Michael Gold was M.I.A. and left everyone wondering. Nikolic was calling out “Michael!” and even got the crowd to yell out his name in unison. After a couple of minutes, Gold finally emerged from the back and the band finally got started with opener and new single “Only Everything.” Its electronic handclaps, retro synths, and funky bass immediately got everyone moving. Mid-tempo number “Next to You” followed up and got everyone into a steady groove with its thick bass-line driven melody. Obviously, lyrics aren’t the foundation of their songs as they are repetitive and minimal, acting as vocal melodies to the songs. They slowed down the pace a bit with the appropriately titled “Slow Down,” where the shimmering synths were enough to provide a type of warmth associated with the summer season, while Nikolic got slap-happy with his bass riffs. The highlight of the night came on the piano-driven “Do You Believe” where Twin Shadow’s George Lewis and keyboardist Wynne Bennett came on stage to join Poolside for a brief dance session. They ended the night with the percussive big-beat number “Take Me Home.” With the way people were dancing with their significant other, I’m sure they couldn’t wait to be taken home.

But they would have to patiently wait another hour as Twin Shadow took the stage for their headlining set. Lewis isn’t a person to hide his interests as his motorcycle was brought on stage as an added aesthetic piece and show off his personality. And he isn’t afraid to show his emotions either based on the last two albums. Joined by a full backing band, the set opened with “Beg For the Night,” which immediately showed the distinction between the song performed live and on record as Lewis delivered a brief guitar solo to end the song. They cranked up the pace for “Five Seconds” that drew a lot of cheers for being the single off the new album. At this point, most of the crowd was jumping up and down, never letting up the energy they had. Again, the 80s-esque guitar riffs were more prominent and led the song, making it sound as if they belong in a stadium.

What’s really impressive about Lewis is not only does he exude a high level of confidence and poise in his demeanor, but also the way he interacts with the crowd and how he feeds off their energy. In order to get the crowd even more energized, he asked them to cheer as loud as they could after the count of four. After measuring how low they got after a few tries, they jumped right into the romantically-themed “At My Heels” where Lewis’ vocals soared on the lines “there is no key to my gate/but you can still come around/lean your ladder against my window/I’ll come down.” “Golden Light” followed with its explosive chorus, while the R&B-tinged “Patient” shined with Bennett’s glowing synth-pop melodies. A pair of songs from the debut – “Tyrant Destroyed” and “When We’re Dancing” – were faster than their recorded versions, giving a more hard rock feel to them that the crowd continued to move along to.

“Castles in the Snow” and “Forget” ended Twin Shadows set, where on the former, the crowd was treated to an extended version of the song that featured a blistering guitar solo, while on the latter, Lewis took his guitar and walked through the crowd, delivering his guitar licks.

In speaking with a friend at the show, she called Lewis a rock star. Usually the term has a negative connotation attached to it, but not when it comes to Twin Shadow. He has the stage presence, confidence, look, and charm of a rock star, but definitely not the pretentious attitude or arrogance. Twin Shadow is definitely a band to see if you’re in the mood for vintage rock sounds while wearing your best pair of dancing shoes.

Set list:
Beg For the Night
Five Seconds
At My Heels
Golden Light
Tyrant Destroyed
When We’re Dancing
Run My Heart
Castles in the Snow

Shooting Holes
I Don’t Care

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