As George Lewis Jr. and Co. took the stage at the Crescent Ballroom on Sept. 4, it took about two minutes to start constructing a fantasy what he might be like if Prince were to take him under his tiny purple wing and spin him into a sexy stage-dominating Rock God. It’s not to say that George Lewis Jr. aka Twin Shadow is in need of improvement. It’s just that the fantasy is not so far fetched. In fact, Lewis has all the traits of a Prince protégé: laser-like focus, miles of sex appeal, chops that don’t stop and a voice that croons and emotes. Oh yes, Prince would have snatched this little puppy right up.
But it’s not 1983 and Prince has not plucked young George up to carefully construct his image and smooth the edges of his raw youthful talent. But Shadow doesn’t seem worse for it. In his brief career, he’s managed to create two consecutive albums that admittedly sound highly derivative of 80’s new wave, and yet are at the same time thoroughly exciting, new and perhaps most importantly solidly awesome. Pitchfork, Rolling Stone, Glide, etc. are all in agreement… Twin Shadow has got some serious talent.
There’s no denying Lewis’ two albums draw on a New Romantic-kind-of -80s-thing, emotions figuring large in the mix (21 songs and counting to prove it). But live, Lewis brings flesh and bone to his own brand of romanticism in the form of a very physical sensual energy. There’s a lot of raw power backing those feelings.
As the show moved on, it must be said, his limited canon of work was obvious but what he lacks in quantity, he more than makes up for in quality. Each song is a stand alone shining little universe of vocal, synth and guitar, with lyrics that reflect his age, but do so in such an honest way that they don’t come across as immature.
This was Twin Shadow’s first show in the valley of the sun and it would be fair to say, they didn’t know what to expect. Something Lewis remarked on more than once going so far as to say he was surprised to see how amazing we all looked and gave a shrug to what could only have been Phoenix’s reputation in the rest of the country.
But the crowd didn’t seem to care…Phoenix was in love. And so, when the band returned for an encore… apparently something other cities have not deserved, the fans could feel that the band was really feeling it and since George Lewis Jr. seems to be a feeling kind of guy, it all felt right.
Beg For The Night
I Don’t Care
I Can’t Wait
When We’re Dancing
Run My Heart
Castle In The Snow