Twin Peaks: Where are they now?
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More stories from Amanda Lafferty
April 6, 2017
April 6, 2017
This Bulls-loving, new age rock-and-roll playing and Chicago-based band has risen to fame over the past few years. What some don’t know is that two members of Twin Peaks are Lane alums. Clay Frankel and Connor Brodner graduated back in 2012 and are guitarist and drummer of the band.
During a phone interview with Frankel, he reminisced about his time at Lane. “I used to wait at Addison and Ashland for the CTA, and every time it got to my stop it was so full that it would pass me by,”a not-so-pleasant yet highly relatable sentiment.
“I’m Lane Tech famous, and that’s the best type of famous you can be,” Frankel joked when acknowledging the band’s feature in the newspaper.
The conversation then shifted to a discussion about the band. Frankel mentioned that some of the very first shows they played were at DIY [Do-It-Yourself] venues and basements around Chicago. Fans of all ages came to have a good time and enjoy the music, Frankel said.
Frankel noted that there’s a sense of consistency among each of their albums. “A lot of things are still the same,” said Frankel. “We always go for strong melodies.”
Yet, certain things have changed. “We sound like a bunch of old men now. We used to sounds like little kids, so full of wonder,” Frankel jokingly said when I asked if he perceives their sound to be more sophisticated.
Since releasing their first album, “Sunken,” a new member has been added: Colin Croom, who mainly plays keyboard on the recordings. Even before Croom joined, Frankel said that keyboard found its way onto recordings.
“None of us could actually play one [the keyboard] well,” said Frankel. “It was just a lot of droney-synth sounds.”
The first couple of times I saw Twin Peaks, I noticed that the venues never seemed to stray away from a certain trifecta: Martyrs’, Schubas and Beat Kitchen. What made these shows so appealing was the small and always crowded atmosphere.
Even the most recent set of shows I attended still had that same intimate vibe. I luckily scored tickets to the two sold out shows on Dec. 16 and 17 at the dignified venues of Thalia Hall and Metro.
Twin Peaks was the headliner, with opening acts Golden Daze and Together Pangea at both shows and an addition of Jimmy Whispers for the second show.
When I arrived at both the Thalia Hall and Metro shows, a line of people wrapped around the street. Just from the lines alone, I saw diversity within their fanbase. I recognized people, both young and old, who have gone to their shows since the beginning. Also making up the ticket lines were newer yet equally dedicated fans.
At the Thalia Hall show, each member exemplified their songwriting and musical abilities when leading a song. Frankel starting off the show singing a crowd pleaser called “Butterfly” off their newest album, “Down in Heaven.” Guitarist and vocalist Cadien Lake James did his part, especially bringing back some of their earlier releases such as their first single “Stand in the Sand.”
Throughout both shows, each member connected with the audience. Part of that was due to the willingness of the crowd to take in the energy put out by the band. Frankel even seemed to be dancing with his guitar, sometimes shimmying down to the floor. It was wholly entertaining.
Halfway through the Thalia Hall show, Croom announced a slight pause was about to happen. 93XRT was the sponsor of the concert and recorded it on analog tapes. This was the point when the first reel was switched to the second. Knowingly being part of a live recording brought a certain feeling of warmth to the concert experience.
Towards the end of the show, a man in a Santa costume raced onto the stage, with the opening acts trailing behind him. He ran around the stage waving the “W” flag, as the bands sang together in unison. From that moment on, the fans within Thalia Hall felt like a community of music lovers and emulated the ambience of the venues the band started out at.