On 26 November, 2013, I had the privilege to see a new uprising band, Twin Forks. Upon going, I could not help but notice that the fan-base was bigger than I anticipated for a new band. This could have been attributed to the fact that the lead vocalist is the very talented Chris Carrabba, otherwise known as the frontrunner of Dashboard Confessional.
Twin Forks is a super-group made up of Chris Carrabba, Suzie Zeldin from “The Narrative”, drummer Ben Homola from “Bad Books”, and bassist Jonathan Clark. Even though this Floridian band is new, the sound is as powerful as ever. The band itself is down-to-earth and was a beautiful sight to hear and see.
The concert was held at the comfortable Biltmore Cabaret located near Kingsway. The venue seemed intimate, eclectic and electric. The staff was compliant and full of smiles. The venue had several tables and chairs that surrounded a spacious floor space. The first opening band to perform was The Washboard Union, a seven-person band that included a variety of instruments such as the banjo, mandolin, harmonica, dojo, and (you guessed it) the washboard. There is a folk twang that resonates throughout their music, which was also quite easy to move to. The array of instruments made the performance fun and interesting to not only listen to, but to watch as well. Personally, it was the first time I had watched someone play the washboard. The one element I thought was particularly attractive about the band was the energy that they emitted. Every person in the band looked as though they could not have more fun. The energy was infectious and was a great introduction to what was going to be an amazing show. There was an air that was innately beautiful about this band, and was a pleasant pairing for Twin Forks.
There was a second opening band that followed. The Treasures also had a joyous quality that raised the energy even more – a real treat! This Toronto band brought a great diversity of different types of songs from intense harmonization to an interesting interjection of various instruments such as the sax and the steel guitar. There are four vocalists in this band – including the drummer, Galen Pelley. While there is an obvious Rock quality to their music, there is also an intriguing balance of a folk twang. This was the cause of a steady flow of energy that ran through the band and the audience during the band’s performance. By the time The Treasures were finished, the crowd was riled up and ready for Twin Forks.
When Twin Forks first arrived on stage, the crowd was ecstatic. It was evident that even though Twin Forks was new, Carrabba’s work was a long-lived experience. The energy between the members of Twin Forks was charming. They stole glances at each other and it was clear to see that they loved performing as they did. The interaction with the audience was priceless as well. Twin Forks was humorous, full of gratitude, and most of all, beautiful. The manner in which they joked was playful and kept the audience smiling. A memorable moment that resonated with me was Twin Fork’s gratitude for the opening bands. There were not only several shout-outs to both The Washboard Union and The Treasures throughout the night, but The Treasures brought Twin Forks a few shots of Whiskey to enjoy throughout the show. At the end of the night, The Treasurers not only brought Whiskey, but were invited to come onto stage with Twin Forks to jam. It was quite a sight and such a beautiful and organic moment, and a true showcase of the bands’ talents.
Twin Forks played a medley of melodies off their self-titled EP including “Back to You”, “Cross My Mind” and a cover of “Galway Girl”; all which are highly recommended for a listen. There were also a few select songs from Dashboard Confessional such as “Places You Have Come to Fear the Most”, which happened to be my personal favourite when listening to DC in high school. For me, I was brought back to a realm of nostalgia and reminiscence. For everyone else, there was a state of awe that threaded through the crowd, every beat accounted for. I could not tell if it was because the Folk-Rock music was so engaging, or if it was the passion that radiated the stage. To watch Twin Forks live was organic, beautiful and easy to fall in love with. As Carrabba said during the show: “It’s your job to make a world a better place for the people you love”. My guess is he loves his fans by making this world a better place with Twin Forks.
Before the show, I was able to have a short, but much appreciated one-on-one time with Carrabba. First off, he is handsome. Extraordinarily handsome. What was even more riveting was his energy. His soaring energy was mesmerizing and generated a smile that looked pure and sensational. If anything, it was difficult to concentrate because of the intense individual he is. At that moment, he felt like “anything is possible”, and when he went on stage, he owned up to that freedom that he felt.
As a person, he seemed kind and personable, and tried to interact with as many of his fans as possible. He, as well as the other members of Twin Forks, stood at the merchandise table answering questions, taking pictures and signing CDs. Carrabba mentioned that he would like Twin Forks to represent “a joyous celebration” that is shared on both the stage and in the audience. Indeed, his personality as well as performance mirrored that mantra.
One question that burned in my mind was about the relationship between Dashboard Confessional and Twin Forks. To Carrabba, DC represented a time of his life that was. Twin Forks represents a stage in his life that is. While this response seems allusive, I could not help but feel a strong sense of confidence that resided behind his words. I found it interesting, yet mysterious, and it brought a different level to my experience of the show. The name itself “Twin Forks” represents the four corners of the two intersecting crossroads that is Carrabba, Zeldin, Homola and Clark. Together, they meet at the intersection that is their life now. Carrabba knew all the members of the band and brought them altogether to make Twin Forks. There was a thematic sense of journey that resonated in his responses. Hopefully, he continues his journey and continues to produce music that warms our hearts.
A note from Carrabba: “Tell All Your Friends”. If you have not already checked out “Twin Forks”, you can check them out online You can also check out “The Washboard Union” and “The Treasures”. Don’t forget about Twin Fork’s new album scheduled for release in January, hopefully followed by a tour! Twin Forks in well worth experiencing live!