On a night that was seemingly just like any other dark, smoggy evening last year, in a small club called Pianos in the Lower East Side, a band was born of a beautiful jam session. This year on Feb. 3, Twin Marquis returned to Pianos to play as a proper four-piece, with rehearsed songs and an established fan base. NYU students Connor Lewis, Tanguy Giraud, Seth Magoon and Gabe Merizalde had come full circle.
The crowd last Wednesday night had been hanging back towards the bar, warily waiting to see if the boys could play well enough to justify moving closer to the stage. By the end of the first song, though, they had migrated forward, with the encouragement of fellow musician and NYU student Michael Persall. The band’s jazzy style and perfect mix of instrument harmony were hard to resist and the evident camaraderie of the boys was impossible to miss.
As a reward for the crowd’s bravery, Twin Marquis brought up another fellow NYU student, Cassie Archdeacon, to join on vocals. Archdeacon’s sultry lounge style was like the icing on an already-beautiful cake; where the harmonies had been impressively full before, with Merizalde providing impressively high-range lines, Archdeacon’s runs were just what the boys’ sound had been waiting for.
With Cassie at the helm, alternating between lead vocals and supporting harmonies, the party had truly started. The set grooved along seamlessly between songs, with the crowd clapping harder each time another song ended. Electric bass solos toed the line between goofy and deadly intentional, and the guitarists traded solos back and forth so much that one began to question life, love and whether they were worthy enough to be even in the presence of such effortless skill.
And it did seem effortless. Though it’s undeniable that all the talent each musician possessed came from countless hours of practice and dedication, it’s just as inarguable that their performance flowed like water from a lead-free plumbing system. Lewis’ small twiddles on the guitar turned into the introduction of a song with a perfectly timed lead-in from Magoon on drums, and with a dopey smile on his face, Merizalde would slide in with Giraud and the song would begin before the audience’s very eyes. The set passed in a blink of an eye because there was no moment of downtime, no space where the crowd didn’t feel pulled towards the stage, hypnotized by the beat.
When time was up and the set was over, the crowd couldn’t believe it. An encore was called for — even, notably, by a man in the back who shouted, “I follow, and I say encore!” When the next act tells you to keep playing, it’s hard to say no. So, the boys finished out the night with their (ironically named) song “Rhythm” and a few more grins before leaving the audience once and for all in a groovy awe.
Email Hailey Nuthals at [email protected]