Sure, Santa Barbara may lack the culturally rich nightlife afforded to folks living in L.A. or S.F., but such small(er)-town concessions also come with some pretty sweet perks. Like seeing a big-deal rock act play to a 350-person capacity crowd. On Saturday, one of those perks came our way in the form of Twin Shadow, the Dominican-born, Brooklyn-bred namesake of indie rocker George Lewis Jr., who, one day prior to his SOhO gig, sold out San Francisco’s much larger venue, the Great American Music Hall.

Twin Shadow at SOhO Restaurant & Music Club

Prior to Twin Shadow’s set, Los Angeles act Poolside took to the stage to set the mood. In nice contrast to the headliner, they dished up roughly 40 minutes of laid-back, vacation-ready jams, including their Caribbean-meets-disco single “Harvest Moon.” With the crowd properly loosened up and the lights down low, Lewis and crew took to the stage in a wash of fog-machine haze. The set started with the danceable “Shooting Holes,” off the band’s 2010 debut, but didn’t really pick up steam until song number two. Backlit by a red glow, Lewis kicked into “Golden Light” with guitars blazing, crooning and then belting the track’s chorus with just the right amount of anthemic oomph. The night yielded a few more brazenly smooth ’80s-rock gems (“Run My Heart,” “Beg for the Night”), as well as a heavy-handed helping of the band’s more sultry R&B-inspired tracks (“Tyrant Destroyed,” “Slow”), but the best moments were the curveballs, like the cranked-up (and spot-on) guitar hooks on “Patient” and the RPM re-up given to “At My Heels.” That the venue afforded us the space to dance, see, and hear the band, well, that we’ll just chalk up to not living in the big city.


1. “Shooting Holes”

2. “Golden Light”

3. “Five Seconds”

4. “Patient”

5. “Tyrant Destroyed”

6. “Yellow Balloon”

7. “Run My Heart”

8. “Slow”

9. “At My Heels”

10. “Castles in the Snow”

11. “Forget”

12. “Beg for the Night”


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