Chicago band Twin Peaks and Kentucky locals White Reaper played a secret show on Friday, October 30th, at a DIY venue in Chicago named Canvas. Both bands recently wrapped up separate national tours. Other bands on the bill included Crosstown, WolfPac, and Paul Cherry.
Entering Canvas the night before Halloween, you walk through a vibrantly painted courtyard swarming with people dressed in their Hallow’s Eve best.
In-between each act, band members mingled with the crowd, exclaiming how happy they were to be back in town. This excitement would be on display later in the night as they played for the crowd.
Crosstown started the night off with a bang. While Canvas was not yet at capacity, the band still managed to make the crowd move. Same goes for WolfPac, who as they played shielded themselves behind a curtain displaying the band’s name.
Paul Cherry, known for his tribute song to Olive Garden, “Breadstick Ballad,” also kept the funky vibe going.
As White Reaper took the stage, the costume-clad crowd started to look like a real life horror movie. A mosh pit formed that contained many costumed attendees, including a killer clown, a nudist body suit, an “Oops I Did It Again” Britney Spears, a man dressed as Marilyn Monroe, and various other get-ups.
Guitarist and vocalist Tony Esposito acknowledged the spooky atmosphere, yelling “if you’re a fan of the movie Scream, this song is for you.”
Through ominous yet poppy sounding tracks, White Reaper charged up the crowd and let everyone know that they were there for a reason. With an overpowering keyboard, and an incredible stage presence for a band of their genre, they got the crowd readily warmed up for the last act.
But before leaving the stage, White Reaper paid tribute to Twin Peaks drummer Connor Brodner’s 22nd birthday and had the crowd sing “Happy Birthday” to him.
Under the pseudonym the “Run it again boys,” Twin Peaks finally stormed the stage to an eagerly awaiting crowd. From the moment they struck their first chord, the crowd was the craziest it had been all night.
The space was small, and the stage was even smaller, barely able to comfortably contain all five members and their gear, so the crowd spilled onto the stage at various points throughout the set.
Notable moments included their performance of “What Up Dog?,” a Today’s Hits cover that was sung by Twin Peaks and special guest James Swanberg of Today’s Hits; a member of the crowd coming on stage during the second song and sitting next to keyboardist Colin Croom for the rest of the night; and guitarist/vocalist Cadien James falling onto the drum set while still strumming his guitar during the finale.
Even though the set had a few technical difficulties, the crowd still belted out each and every word, relaying the passion it exuded to the band.
Twin Peaks really knows how to focus a crowd, which was exemplified by the lack of smartphones present during their set.
If Twin Peaks can keep captivating audiences long enough to make them disconnect from social media for an hour, they will do well for years to come.
All photography by Taylor Nettnin