Wednesday night I sprained my ankle at a Twin Peaks concert. I haven’t stopped telling people I sprained my ankle so it must have been a great show. Staying awake until six in the morning was worth being able to see one of my favorite hometown bands in my new city of residence, but I’m definitely glad I brought my wisdom teeth pain medication with me overseas. I knew they would come in handy sometime, I just didn’t know it would be for this particular reason.
I had been planning on attending this show since the band announced their European tour last spring. I even forced my roommate to start listening to them so I could drag her with me to the concert. Luckily, she really grew to like Twin Peaks, and hearing her since their songs in a Colombian accent is pretty entertaining. I didn’t know what to expect from Point Éphémère, as I had never been, but the venue was decently sized, a bit smaller than the venues that Twin Peaks usually play back home in Chicago.
There was only one type of beer being sold at the show, and it was splashed all over my face and hair when Twin Peaks rolled into their first song, “Butterfly,” from the newest album. Besides playing the old favorites and new hits that have been gracing their set lists in the past half year or so, the band rolled out “Irene,” which—and correct me if I’m wrong—hasn’t been heard live in a while. A personal favorite of mine, “Good Lovin’,” wasn’t heard in its usual spot in the set list, so I was worried that I’d miss it. You can guess why I was really looking forward to hearing the song. (Hint: it’s the mention of Chicago in the second verse.) Thankfully, after coming back on stage for the encore and me yelling at Clay something like, “I sprained my ankle for you fucks. You better play “Good Lovin’!”” the song was played.
I’ve been in Paris for about two months now, and let’s just say I’m really missing Chicago, and when I say this, what I really mean is that I miss the Chicago music scene. This concert let me feel like I was almost back home for a few hours, even if most of the people around me were speaking French. Despite the language barrier, Twin Peaks have a large fanbase in France, and they definitely showed up for the show in Paris, which was sold out. Despite what I had expected from going to other shows here, the crowd formed a mosh pit that lasted from start to finish. It was a little less rowdy than in Chicago, where I would have only lasted two or three songs of hair pulling and crowd surfing, but well intentioned nonetheless. Fans new all the words to both songs new and old, and sang along with the band like their life depended on it.
When I asked singer and guitarist Cadien James on his thoughts about the differences between the respective music scenes of the two cities, he had a lot to say. “If I’d been asked a year ago I may have had a different answer, but each time we return to Paris our experience playing the shows grows more frantic and frenzied in a way not quite similar, but comparable to our Chicago shows.” He brought up a good point in the fact that the DIY scene in Chicago, which is based out of a lot of houses around the city, is not really possible over on this side of the Atlantic. “In [the] EU, where living quarters are more tight, it would be harder to have a DIY scene based out of households,” he noted. So I guess I don’t have to be that sad to leave Chicago, although I will miss the DIY shows and “donation requested” cover charges. But if the rest of my experience here is anything comparable to Twin Peaks at Point Éphémère, I don’t think I’ll have too much to worry about.
by Sophie Pecilunas