“That band you like is coming back in style…”
That’s a little coded message for all our fellow Twin Peakers out there. When singer, Dessa Poljak, belts out the titular line, “I Put a Spell On You”, she, and the rest of Silencio, mean it. Returning to the Beachland Ballroom and Tavern this past Friday, Silencio offered a Masters class on all things David Lynch and, subsequently, all things Angelo Badalamenti; Lynch’s consummate longtime composer. While self-billed as “music inspired by the works of David Lynch” to consider Silencio a cover or homage band would not only be incorrect, you would be doing yourself a disservice. Silencio are intermediaries between the mystical worlds that filmmaker, David Lynch, has created throughout his career and our own. To close your eyes during their rendition of Julee Cruise’s chilling “She Would Die For Love” and a blistering “Pink Room” would be to teleport to the town of Twin Peaks; without ever missing a beat.
Silencio’s greatest feat is less the flawless reproduction of Lynch and Badalamenti’s scores, and more so the elevation they raise the compositions to while performed live. Their ability to fold Lynch’s esoteric vision into our own reality cannot be underscored enough. Bathed in red lights and dashing between breezy lounge toe-tappers, frenetic acid jazz that found saxophonist, Lee Hintenlang, in rarified air, and the unmistakable and singularly evocative and haunting numbers that defined Twin Peaks, Silencio worked as emissaries from the Black Lodge itself. Their set expanded to cover not only Twin Peaks, but several other numbers from seminal works such as, Blue Velvet, Lost Highway, and Eraserhead. Whether the original Badalamenti scores therein or subsequent soundtrack covers to works like Roy Orbison’s “In Dreams” and Ketty Lester’s “Love Letters”, Silencio’s two-act set left no cinematic stone unturned to an affectionate crowd.
When last they were in town, David Lynch had just announced the resurrection of the series. And now, little over a year later, Silencio visits days after Lynch and co-creator, Mark Frost, have just released The Secret History of Twin Peaks in preparation for the show’s return this upcoming Spring. The audience cheered along with the band at mention of the series return. This is testimony to the subliminal bond Silencio holds with their crowds. Both sides of the stage share an unmistakable affinity for the rich and harrowing “otherness” from which David Lynch has spun his gold. Evidence of this was found after the band closed their show with a “you had to be there” rendition of Jimmy Scott’s “Sycamore Trees”, first heard by ‘90s viewers while the lead of Twin Peaks, Special Agent Dale Cooper, traversed the terrifying and alluring Black Lodge during the show’s climactic finale. The applause refused to relent for the sextet as they headed for the back doors until, appreciative and riding on third-winds, Silencio returned for an impromptu encore.
Closing with Bobby Vinton’s “Blue Velvet” from Lynch’s eponymous film was perfection, and saw Poljak channel Isabella Rossalini’s performance to a “T”, down to a stunning gown of the same material. Not to go unmentioned were impressive reworkings of a Love and Rockets number, as well as Chris Issak’s “Wicked Games”, which surpassed its source material.
Originating years before there was ever rumor of a David Lynch revival of their selfsame repertoire, Silencio now appears prescient in their finely honed and even finer tailored craft, but their love for the source material is genuine and communal with the audiences that frequent their shows. Talking with frontman and guitarist, Kirk Salopek, after the show, he was enthused over the reception, admitting, “we basically had to replace our whole rhythm section.” Having to triage a missing bassist and drummer, the exchange was proven flawless; much like their return performance this past Friday at the Beachland Tavern.