Mr. Roboto Project
Twin Peaks, The Lemons, and Dumplings
August 15, 2014
Photos and Review by Randy Jarosz
There’s nothing better than seeing a band perform, while on the cusp of stardom. There is a feeling that you know something that most people don’t. Just ask the 30 or so fans at Mr. Roboto Project that got to experience Twin Peaks. The Chicago foursome of Cadien Lake James on vocals and guitar, Jack Dolan on vocals and bass, Clay Frankel on vocals and guitar and Connor Brodner on drums have been one of the hottest bands around. Although their stardom has not quite hit Pittsburgh, they are sure to be a coveted ticket next time around.
You wouldn’t think these guys were the next big thing as James hobbled around on crutches and a foot wrapped in duct tape. Dolan walked around on the heels of his shoes and later played in his socks and Brodner sported a hole down the crotch of his jeans while working the drums. All things one would expect from touring musicians that rely on merchandise sales.
Although James, Dolan and Frankel split lead vocal roles, it is James who is the leader of the band. He is definitely the most outspoken and the wildest of the bunch. He is sure to have been a hell raiser at his days at Jones College Prep High School, where he once shared the hallways with Chance the Rapper.
“Thanks for coming-out guys, this is our first time in Pittsburgh, I think,” said James. He could be seen swinging his head from side to side during hit single “Flavor,” while proped on a stool to support his cast or belching into the microphone before explaining that he just ate a hoagie from a nearby pizza shop. At one point James put his glasses on to admire the fans in the crowd and later put them on upside down for the hell of it.
Clay Frankel was a master on guitar, seamlessly working the neck from one end to the other, leading the fast paced tempo of tunes like “Telephone,” and “I Found the Way.” One of his grandmothers smiled intently from the middle of the crowd, while another sat from a nearby bench with her ears covered, but holding the same smile. In fact Frankel had both Pittsburgh and out of state residents in attendance.
Twin Peaks rattled off about 15 songs in their abbreviated 30 minute set, touching mostly on songs from their recent release “Wild Onion,” and a sprinkle from their debut “Sunken.” Although a bit short, fans got what they expected and were blown away by the guys musicianship.
The Lemons, another Chicago band creating a ton of buzz, brought their 1960’s style surfer infused music as the opener. Their set was only a mere 15 minutes but their fun, catchy tunes makes you want more. They have a refreshing sound and band members alike. Definitely worth a listen and will be even better live.
Pittsburgh opener, Dumplings held down the fort with their noisy pop rock, while the Chicago bands were stuck in traffic. Dumplings are Jon Dowling on guitar, Jason Dowling on drums and Pam Hanlin on bass.