Upon entering The Kazimier, it was apparent the place wasn’t all that it usually seemed this time around. Each corner of the venue glowed with bright red spotlights and, as we awaited the arrival of the band, we all stared at the familiar, yet haunting, shot of a certain staircase from a certain home in the fictional town of Twin Peaks, in which the ceiling fan relentlessly spins, generating an atmosphere of tension and unease amidst all the anticipation.
Fans of the show would recognise this as the home and stairwell of Laura Palmer, whose death not only served as the catalyst for the events of the show, but would continue to affect and alter the lives of each of the other major characters there after. And through the exceptionally beautiful renditions and interpretations of Xiu Xiu, the dramatic effects of her death and the plight of the townspeople of Twin Peaks was brought into reality like I never imagined possible, and enabled fans of the show in the crowd to feel a part of that world like never before – certainly from an emotional standpoint.
The band began their set in the spirit of how the show began with the wonderful, yet tragic, “Laura Palmer’s Theme”, a piece of music so beautiful it can literally move you to tears something it often did in the series to whichever character happened to be on screen at the time of its playing.
The silence that permeated the audience for this interpretation, that with every note so perfectly captured the heartbreak and sadness of its intended themes, was something I’d never been a part of before in my gig attending life. It was moving, and it was a moment that everyone shared in that perfect silence, allowing themselves to be caught up in the mesmeric performance of such a brilliant piece of music. Either that or everyone was literally frozen with fear at thought of BOB coming down that staircase at any given moment.
We were then treated to a number from David Lynch (creator of the show) and Angelo Badalamenti’s (the show’s composer) musical stalwart Julee Cruise, who occasionally appeared in the series and film herself at crucial moments singing various numbers at The Roadhouse Bar. Xiu Xiu chose “Into The Night” for their main ode to Cruise’s involvement with the show and, wonderful as it was, and apart from “Falling” itself at the end of the set, I would happily have seen versions of “The Nightingale”, “Questions In A World Of Blue” and “Rockin’ Back Inside My Heart” in there as well if there was enough time.
It was necessary to include memorable tracks like “The Bookhouse Boys”, the theme of Twin Peaks’ very own defence against the dark arts secret society, and “Audrey’s Theme”, which I think everyone would agree is just far too dreamy to have been left out. One of my favourite musical sequences in Twin Peaks, from the movie “Fire Walk With Me”, was brought to life with their performance of “The Pink Room”, a track driven by seedy, druggy guitars which in the film serves as a backdrop for showing us the true darker side of Laura Palmer.
As the set drew to a close the crowd were still in a veritable trance when the theme of Twin Peaks itself was finally delivered to them; suitably in its more perfect form as Julee Cruise’s “Falling”. The blue light that I can recall beaming out from the stage for that song reminded me of the same that shines on the beautiful laughing face of Laura Palmer in the final shots of “Fire Walk With Me”. This along with the wonderfully moving lyrics of the song, only added to the already beautiful moment I was experiencing watching from that staircase.
At times it felt like you were really there, but none more so than during this truly climactic and epic finale. I wish I could have done it all again the following night, and I don’t know when or if I’ll ever see it again. Maybe one day I’ll be out somewhere one night and hear some of those familiar motifs and I’ll whisper to myself: “It is happening again.”