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Sunday, June 13, 2021

Twin Suns make High Dive debut

The five piece performed at the Gainesville venue for the first time June 4

Twin Suns took the High Dive Stage for the first time with a set of covers and original material.
Twin Suns took the High Dive Stage for the first time with a set of covers and original material.

Twin Suns weren’t necessarily prepared for an encore the night of their first High Dive performance.

In fact, they technically played an encore already. They didn’t announce it, but their last song was, by their account, the last song of the night, saved at the bottom of the setlist given everything went well. But the crowd of around 50 people was incessant — chanting, clamoring and staying rooted to their spots at the front of the stage.

“One more song! One more song!”

The band was floored, but they turned to each other, shrugged and gave it a shot. With a count-off from drummer Adrian Walker, they launched into the Beatles’ classic “Come Together.”

Singer Nathan Manning said he only knew about “a stanza and a half” of the song, and it eventually descended into dueling solos from guitarists Evan Vogel and Zack Sjuggerud with bassist John Powell anchoring the operation. It was entirely impromptu, and judging by the hesitation they expressed, it wasn’t a selection Twin Suns were entirely confident in showing off.

Nevertheless, when the band’s final hit rang through the venue, the audience erupted.

The encore was the exclamation point to Twin Suns’ debut performance at High Dive. Only months old, the five-piece played the venue alongside Inverness indie artist Trevor Griffin Friday night, marking their first show in Gainesville and third ever with their current lineup.

Friday’s High Dive show was the product of two practices, one studio session and two prior performances for Twin Suns. With Sjuggerud and Powell in Orlando, Walker in Jacksonville, Manning in Fernandina Beach and Vogel in Gainesville, in-person practices were reserved for a select few weekends.

“We’ve played more gigs than we’ve practiced,” Vogel said.

The band, formed in October 2020, has only played together a handful of times. But what Twin Suns lack in experience, they make up for in natural chemistry. They said their connection was instantaneous, and they can understand each other from a single look or hand signal while on stage.

Walker joined the already-established quartet of Manning, Powell, Sjuggerud and Vogel in April 2021, but the band said he caught on quickly.

“We just sent him the setlist and it’s like, ‘Oh, he has every song dialed,’” Sjuggerud said.

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Their performance featured a combination of covers and original songs, with a half-and-half split between the two. Featured from their catalog was their single “Under The Moon,” their first available on streaming platforms. Among the covers were hits from Mac Demarco and Tame Impala.

The band said these covers reflect their personal tastes, coming from artists who have inspired them both as individual musicians and as a collective. They send songs back and forth in their group chat, and if they’re deemed “groovy,” as Powell put it, Twin Suns try their hand.

With a donation from a listener allowing the group to professionally mix their songs, Twin Suns are gearing up for a summer full of new material. A collection of singles and, possibly, a debut EP are on the way as the group spends more time in the studio

Though they’re unsure of what the future holds, with no other performances officially scheduled, Vogel said Twin Suns are living in the moment

“We’re just happy,” he said. “We’re lucky and happy.”


Contact Heather at hbushman@alligator.org. Follow her on Twitter @hgrizzl.

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