Party on!

Sacto’s 2Me makes folk rock that has captured the hearts of crowds everywhere

THE COLOR AND THE SHAPE<br>2Me’s Christopher Twomey and Reid Foster keep it mellow.

2Me’s Christopher Twomey and Reid Foster keep it mellow.

Courtesy Of 2me

2Me will perform Thurs., Sept. 20, at LaSalles. 6 p.m.

229 Broadway, Chico

Almost every city has a band that can be called a hometown favorite. It’s treasured by the locals who secretly wish the band never makes it big so that it will continue to frequent the small venues where it’s become so loved.

Burying this secret with guilt, the crowds cheer the musicians and pat each other on the backs like proud parents at a high school football game. But Sacramento is different. It gladly sets its hometown favorite, 2Me, loose to tour the country. And with each tour, locals genuinely hope the folk-rock group finds as much success outside the city limits as it has within. Of course that’s not to say 2Me’s shows, often intimate affairs, aren’t missed.

“It feels even better when people are there appreciating it as much as you are in their own way,” said drummer Reid Foster. “Whether it’s dancing on tables, or sitting quietly, there’s a mutual appreciation that’s tangible sometimes. It’s truly amazing to feel.”

This appreciation is palpable at a 2Me show where, even if the audience is sitting silently, you can tell without looking around that everyone’s attention is on the music. The band members are a genuine group of guys who love mingling with friends and fans over a beer between sets.

When the band formed in 2003, it consisted of four members, including Foster, guitarist/vocalist Christopher Twomey, guitarist Nathan Bisig and Conan the Bass Player. Together the group produced two albums and toured regionally and nationally. Following a 2006 national tour, Conan and Bisig departed.

During the transitional phase, Twomey and Foster relied on other local artists for gigs, or simply performed a “Bikini Set"—the group’s inside joke for what the band has become: a two-piece. Ever-rotating musicians have made for a rocky show here and there, but the strength of Twomey’s and Foster’s mutual appreciation for the music comes through.

The duo has toured as far as New York, and even in a musical climate where folk rock doesn’t stand out as unique, 2Me has been able to break apart from the masses—mainly because of its connection with the large audiences that flock to their shows. Lyrics that evoke love and heartache, life and liquor mix well with rhythms reminiscent of the poppiest Paul Simon folk songs and the Grateful Dead’s jammiest numbers. It’s college-friendly folk, but without fail the happy hippie vibe always seems to bring crowds to the dance floor or keep them swaying in the seats.

Distinguishing itself from the rest of the musicians in Sacramento was not a goal of the group, but it happened nonetheless. Casual concert-goers gradually turned into fans—one music lover brought two friends to a 2Me show, and those two friends would bring two friends to the next show, and so on.

As a way of showing its appreciation, 2Me organized a party bus in the summer of 2006. Locals loaded onto a chartered bus filled with beer and friends and headed off from Sacramento to San Francisco to cheer 2Me on in a music competition. Just another example of the symbiotic musical relationship 2Me has created.

“Of course, I like to think it’s a testament to the music we play,” said Foster. “On a broad scale, though, I think we’re just blessed. Somehow, we’ve built a family of friends who enjoy being there as much as we do, and it’s true magic. We wouldn’t be enjoying ourselves or doing what we’re doing today if it weren’t for all of those people.”

When 2Me makes the trip to Chico, take some advice from Sacramento and drop by to hear the laid-back rock set. No need to thank Sacto fans for the loan of their hometown favorite; just take good care of the musicians and they will take great care of you.