Rocking the First Avenue stage!
Opinions on the Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota Music Scene
Rocking the First Avenue stage!
(February 26, 2012) Being 100% German I usually only get one day a year to claim any Irish Heritage (except for an occassional happy hour Guiness). Well the last two years I have figured out how to get my Irish on another day; The Dropkick Murphy’s. What a great gig for them every year up to St. Patrick’s Day, a US Tour finished by playing in front of their hometown crowd in Boston. Saturday night I saw them at First Avenue and it did not disappoint!
There are essentials to any Dropkick Murphy’s show; (1) Young enthusiastic men, some with a fair amount to drink, (2) Young attractive women, the ones who really like St. Patrick;s Day and (3) the Celtic-Punk sounds of the Murphy’s. As a middle-aged guy on the floor it was great to watch the pit (which my son jumped into during his first First Avenue show!) and how everyone took care of each other. Also when they slow it down you can expect strangers to end up arm in arm swaying to the music.
You can expect some of the usual, their version of AC/DC’s “Dirty Deeds” and women filling the stage for “Kiss me I’m Sh*tfaced”. This year though they through in a few acoustic songs (well almost acoustic) which was a great change of pace. I really appreciate a band that can add in a Banjo, Tin Whistle, Bag Pipes and Accordian and still make the place rock. There is a great chemistry in the band I continue to appreciate the work of co-lead singer and bassist, Ken Casey, you can tell this guy is about as Irish and Boston as you can get.
So if you did not make it and you need the perfect soundtrack to St. Patricks Day this year pick up “Going out in Style” CD going on sale on March 13th.
(Friday, February 24, 2012) I headed over to the Kitty Cat Klub to check out some local music after the Melismatics sold out at the Ritz. I was treated to four bands/projects and none of them had more than 3 members on stage, getting me to thinking in the day of electronic backup how many people do you need to have a band?
The surprise of the night was the final band, The Parlour Suite, a local band who I had not seen before. A husband and wife duo, Joel and Inga Roberts lit the place up with Inga’s great vocals and Joel’s guitar. I also enjoyed the hard work of their drummer, Joshua Perez, who worked through some positioning difficulties with his snare during one song but kept everyone on track. Great pop hooks and Inga’s keyboards made them sound very full for a three piece group. Look for their new release “Everyone’s Looking” on April 13th at Cause Sound Bar in Minneapolis.
Two other local favorites that I am really starting to like also played the show, Red Pens and BNLX. Both create tremendous sound for a two-piece and three-piece group. Last time I saw BNLX drums was done with a mac, I enjoyed the live drums much more. Red Pens always rock the place, amazing how much sound they can get out of a guitar and a drum. Laura Benett on the drums is a treat to watch by itself.
Grant Cutler opened the show, I have given him a listen with the Gorgeous Lords before but this time he was playing solo with electronic backup. I have to say I enjoy the whole band experience more but I was impressed with the depth of his songs with just the electronic backup.
So did I figure out how many people it takes to make a band? No. But did I find bands that don’t fit the traditional mold who can provide a full sound? Yes.
I am excited to be sharing my musical musings with you. I love the Minneapolis-St. Paul music scene and want to share the shows I go to, the bands I like and other musical musings. So you get to know me a little better here are my Best of 2011 lists. Look for postings as I attend shows in the area.
“Just updating my concert spreadsheet (yes it is pathetic). After Tuesday’s Pink Mink show at Nick and Eddies it is 39 Concerts this year with over 60 bands seen. Thanks to all of my fellow concert goers this year and to my wife for tolerating my concert going habit! Shooting for 50 shows in 2012, let me know what you see that looks interesting.”
Top 5 Concerts of 2011:
1. Pink Mink Cruise (with Birthday Suits)
2. U2-Interpol (TCF Stadium)
3. Pizza Luce Block Party (4onthefloor, Communist Daughter and Koo Koo Kangaroo)
4. Liz Phair (Fine Line)
5. 4onthefloor (Triple Rock Thanksgiving Eve)
Top 5 Venues of 2011 (Leaving of First Avenue it is a given)
1. Turf Club-Neighborhood Bar+Hipster Hangout+really small bathroom
2. 7th Street Entry-Hit more shows in 2011 than I can remember, watching Hot Hot Heat with a stadium light show there was incredible.
3. Triple Rock-saw some great music here in 2011, good sight lines
4. Varsity Theater-really classed up the joint
5. Betsey Northrop-more bands should do a cruise, Pink Mink was incredible and ended up dancing the night away to the DJ skills of David Campbell
2011 Favorite Local Bands
1. Pink Mink-saw them five times this year, never try to miss a show, hoping for a second album in 2012. Chicks that rock are the best
2. Communist Daughter-new members and growth as a band
3. 4onthefloor-if you want to rock out, its the band to see
4. Jeremy Messersmith-great shows this year including his Words performance at the Fitz
5. Dessa-able to see her several times this year, cool that I share this with my son, Alex. Plus did an incredible cover of Prince’s “Never take the place of your Man”
6. Suburbs-not giving up on them. Always a great time at the show.
7. Twilight Hours-every time I see “Queen of Tomorrow” live I am singing it for days
8. The New Standards-Xmas show great again, true professionals. Try to not miss them.
9. Two Harbors-explain to me Chris Pavlich why the band doesn’t play more locally
10. Rogue Valley-first anyone who puts out four albums in a year is a feat plus they have the best merch girl, Youa Vang!”