So I wrote a full review of the PWR BTTM show over at The Current, but I thought I’d post the full photo album here, Enjoy!
So I wrote a full review of the PWR BTTM show over at The Current, but I thought I’d post the full photo album here, Enjoy!
I almost didn’t go to this show last night because I didn’t have anyone to go with and wasn’t on the list, but Jackie (Sunflower Bean’s press manager) came through with a last minute press pass and I’m so grateful because it was such a blast!
First on the bill were locals Lazy Scorsese. I hadn’t heard of them before, but I really enjoyed their music, and even ended up looking up their new EP Grigio, that was just released last Friday, before the show even ended. Their music tends to be on the slower side with a lot of these dreamy, hippie-synth vibes. Their sound is a bit dark and psychedelic, but still has airy hints that kept the atmosphere light.
The band lists Unknown Mortal Orchestra, The Velvet Underground, Father John Misty, Brian Eno, El Vy, and Kurt Vonnegut as a few of their influences. They had a really chill stage presence that fit well with their sound and the crowd seemed to enjoy them. You can find Lazy Scorsese’s new EP on Bandcamp!
Second up was Sunflower Bean’s touring opener, The Lemon Twigs. Apparently I’ve been living under a rock because I hadn’t heard of them either. Well, once they started playing I recognized quite a few of their songs but had just never put a name to them.
The D’Addario brothers, who recently released their first album Do Hollywood with fellow band members Danny Ayala and Megan Zeankowski, are excitingly theatrical to say the least. They played a pretty even mix of songs off Do Hollywood and new ones off an EP they say they hope to record in December. I’ve never been into their style of this 60’s/70’s, power-pop/rock with touches of The Beatles, The Beach Boys, Todd Rundgren, and maybe a little bit of Mac Demarco and Father John Misty, but I really loved their set!
Their songs fluctuate from swoon-worthy ballad’s like “How Lucky Am I?”, which served as the transition in the middle of their set in which Michael and Brian switched instruments, to much more upbeat tunes like their single “These Words” which was an obvious crowd favorite. Their set was filled with smiles and high kicks and beautiful harmonies and bell bottoms. The band announced the end of their set by introducing a new tune called “Queen of my School” and were met with complains from the crowd that it would be their last song. I’ve never experienced that type of love from the audience for an opener before, and it was amazing, I highly recommend seeing them.
Shortly after, the Brooklyn-born band, Sunflower Bean, took the stage! This was a band that I knew and have been loving lately. With this mix of sound influence that’s somewhere between Chastity Belt, Cherry Glazer, Bully, and a little Beach Fossils, they had the crowd moving from the get.
“Come On” off their latest album, Human Ceremony, found itself met with a crowd of headbangers as well as some coordinated jumping on stage. I was standing next to a boy that was videoing near the entire show on his phone and never stopped smiling; this was the overall vibe the entirety of their set throughout the crowd, eager teens and lots of smiles. “Wall Watcher” was much heavier in person than on the album, and I really appreciated that.
Now I’m not one to write about a band’s clothing because it’s not relevant to their music or talent, but I just want to point out the diy, skeleton-print pants Nick was wearing and the glitter boots Julia had on because I want both of those things for myself. I was really about their aesthetic last night.
They did play on new song before Julia dedicated their most popular, “Easy,” to the crowd, and it was definitely the favorite of the night; lots of people singing along. The three of them are much less theatrical on stage compared to The Lemon Twigs, but that’s not a bad thing at all. They gave off this effortlessly cool energy that fit so well with their music. Sunflower Bean closed the show with a riotous, high energy version of “Space Exploration Disaster”, after which Julia humbly thanked the crowd for “coming out to see [them]” and blew a kiss into the audience.
It’s funny to me that I can go from seeing Modern Baseball and The Front Bottoms open for Brand New, and the next night see a show like this one, and enjoy them just the same. I always say how much I love young people at concerts because I love how music makes them move and behave, but I also really love people’s diverse tastes in music, my own included. People tend to be timid and humble about a lot of things in their lives for fear of coming off as self-involved or arrogant , but when it comes to music interest, people are shameless. Everyone loves their own taste in music and wants to share it with other people, and I guess that’s exactly what I’m doing here. –
Below are some more photos! You can listen to The Lemon Twigs on Spotify and follow them on social media here, here, and here. Sunflower Bean is available to listen on Spotify, and on social media here, here, and here
I had really no idea what I was in for when I agreed to cover the new, local, multimedia project Juniper Douglas’s debut live concept album/theater piece. After experiencing the performance last Friday, things make more sense, but I also was left wondering a lot, and it was definitely nothing like I expected it to have been.
They sent me their first single, “Wood Rose”, that they just recently released and the accompanying music video, which was really cool. They had Jake Luppen (Hippo Campus) and Neil Weir (Magic Castles, Posh Lost, Flavor Crystals) over at Blue Bell Knoll on the production end of things. The song reminded me a bit of “lover’s carvings” by Bibio mixed with a little of that Hippo Campus flair, fitting as they list Bibio as one of their sound influences, along with Unknown Mortal Instruments and Whitney.
Quick little note on the video: I’d just like to say that there is a scene during the first chorus that is absolutely beautiful. Noah, the main character from the theater piece as I later found out, is running through a field and it’s very Wes Anderson-y with the wide shot, and I just really really love that.
As for the actual live theater piece/concept album, it was a bit confusing at parts, but I think that was the point; they wanted people to think. They began the show by telling the audience to “take a seat, and take a look.” They took you into the brain of a girl named Noah who was wildly imaginative. The journey she goes on through seemingly her consciousness and unconsciousness is in order to try and figure out who she is, what she wants to be, how she is going to get there.
Noah gets stuck trying to explain the concept of time early on in the performance, and struggles with time moving too fast for her to keep up throughout the rest of the show. She ultimately seems to fall into the monotony of life, with the most fitting, yet heartbreaking end scene. Don’t get me wrong here, it wasn’t all as sad as I’m making it out to be. It was incredibly creative and well thought out, and there actually was a lot of humor in the script, which the crowd reacted very well to.
Somebody said of the performance that it was “like a high school play, but self aware.” I agree with this to a point because the crowd seemed to be filled with parents and family and friends of the cast and musicians, but that is something I love. I love friends who aggressively support each other, and that was absolutely apparent during the show; those parents should be proud.
The band played the score live throughout the performance, and all the artists were incredibly talented in every aspect of the production. I was a little confused at first, thinking that there would be more traditional songs, like the one they sent to me; there really wasn’t, though the music was still pretty and creatively made in certain scenes. (I recall a microphone held up to a bucket of water during the waterfall scene). After seeing the live show, and then going back to the music video, I put together the pieces; the video seems to be a trailer, if you will, for the live show.
I asked Jake Luppen, one of the producers of their single “Wood Rose” about his time working with the project. He gave me a little insight on the process and timelines as well as the following praise for Juniper Douglas: “There’s nothing like the project happening in the cities right now. Zeke and Yvonne are two of the most creative people I know. I’m excited to see where the project goes from here.”
At first I didn’t have any idea of what to even make of the performance, but after some time, I’ve made up my mind. All in all, it was a really cool experience, I’m glad I went, and I definitely walked away from it thinking; it still has me thinking, and I think that that’s a good thing. —
You can catch Juniper Douglas on social media here, here, and here. And listen to their new single on Spotify and Soundcloud, and watch the music video here. Photo credits go to the talented Casey Carlson; check out more of his work here!
In my ongoing quest to rank the concerts I’ve been to in order from best to least-best, this show rivaled The Wombats 2015 and Catfish and The Bottlemen 2016. I had so so much fun and I’d like to thank my grrrl, Margie, for pretending to be my photographer so she could come dance with me. And a big thank you to Jo of The Florists for inviting us to this show the night before when Marge and I were some of the few people left at The Whole dancing like maniacs during their set.
First in the lineup of the night was Half Tramp, the solo project from Taylor Brea Harrison. The crowd was serenaded by her beautifully enchanting voice set to some simple, but dark electric guitar. Her voice reminded me a bit of Hope Sandoval’s or Mitski’s, but Taylor definitely has her own vibe going with her music; it’s very sad-witch in a really good way.
She had the crowd near silenced until there was some banter about the T.V. show Charmed. “I wish I had something cool to say. I’m just still thinking about Charmed” she said, to which a member of the crowd yelled “you’re the fifth sister!” in reply. Her set was short and sweet to ensure time for the other acts, but I really would have liked to hear more from Half Tramp, I can’t say enough good things!
Up next was Daisy Chains, with their surfy, psychedelic, rock n’roll music that got the crowd moving. The band is made up of locals E.A. Bambery, Walker Neudorff, and Allison Gunderson. Opening their set with the first track off their latest release, “Only, Only”, the audience started grooving and shifting. By the end of the song, there was a different group of people at the front for this set.
Most of their songs were pretty fast paced, and anyone in the crowd could observe the vigorous headbanging of a few members of The Florists. The Daisy Chains closed their set with obvious crowd fave “Bye Baby” off the 2015 Nervous Breakthroughs Split EP which features three other local bands. Their rockabilly energy was a great at warming up the crowd for the next two, considerably louder bands.
Now it was time for The Florists to take the stage. They are some of my recent favorites after seeing them at their own release show in July at 7th St. Entry. The band’s twitter bio reads, “Minneapolis post punks. queer. excitable. we will dance with you.” and they are exactly that. With incredible, incredible, amounts of energy on stage, they began with “Casual Friend” and the crowd was dancing immediately.
They continued with fan-favorites off both their new release Can You Feel The Stasis? and their previous Demos EP. The audience continued to grow, swelling and surging to the front of the stage towards the end of The Florists’ set. Guitarist and lead vocals, Jo Kellen, handed their guitar off to bassist Luke Michaels as they angrily danced and crawled about the stage whilst singing and tending to the synthesizer every now and again during “Sleeper Hit.”
They finished their set with a song called “Circuit”, but second to last was “Joey, You’re a Dream” to which Kellen prefaced, “this is a song for anyone who’s ever been misgendered before!” A mosh pit soon broke out, and in true fashion of The Florists and all their “weirdo glory” that is so obvious on stage, Kellen ended by smearing lipstick across their face, then on Michaels’ before they wrestled each other to the ground as Jared Hemming kept the last fading beats of the song on the drums, and another man from the crowd emerged on the side of the stage, also smearing his own face with lipstick.
All I can really say is thank you to The Florists for being so fun, and also everyone reading this who hasn’t gone to see them, do it, please.
Yay! Now time for Tony Peachka! (I realize this is a long review, thanks to those who have read this far, please continue 🙂 This rad AF band is made up of Melissa Jones (guitar and vocals), Stephanie Jo Murck (guitar), Danielle Cusack (Bass) (also a member of Bruise Violet!), and Haley Briasco (drums) and they absolutely blew me away. I think this was the first time I’ve ever seen a headlining band made up exclusively of girls, and it was honestly so inspiring and kick ass, especially in light of recent discussions such as this.
They came out on stage, did a little group huddle before they jumped right into the first song. Their music sounds very surf-pop, riot grrrl-esque, though they describe it as “clog-wave.” Tony had a lot of fans and friends in the crowd including all the members of the opening acts, the members of The Florists actually started a mosh pit by their fourth song, “Sour Grapes” off their new album. A few of their songs featured choreographed dance moves by Cusack and Murck.
They continued to absolutely kill it throughout the rest of their set, ending with “Knees”. After only about a minute off stage and the entire venue chanting “TONY! TONY!”, the girls excitedly returned to their instruments. Cusack barely says “we’ve been keeping this a secret for so long. I’m nervous! Are we ready?!” into her mic to the rest of the band, while Murck throws gold glitter over the crowd. Tony then broke into the most legendary cover of Avril Lavigne’s “Girlfriend” ever, complete with backup dancers who ended the song in a fake-brawl turned passionate lip lock. It was incredible.
To all who played last night, thank you so much. To all who danced last night, thank you so much. I love you all. I love everything :’) more photos below, enjoy!