Early Eyes EP Release show with Sass and The Happy Children @ 7th St Entry 5/25/17

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it forever; I love Early Eyes. I’m so proud of these boys, and am honored to have watched them grow so much in just the past year. From basement shows, to selling out a Current sponsored, 7th St Entry show, They’ve definitely come into their own.

First on the bill was the grungy, 90s alt-inspired babes Sass, who I also love. I saw them a few months ago and fell in love with Stephanie Murk’s (also of Tony Peachka) energy and vocals. I remember going home and looking them up only to find that they just had one song online, “Ragged Strawberry”. It was really cool to see two sides of the music scene, bands that normally don’t play together, join up for this show.

Next up was The Happy Children of Normal Parents, another local fav who also seem to be growing exponentially in popularity. Folks last night might have recognized their new drummer as Jon Lindquist of the local, progressive rock band, Denim Matriarch – he’s probably the happiest drummer I’ve ever seen, like ever.  Despite a little mishap where Caleb broke two strings at once, The Happy Children put on a great show as always. It was nice to see ya’ll around again, we’ve missed you guys!

And of course, headlining was the beloved Early Eyes. Celebrating the release of their debut EP, Minutes, you could just tell how excited they all were to be there. Starting with a first with a few unreleased tracks, they then jumped into the EP, playing it straight through. With help from their friend Sophia Cruz on vocals (she’s also featured in the EP!) there was absolutely no lack of smiles or dancing. Early Eyes played a new song titled “Coffee” later in the set, followed by a whole list of shout outs starting with Wyatt’s mom who came from NJ, the openers and The Current, to Des’s best friend from high school, Steven.

The boys came back out for a two song encore that started with their beautiful cover of The Cure’s “Close To Me” – I didn’t scream louder the entire night (see the poorly shot snippet above). They closed the evening with the famed “Vape Juice” complete with the nearly entire audience rowdily screaming along. When I asked Jake if he had anything he wanted to say about the night, he went back and forth on what to say, joking about how he wanted to stage dive and nobody caught him, and finally settled on “thank you so much for coming tonight, Maia!” When I thanked him for playing The Cure cover, he said he knew it was my favorite, and my love for Early Eyes only grew. Here’s to you, boys. Stay humble, for you are so loved.


Colin Campbell & The Shackletons and Remo Drive @ The Whole 5/5/17

This was the first time I’ve seen The Shackletons live – I’ve heard a lot of buzz about them but very seriously had never listened to their music and I was gladly surprised! Not sure what I was expecting, but their blues-infused, rock and roll tunes were a fun time nonetheless and they got the crowd moving before every Minneapolis college kid’s favorite “indie-emo-punk” band, Remo Drive took the stage. I was also surprised to find that half of the famed and forgotten local band Blatant Youth was in the building, one member playing and one emceeing. I think  Early Eyes said it best, or tweeted rather, “there’s nothing better than the sweaty half-hugs that take place in a mosh pit. Love. @RemoDrive.” It was such a nice break from writing final papers and essays – I loved everything that night and have the best friends to share music with :’)

Battle of the Bands: Final Battle @ Coffman Plaza 4/21/17

Last night was the Battle of the Bands final for this year at the U in the fight for an opening spot at Spring Jam! Here are some photos of those who made it to the end. Yesterday was beautiful and fun and happy even though it was the anniversary of Prince’s passing. Congrats to Vessel on the much-deserved win, and shout out to Early Eyes for landing the spot to play at Wam-O-Rama next fall – proud of ya’ll 🙂

Avenues for Youth Benefit @ Art House North 3/18/17

A stacked lineup for a great cause, what more could you ask for! Bands of the night included Snake Posse, Crosswalk, Early Eyes, and The Happy Children. I want to say I’m sorry to Snake Posse for dropping the ball again and missing their set – I’m perpetually late for everything always – I really do hope to see them sometime in the future. It was my first time seeing Crosswalk live and they were real impressive. Crosswalk’s front man, Duncan Macklem-Johnson, is actually the mastermind behind the nights event, having started this as a school project, though it turned into so much more. How many more reviews until Got Any Tunes? turns into an Early Eyes/ The Happy Children fan website? I can’t count the number of their shows I’ve gone to in just the past few months, but both bands were outstanding as always. I am so appreciative that this was only like the second or third time I’ve ever been inside a church, and I’m so glad this is what it was for. The show ended up raising over $1,400 to help young people ages 16-24 in the twin cities area who are experiencing homelessness – you can learn more about Avenues for Youth here! Some fun photos below 🙂

The Happy Children, Early Eyes, Why Not, and Snake Posse @ The Paperhouse 1/14

This was my first show at The Paperhouse, and it’s definitely going to be a hard one to top. Dozens of sweaty kids piled into that tiny basement that reeked of smoke and maybe some other not-so-great decisions, but everyone was smiling. Literally. Everyone.

Unfortunately I missed the majority of Snake Posse’s set, and spent their last three songs trying to push my way to the front of the crowd. From what I heard, the little bit of attention I was paying them, they sounded good; I really liked “Baby Cryin'”. For sure a band to keep eyes and ears peeled for, I’d like to see them do a full set someday.

After parting the sea of a crowd “religion style” in order for the transition of band members and instruments to go smoother, it was Why Not’s turn on stage. By this time I had secured a spot beneath one of the hanging speakers in order to be able to shoot. The first time I reviewed Early Eyes on here, I had written “YOUNGINS” in my notes, but I have now seen just how incorrect I was. Why Not is made up of true youngins, all still in high school, and I have to say they’re much cooler than any bands I knew from my own high school years.


The crowd was really into Why Not and about halfway through their set, during “Guided Meditation,” a mosh pit burst out so violently, that the first two-ish rows of people came tumbling onto the stage in a big ol’ heap. After a slight pause to pick each other up and a few cautionary notes about being respectful of other people while in the crowd so that nobody gets hurt, the show was back on.

They had the crowd singing along eagerly to the last song; “All of my time in your arms it feels good!” Why Not’s sound reminded me a bit of a local band I knew from my year in FL, Recurrent, but happier and dancier (now that I’m listening to both of them, I don’t really understand my comparison of the two at all really, but whatever). The band left the stage with a “Thank you SO MUCH! SO MUCH!” and on came the next.

Early Eyes was up after, and even though I loved everything about this show, they were definitely the highlight of my night. They came out strong with some crowd favorites, but when Jake said “we’re gonna do a cover for ya. Do you like The Cure?”, and proceeded with a version of “Close To Me,” I was sold. Early Eyes has my heart now, and they can keep it. :’)

Sometimes I don’t like having the responsibility of taking photos and notes at shows, but then sometimes being up in the front or on the sidelines at shows you notice and hear little bits and pieces from the band playing that most people don’t. There were a lot of those during this show, including an under-the-breathe, “shut up. G-d damn,” inadvertently directed to some fans that were talking over the band while they were trying to make an announcement; I just thought it was funny.

They invited some girls on stage, conducted a basement-wide rendition of “Happy Birthday,” and had someone in the front row holding Henry’s mic up during the remainder of the set. Early Eyes closed with the riot rousing little track, “Vape Juice.” The whole room was bouncing, but I’m not going to lie, I was still happily thinking about The Cure cover.

THE HAPPY CHILDREN! Now they’re quite the trip and it was obvious that the vast majority of the crowd was there to see them. By the middle of their second song, “Honest Boy,” a new group of people had made their way to the front. Unlike the other bands, The Happy Children didn’t make any sort of mention in regards to moshing and dancing, and seemed to encourage it which was so fun!


The basement somehow became even more packed than it was, and for as little head space as there was, I was gladly surprised at how hard everyone in the audience was going. The Happy Children had the entire house chanting during “Sentimental” which hands down is my favorite of their songs. During the bridge, the guys kind of calm down on stage and seem to become real conscious of the environment, all while the sound builds bigger and bigger, and there’s just something about that that I really love.

The Happy Children ended the night with “Hail Mexico” during which a girl fell from the audience onto Caleb’s pedals and messed something up. After some stalling, they were back in business, and even from my spot holed up next to the stage, I feel confident saying that not a single person was standing still.

Thank you to everyone for being so kind and fun and for sharing your art and making that space so great; I’m so thankful to be lucky enough to share this with you all. 🙂




The Happy Children and Early Eyes @ Triple Rock Social Club 12/29

Well kids, I’m not really sure where to start this piece, there were lots of things that happened and it was such a good show. I’m trying to refrain from making this a long post due to time constraints plus also personal laziness because I woke up way too early for work this morning and need a nap, so we’ll keep things short and sweet.

First and foremost, thanks to The Happy Children for having me despite an immense amount of list issues within the past week. The band started strong and finished even stronger, playing tracks off their latest release, Small Talk, with a few new ones here and there. The Happy Children have an evidently fervent fan base that has much crossover with local favs Hippo Campus. Also, please go check out the music video for “Honest Boy“; it makes me nostalgic for memories that I don’t even have. Great job, guys.

Closing the show that night was Early Eyes, a band I hadn’t ever heard before, but have been told great things about. I was blown away and how much I loved their funk- influenced indie rock tunes. Their whole set I kept thinking of a certain fellow Amerilady, Abigail, who taught me to appreciate funk and soul music more than I did in years past; thanks Abi :*

The highlight of the night was probably when The Happy Children joined Early Eyes on stage, mid-song, in their underwear, dancing. It resulted in Caleb climbing the drum kit and mooning the audience, revealing a temporary sharpie tattoo of “The Happy Children” scribbled on his left cheek. Weird as it seems, the crowd was into it; everyone was having fun.

Here are some random notebook dumps followed by a full album of photos that I’m really proud of, enjoy!

  • Chanting “Judah had a stroke!”
  • Half these kids can’t mosh…
  • Caleb throws Judah
  • Teenagers are the best ❤ ❤ ❤
  • “Tomorrow” is gonna f*** some kids up one day