96.3 Snow Show lived up to both its name and the hype this Thursday at The Myth. The Polar Vortex may have been in full force but that didn’t stop fans from lining up outside the see the killer lineup as put together by our friends over at Minnesota’s newest alternative radio station – Go 96.3.
The lineup featured stellar acts including Coin, Judah & The Lion, Banks and Bastille, as well as one local band – John Chuck & The Class. The evening was a perfect mix of music, which is just what you would expect from a station that is committed to playing a variety of up and coming artists.
Up first was John Chuck & The Class, the winners of the 96.3 Battle of the Bands. These guys beat out roughly 170 other bands for a chance at a spot on stage at The Myth, alongside A-listers of alternative music Banks and Bastille. Prior to Snow Show, John Chuck & The Class battled it out at Fine Line to grab this spot at The Myth. It definitely seemed like this was the biggest crowd they’ve played to, but as soon as they struck their rhythm on stage it was a knockout performance. They played for just around 20-minutes but The Myth was a warm crowd, cheering them along through their set which is what they called “probably hip hop.” With the emerging and vibrant hip hop and rap scene in Minneapolis right now, these guys were definitely worthy winners of the title “Battle of the Band champs.” Fans of Mod Sun, fellow Minnesota hip hop act, and G-Eazy, Mac Miller and French Montana will definitely enjoy what John Chuck & The Class are doing.Following John Chuck & The Class was Nashville based indie pop quartet, Coin. This band has been on heavy rotation on 96.3, especially their most recent hit, Talk Too Much. But their entire set was perfectly polished and fun – a great way to get the evening started. Coin’s music is fun, plain and simple, and their live performance was just that. Fun, dancey and infectious, the crowd couldn’t help but dance along with the charmers in Coin. “Minneapolis, how you feeling?” frontman, Chase Lawrence asked. “Oh, I guess you guys only communicate in screams!” There was definitely no shortage of screaming at this all ages show, but how can you not? Coin’s performance was incredibly engaging and charming, all in the best way possible. They played through their roughly 8-song set in about 45 minutes but was able to cycle in a lot of their hits, including freakishly catchy tracks like “Time Machine” and “Run.” Fans at The Myth were definitely strangers to coin, singing and dancing along for their whole set. The closed out with “Talk Too Much” and a stage dive, well a dive from stage to barrier. Coin had The Myth singing and dancing along to the last song. Taking to the stage after Coin around 8:00 pm was Judah and The Lion. This eclectic 6 piece band has recently been generating buzz with their anthemic hit, “Take It All Back.” We have a feeling the next time these guys are back in the Twin Cities it will be at an even bigger venue than The Myth. They almost stole the show with their incredibly high energy and off the wall performance. The band includes the standards – guitarist/vocalist frontman and drums, along with a few not so standards in indie pop, mandolin, banjo and accordion. Judah & The Lion is self-described “folk-hop” and their performance was just that. A weirdly perfect mix of folk and hip hop. It was all like a partier version of The Lumineers or Mumford and Sons. At one point the entire band set down their classic folk instruments to twerk together to T-Pain’s “Booty Wurk.” It was all entirely bizarre and off the wall, but infectiously fun. You couldn’t help but dance along. If anyone else knows of a band whose mandolin player also twerks, please let us know.
A cool moment from their set (besides the mandolin player twerking) was their rockstar cover of The Killers “Mr. Brightside.” “This song came out when we were in about 4th grade, and I don’t know how old you guys were we figured you’d know it,” frontman Judah Akers said before diving into their cover. He threw on his sunglasses and hopped down from stage for this song, it was like Judah & The Lion was throwing their own basement frat party and we all were along for the ride. Akers ran to the side of The Myth and hopped up on the bar to belt out “Mr. Brightside,” and the crowd loved every second of it.
While Judah & The Lions performance was larger than life, it’s evident they are still deeply humble and maybe even a little taken aback but the recent buzz they’re generating. “We never thought we’d be good enough to be on the radio, so thank you to 96.3 and everyone for having us out,” Akers said at one point during the set. They thanked their moms before launching into “Rich Kids,” another fun dancey hit. Akers and the band danced and jumped around like they were having the time of their life. Judah & The Lion played 110% for their final song “Take It All Back.” The crowd at The Myth sang along to every word. It was a definite stand out moment of the evening.A bit of a change of pace after Judah & The Lion was electropop queen Banks. This was a pretty big home run for 96.3 considering Banks isn’t even on tour right now and they were able to book her for Snow Show. Even more special was this was her first show supporting her new album The Altar. Banks was definitely the most theatrical performance of the evening. Her set featured two lyrical dancers that cycled in and out during the set. Dawned in a black cloak and killer black leather boots, Banks worked the stage like an absolute goddess (yes – like the title of her first album). Some of the crowd did seem either confused by or unfamiliar with Banks, but there were still a handful of fans singing along through her 10-song set, which featured a good mix of old and new songs.
A highlight of her set was “Fuck With Myself” which is the broody and sensual banger off her newest album. She commands the stage with absolute force during her performance, often switching back and forth between two microphones (one for her vocal effects and one for her normal voice). In between songs Banks is soft spoken and quiet, even a little bit hard to understand at times, but as soon as she is performing a flip is switched and she knocks every song out the park. During her set, Banks gushed about how excited she was to be finally be performing her new songs after a year holed away writing and recording.
Banks closed out her set with the biggest hits “Beggin for Thread” and “Waiting Game.” At one point the bass was so much, you could literally feel the wind on your face off the amps. It was an epically theatrical performance from start to finish, thanks to Banks and her dancers. It was a good night to be a music fan in Minnesota, getting to welcome back the queen that is Banks.Finally – the headliner of the evening was British indie rockers, Bastille. In recent years, Bastille has risen to pretty incredible heights in terms of popularity so it was cool to see them at a mid-size venue like The Myth. Snow Show was originally suppose to be at The Target Center, but was moved to The Myth. This venue change actually made for a much more intimate evening, which the crowd seemed to enjoy. Each band, Bastille included made a point to really connect with and get into the crowd.
Bastille took to the stage a little before 10 pm and played for a little over an hour. Fans were there to see Bastille. It was evident from the energy in the crowd that Bastille is absolutely adored by their fans, which are known as Stormers (as in Storm the Bastille, pretty damn clever). But the Stormers were out in full force as Snow Show to see their fearless leader, frontman Dan Smith. Smith and the entire band’s performance was absolutely flawless. Smith’s live vocals were perhaps the most striking. Even in the middle of jumping and dancing around stage, every song sounds exactly like the record, if not better.
Their set, like Banks, featured their classic hits as well as new material. Included in the lineup were early Bastille tracks like “Bad Blood,” “Things We Lost in the Fire,” and “Flaws” as well as newer songs like “Send Them Off” and “Good Grief,” and of course “Pompeii.”
A particularly intimate and fun part of Bastille’s set is when Smith hopped off stage and literally worked his way around the entire venue. He climbed up on the bar (maybe taking cues from Judah & The Lion) before dancing his way down in the crowd for a quick mosh pit. It was hard to keep track of him, but the spotlight followed him around the venue. He sang two tracks from the crowd – from the back bar all the way up to the balcony. It really didn’t matter if you were in the frontrow or the back row because Smith brought the show to the fans. As Smith (and security) made their way back to the stage, he was greeted by pats on the back and high-fives from fans. It really seemed like Bastille wanted to give the fans exactly what they came for, and that was a blow-the-roof-of-the-place performance, and that’s just what they did. From booming bass to full blown light show to enormous “Bastille” banner on stage, these guys made sure to leave it all stage at The Myth.
“The world is kind of a fucked up and scary place right now. So this next song is about just going out with your friends on a Friday after work to distract yourself a little bit. And it might not be the best thing to do, but you do it anyway. So anyone who feels like jumping around, go ahead and do that,” Smith said in his endearingly charming British accent before launching into “The Currents,” off their newest album. “We love you Dan!” a group of girls yelled from the crowd. “We love you too,” Smith shouted back. Bastille was the perfect end to a great evening of live music at The Myth.
So it may have been a frigid walk back to the cars after Snow Show, but fans had plenty of reasons to feel warm and fuzzy after the fiery performances inside 96.3’s first Snow Show!