Twas the night before Easter and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse. Wait, wrong holiday, wrong story. Twas the night before Easter and all through the Twin Cities, all the creatures were stirring, everyone wanted out of the house. Saturday night, Chicago-based quartet Ne-Hi brought their tour to Minneapolis’ 7th Street Entry, just in time to cure everyone’s spring fever. On the ticket with Ne-Hi were two Minneapolis based bands – Finesse and Real Numbers. Though the evening was definitely about Ne-Hi, there was a hometown to feel to last night’s show. Perhaps it was the fact it was a show before a Holiday, or the proximity of good ol’ Chicago, but there was a contagious energy in the air on Saturday at The Entry (also the smell of sweat from the humidity and cheap beer was in the air).
Kicking off the evening right after 9:00 pm was synth-pop duo Finesse. As soon as these guys took to the stage there was something absolutely infectious about their sound and stage presence. Finesse set was heavy synth, with an 80s inspired feel, but wasn’t simply trying to recreate something from the past. It had a feeling of familiarity and newness all at the same time. Finesse is the brainchild of Jeff Cornell and Patrick Donohoe, keys/synth/guitar and vocals, respectively. Both Cornell and Donohoe have played in other bands around the Twin Cities, but there was a cool vibe to their simple & synthy set last night. They played through a roughly 40-minute set with ease to a fairly full Entry. As an added bonus to an already polished performance, Donohoe mentioned they were collecting donations for the International Women’s Health Coalition, a gesture I think everyone could appreciate.
Drummer Alex Otake was working up a sweat in the humid Entry. Balla went so hard he knocked his mic-stand over. Bassist James Weir (from Minnesota) probably kept it the most low-key and Michael Wells rounded things out on guitars and vocals. Every member of Ne-Hi even took a few crushed beer cans to the face/guitar last night, because *of course* it’s necessary to throw your beer can on stage. Ne-Hi’s set felt too short, and the crowd agreed, cheering them on for one more song. Ne-Hi left the room with heavy sense of anticipation for what is to come from this four-piece. And as plenty of publications this year have written before, there is an undeniable chemistry when these four guys take the stage. Last night’s set at 7th Street Entry further solidified what I (and plenty of others) have already sensed, that Ne-Hi is definitely one to watch this year.
Setlist: Sisters / Prove / Buried on the Moon / Since I’ve Been Thinking / Palm of Hand / Offers / You Tell Me / Time Wanna / Stay Young