Ayria, Inertia and The Trapezoids make for a great night of darkness at the Nether Bar

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Somehow in my years of covering shows in the Twin Cities I have never descended into the depths of Mill City Nights’ Nether Bar. Yesterday I got a chance to cover Ayria just a few weeks before Mill City Night closes its doors. One thing that never ceases to amaze me about the Twin Cities’ music scene is that I keep running into individuals and organizations doing amazing things for smaller segments. Yesterday it was Kilted Farmer Koncerts who have been promoting electronic shows for over a decade.

A last-minute substitution Trapezoids opened the evening. I don’t have a whole lot of info on the duo. Maybe they are CIA or the US Marshal’s Service witness relocation house band? I got names: Ollie Stench and Adam Powel. The Trapezoids have been around for some time – they are on Volume 8 of their work. Their songs are short and to the point but one should pay attention to the lyrics “She’s a real sweetheart, even though she tore up my leg” for instance in “Dog Hair”. I enjoyed the clean almost minimalist approach.
Set List: Dog Hair / Something in my Eye / Telephone Tag / Basic / Tuning in Tokyo / Digital Watch / Cheap Sunglasses / Yellow Meat

London’s Inertia performed as a duo (there was mention of customs trouble – which I assume means the rest of the band ran into visa issues). Reza Udhin and guitar player Ollie Cater more than made up in energy what they were lacking in numbers. Complete change of style from Trapezoids, there was make-up, dramatic lights and attitude. Once called “The best and most aggressive band in London!” by none less than Gary Numan their moves covered every inch of the Nether Bars tiny stage and when that was not enough, Cater moved to into the audience for their last number a cover of “Ace of Spades”. I had not heard Inertia’s music before and was quite impressed. Crowd watching was also interesting. Fans ranged from gothy looking to one guy in shirt and tie (maybe just got off work?). The Vibe through the show was very friendly and there was a ton of dancing.

I took a picture of what I assumed was the set list but turned out to be the lyrics to “Games without Frontiers” and there was a cloud of purple smoke hovering above it. Does this song have demonic powers?

Ayria took the stage promptly at 10 and I am happy to report she brought her own lights (which are sadly lacking in the small venue). The tour was promoting her new album “Paper Dolls” and the set was heavy on new material including my personal favorite of the set “Crash and Burn”. It’s been 13 years since her initial release “Debris” and the experience show in her stage show. The closeness of the Nether Bar brought the fans within inches of the singer and her expressive face and gestures made for some special moments. This was her first show in Minneapolis since 2013 and fans were clearly eager to see her.
As she talked with her fans between songs it was in near darkness as her lights only were active during songs. She laughed it off say lights just would make her really awkward. A voice from the crowd responded” “Are you saying we are not?” and everyone had a good laugh.  She also complimented the audience on being quite dancy and there were some very good ones. Overall a great way to spend an evening in a friendly, dark, good natured crowd, and as a photographer – DANG! I loved the show!

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