Article contribution and photos by David Rubene
Thursday night was rocking at First Avenue’s 7th Street Entry. The much anticipated EP release from Boomtown Riot was clearly the focal point for the evening, As the drinks were flowing, conversations buzzing, and a great list of performances ready to take the stage, I was still getting myself situated and was definitely running short on time.
Dan Tedesco kicked things off promptly at 7:30PM. Unfortunately, due to my tardiness, I was not able to get to The Entry in time and missed his set. In talking with a few people between sets, Dan’s set kicked things off with a bang, bringing his stylist sound to the stage and instantly engaged the crowd. Some said it was the sweet melodies and others said it was the depth of the songs. I hope to catch a set from Dan in the Twin Cities real soon for full coverage.
Next up, The Usual Things hit the stage. With a really cool music build-up, their set seemed to kick into full overdrive and never let up. Their driving alternative rock sound has a really cool vibe that is very reminiscent of an early 90’s Seattle sound. However, their sound is not all about drive and grind, as there is plenty of depth combined with that raw energy. At the center of this energy, frontman Aaron Shekey (Vocals, Guitar) packs a solid punch, with perfect vocal delivery. With Dan Braak (Guitar), Layne Knutson (Drums), and Samuel Hall (Bass) adding the extra punch and style to the band’s unique sound, they ripped through the set leaving the crowd pumped up.
After a short break,“fat” Spiderman came out to introduce The Shackletons as they hit the stage. I covered this trio of brothers several times and they continue to be one of TCM’s favorites. It seems to never fail that every time I’ve covered these guys, I am always extremely pleased to see how they continue to push their music further. The band of brothers, Colin, Cameron and Evan Campbell, have this nature element of showmanship and endless energy. I believe it is that energy and creative drive that seems to keep pushing The Shackletons forward and clearly with no signs of slowing down.
Just as the first snow started to fall upon the Twin Cities, the new and up and coming band Boomtown Riot hit the stage. That is of course, after a “fat” Spiderman got the crowd pumped and ready for their set. Once the band was introduced by your friendly neighborhood superhero, the night took off in a very electric manor.
Frontman, Jake Kemble, led Boomtown Riot with moves that Mick Jagger himself couldn’t fathom. With his microphone moves and Pete Townshend akin jumps, Kemble had the crowd dancing, singing and or hanging on the edge of their seat. To go along with Kemble, Boomtown Riot, had professional level vocal harmonies, what the band could pull off was absolutely remarkable. They made it extremely clear almost instantly that there is no other band that wants it more in a thousand mile radius.
This show was celebrating Boomtown Riot’s first EP Release, the self titled Boomtown Riot. The group played an impressive twelve song set with one encore song. Throughout the night the band proved that they were not a one trick pony. The sounds and styles of each song were drastically different from one another, so they had something for everyone. Boomtown Riot opened with their song “9 Words”. The crowd was instantaneously pulled in for the ride. After ten more songs they closed their set with the hardest rocking song of the night, “Repeater”, which sent the crowd into a mosh pit fitting for the 7th Street Entry.
As an encore the band came back out and paid homage to the late, great, Tom Petty, by ripping into “American Girl”. The crowd stopped moshing and started dancing and singing louder than they had all night. It was the perfect way cap off an already incredible night.