The Verizon Event Center might have just opened, but there was no wasted time booking the first show. Brandi Carlile was the first show in the brand new venue on Friday, September 2nd, and from what I saw, it was a great choice! I got there about 15 minutes before showtime and there was a good amount of people inside already. Being this was a earlier show, I was expecting fewer people until later in the night. At any rate, the show started right on time at 7:00!
The Last Revel opened up the show and delighted the crowd with their peppy folk/rockabilly sound. While the venue filled up with more people every minute, the band played songs that kept them out of their seats and dancing wherever they could.
The Cactus Blossoms were up next and even though they slowed the pace down, the crowd still seemed to be excited to see them. The middle of their set included songs that were quite slow, but at the end they picked it up a bit. The drummer had to keep the sound level down and it was interesting to see all the different type of drumsticks he used!
Brandi Carlile took the stage and the crowd went wild! There wasn’t a pit, so the crowd jumped up and got right up next to the stage. After the first couple songs, Brandi told a story about the last time they were in Mankato. The band played the larger room at the Verizon Center and there was only a handful of people there. They went to the Coffee Hag afterwards and played there as well into the night. It was clear that some of the crowd was there that night enjoying Brandi’s music again! It was nice to see the pace of the show picked up again as song after song got the crowd singing, dancing, and enjoying every minute of her performance. It was actually cool to see the excited reactions of the crowd as Brandi announced each song she was going to play. Early on in the show, Brandi mentioned this would be the last live show for a while, (see her Facebook page for more info), so she made it special by playing songs from all of her albums. All in all, Brandi closed out the show and left everyone wishing it wouldn’t end!
What a great show to mark the first performance in the new Verizon Event Center! I’m looking forward to seeing what this brings to the Mankato area in the coming months!
As always, make sure you get out and support live music and I’ll see you out there!