Have I told our readers lately, how much I love the Twin Cities music scene? I have? Well, let me tell you again because I found 2 new bands that are proof for that feeling. I had stumbled across the Dance Assault show at the Icehouse scouting for shows for TCM to cover and the video for “Keeping Me Up” more than caught my attention. A couple of e-mails later I was all set up and looking forward to Friday’s show.
The evening got off to a great start thanks to Dennis, a trio formed by Katie Bolin, Sarah Morrison, and Nigel Carleton. 2 synths and a bass making what they call “fun, weird pop music”. Electronic sounds and vocal distortions created a cool sound that at times felt quite strange like in “Alien Fantasy” but always were fun and danceable. Fans are apparently being referred to as “Rat Babies”. Dennis closed with a killer cover of Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Boy Problems” with full voice distortion, actually making it much better than the original.
Dance Assault has been around for a few years as made up of Carson Befus – Lead Vocals / Synths, Kenny Befus – Drums / Percussion, Andrew Frederick – Electric Guitar, Garrison Grouse – Bass Guitar.
As someone grew up on New Wave with more mainstream 80s music as my guilty pleasure, Dance Assault’s sound was instantly familiar to me. Carson’s voice reminds me of a happy Dave Gahan, the synth parts could have been written by Vince Clarke, and the sound makes it hard to keep your feet from moving – even if you wanted to. But Dance Assault are not an 80s cover band or trying to sound like they are time travelers from a few decades ago. They feel modern, their songs are original and the sound is paying respect to that period rather than trying to copy it.
All that makes for a great package and their hour long set flew by like now time had passed. They closed the set with an extended version of “Keeping Me Up” and the shouts from the audience for one more song were summarized by one loud voice: “Give the people, what they want!”
My apologies to the final artist of the evening “Hi-Fi Cali” despite my best intentions an 1 AM stage time conflicted with my need to be at Lake Nokomis at 0600 the next morning. All in all I had a great time and will make a point of catching any of those bands live in the future.
Set List: Social Me / Feel It / Keep Me Sane / Into The Light / Reeling / The Power / New Vision / Keeping Me Up