Friday was St. Patrick’s Day and, like every other year, there were dozens of shows I wanted to check out on top of my desire to join my friends in downtown St. Paul for the parade and giant block party that happens every year. In the weeks leading up to last night, I kept on going back on forth on what show I wanted to go to. I mean, All Them Witches is an amazing live band and they would be at The Turf Club. Nuisance is a group of local boys that I’ve been wanting to see again lately and they would be playing at The Cabooze. P.O.S. of Doomtree (the rap collective I absolutely love from up here) was playing the mainroom at First Avenue. Seriously too many great shows to just choose one but then Triple Rock announced their show for the night and I knew that was my show.
My friend and I walked in and were greeted with the pop-punk sounds of The Liverspots. These guys set the tone for the night and were the perfect start to what would prove to be an amazing night of local music. The Liverspots’ set was short and sweet but the audience seemed to enjoy the little taste that they got. I, myself, was turned into a fan with just the few songs I caught and I can’t wait to catch these guys again!
The stage was quickly turned over and set up for the next group, 83 Wolfpack. I had seen this adorable trio before and was impressed but something about their set last night was completely different. I was completely blown away by them last night. Their brand of angsty pop-punk seemed to have a bit more polished feeling to it and the members seemed to have more confidence on stage than they did the last time I saw them and that changed absolutely everything. Like The Liverspots and everyone else last night, the set seemed short but it didn’t lack in power. I was mesmerized by drummer Logan Stang as he powered through the set with an amount of power and speed that you would expect from a nationally touring act. Even with my amazement in Logan’s drumming, it was impossible to not watch Kelly Englund and Rachel Feldmann as they sang and played their way through the set. Even with this new found sense of confidence, the band, like all of the other opening acts of the night, still came off as more than appreciative that they were given a chance to open up for such a legendary band.
Victory was the next band to take the stage and the first band that seemed to get the blood flowing in the crowd. This oi band from Saint Paul took the stage with a sense of fury that seemed to have been lost on the first two acts. They had a sense of power that made the room erupt into a sweaty mess. From the first note they played to the last oi they shouted, the energy in the entire sold out crowd never faltered. I may have never heard of Victory before last night but, within a song, I was turned into a fan. Their music stuck out on the lineup full of pop-punk and straight up punk music but still felt like it fit the night. With a quickly approaching European tour, it’s clear that these guys are making waves in the scene and, after seeing them live, it’s obvious why.
The final opening act was The Slow Death who brought the more straight up punk style to the night. Like the other bands, their set seemed short and you could feel the anticipation in the room for the headlining act. It didn’t help that The Slow Death featured Patrick Costello on bass who just happens to be the bassist for the headlining act. It was almost like a tease. Their music was fast and dirty while still keeping a sense of professionalism that was heard and seen throughout the night. You could feel the excitement in the crowd as they pushed and shoved their way through the set. It was clear that everyone was ready for the headlining act.
Being able to see Dillinger Four in their hometown of Minneapolis is truly an experience. Being able to see them in the legendary Triple Rock Social Club is almost life changing in a way. It didn’t matter if you knew the music last night or not, as soon as D4 took the stage and the crowd erupted into a sweaty mess, you had a smile on your face just because of the atmosphere in the room. Out of all of the shows going on last night, as soon as I saw D4 announce they would be playing at Triple Rock, that was all that mattered. There was no question what show I wanted to go to. The fact that I am able to take a six dollar Uber to see a band that has toured the world in an intimate venue that one of their members owns, in a city that they call home… it was one of those moments where I really had to stand back and just take it all in.
D4 always has an amazing, high energy live show. They may be internationally known but, when you catch them at a hometown show, it doesn’t feel like it. The amount of shots and beer bottles being passed up to the stage was ridiculous. At one point, each of the band members had no less than five beers each line-up on amps or on the ground that had been bought by members of the audience. Being at a show where the members of D4 are calling people out in the crowd by first name is an awesome thing to be part of.
The members of D4 are just normal guys here in Minneapolis. Hell, Patrick (bassist and frontman) has served me more drinks than I can count at Grumpy’s. As mentioned, Erik Funk is actually a co-owner of the Triple Rock. Much like other music groups from Minneapolis, these are just regular guys living their regular lives in this beautiful city and that’s part of their charm. They truly feel like regular guys when you see them outside of a show and they really don’t lose that feeling when they take the stage but, when the four members are on stage with instruments in hand, you realize just how big of deal these guys are. They keep that humble attitude as they joke around with each other and the crowd but as soon as that music starts and the crowd erupts and starts screaming every single word of every single song, it’s clear that these guys are more than just a local band… they are legends.
D4’s music seems to be a timeline of all of the other legendary bands that have called Minneapolis home. You can hear elements of bands like The Replacements, Husker Du, and Soul Asylum throughout D4’s discography yet the originality of it all is not lost. The music is fun and upbeat. It’s the type of music where, when seeing it live, it’s hard not to get lost in the sweaty moshpit. It just makes you want to move around and let off some steam yet it was a sensitivity about it. The thing that got me hooked onto these guys were the lyrics. Much like every other group I’ve fallen in love with here in Minneapolis, these guys sing about day to day life. Just like the members, the lyrics are relatable and real.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: being able to see Dillinger Four play at The Triple Rock Social Club in Minneapolis is something you just have to experience. Being able to see them play at The Triple Rock on St. Patrick’s Day… well, that’s nothing short of amazing.