I guess every Minnesota band has a story that starts: “So we were driving through that blizzard on our way to a gig……………”. In case of Mankato’s Good Night Gold Dust, they probably have bragging rights as their drive to a Twin Cities show is a tad longer. Luckily for them (and us) it was just rain and fall chill on Friday night as they headlined their album release party at the Icehouse.
Starting was Har-di-Har. They are a duo composed of Julie and Andrew Thoreen. Looking at the band’s description everyone agrees on Pop, but it varies from there. Some add collage/art, some chamber/art, dream-pop, psychedelic-folk. They simply can’t be rubber stamped. Most of their songs start out catchy but a few bars in, take a sharp turn. One of them dissolved into grunts, hisses and moans. Har-di-Har certainly is a band that will keep you on your toes.
I stumbled onto Good Night Gold Dust a few years ago when they opened for July Talk at the Triple Rock, and they became one of my local favorites. Their new album “It Could Have Been You “ is their third and they push their sound a bit forward with some samples, and it’s a bit more synthy. Laura Schultz called it “Songs full of loss or near misses” “Water” samples a Lutheran choir and it about her grandfather who was a preacher.
The crowd was composed of long time fans and friends, at some point someone yelled “Look at those rings!” (Schultz and guitarist Colin Scharf recently got married. Good Night Gold Dust was having a ton of fun on stage, smiles and grins were abound. Their joy infected the room. Overall it was a great set, and I enjoyed the new songs. But alas, they did a killer version my favorite song “Waves” and that, just made my night.
Set List: California / This Won’t Hurt / Waves / In Water / Better Gone / Broken Wing / Headlights / Second Moon / Towards The Sun