It may only be the beginning of March but I think that I just witnessed a top ten show of the year on Saturday night. There’s a huge difference between a good show and a show that makes you feel good but last night’s concert was both which is one of the many reasons I feel strongly that it will end up in my top list of the year. Beyond the good show and the feel-good vibe of the room was the sheer amount of talent on stage during both the opening act and the headliner. Basically what I’m trying to say is that Saturday night’s Lucky Chops show was perfect and I truly feel bad for you if you had to miss it.
Kicking things off was local group King Pari. Although last night was only this group’s third performance ever, they took the stage with a sense of polished perfection. That’s no surprise when you realize that the band includes Cameron Kinghorn of Nooky Jones and Joe Christensen from Pho. The group’s sound was funky and light-hearted while being, as mentioned, perfect. They had beats that made you want to move and the vocal power of Cameron easily made the packed sold out audience fall in love with this group within the first song. Their set was short at only about a half an hour but it definitely packed a punch. The songs played showcased all of the elements that this band has to offer and definitely put them on my radar as a local band that will be making big moves in the near future. Cameron promised the audience that they will be playing out a lot more in the near future and I can’t wait to catch this group again soon.
The story of headlining act Lucky Chops is one of my favorite stories of all time. They started as high schoolers who spent their time busking in New York City. Videos of them performing in the subway system in the Big Apple led to a level of fame that many bands only ever dream of. Instead of letting it get to their head, the youngsters took their act on the road and continued to do what they love– playing funky music for the people and making sure everyone was having a good time. From their live performances to the outreach work that the members do in schools and for your musicians, the band members are not only uber talented, but all seem genuinely kind of warm-hearted and that feeling was felt throughout the packed 7th Street Entry show on Saturday night.
As soon as they took the stage, the audience was moving around to the beat. The horn-based ensemble didn’t have to have an introduction of any sort, they just took the stage, started playing and honestly the rest of the night was a bit of a blur. There was so much joy both on stage and in the audience that I could have cried. The group had a way of perfectly mixing known licks with original compositions making every song in their impressive and lengthy set your new favorite song. As a marching band geek that still likes to relive the golden days by going to marching band competitions in town, there was a sense of nostalgia that reigned supreme throughout their set that was unbelieveably perfect. I’m not going to ruin their set by telling you what songs they played or what pop songs I heard nods to throughout their set because Lucky Chops is one of those bands that you just have to see for yourself but I am going to tell you- no matter what type of music you like, Lucky Chops will be your new favorite band.
Although the night was fun and light-hearted, it took a serious turn towards the end of the set when a member of the audience passed out. The music stopped and silence fell upon the crowd. Tombonist Josh Holcomb apologized over and over again for stopping the show but explained that safety always comes first (apparently he hadn’t heard of Minnesota Nice bcause honestly it would have been weird had the band continued to play while someone was needing medical attention in such an intimate venue). After the person was carried out by a mixture of staff and audience members, Josh offered up water to everyone in the audience. “If anyone needs water, we have a bunch up here, just come up and grab some!” It was a small moment and a moment that I have seen happen at many shows before but there was something different about the way this band took action. It was genuine, from the heart, and it was clear that although everyone in the venue was having the time of their life, safety really did come first to this band and they truly cared about the fact that everyone in the audience was having a good time. Although the incident definitely brought the mood down, the band was quick to bring it back up with the power of their music and their infectious smiles.
From forcing you to meet the strangers around you only to be followed up with a part of song where you had to high-five one of the strangers you met for a solid minute to a song where the audience sang through the whole thing while the band playing lines of notes that matched the singing in the most perfect way, I honestly don’t remember the last time I felt so much joy at a show. Yes, I’m rambling (again) but I just have so much to say about last night’s performance but can’t quite find the right words. I guess, most simply put, I had more fun during Lucky Chops’ performance last night than I have at any show in recent memory. What a damn good show from a damn good band.
My goal is 300 shows for this year and last night was only number 27 (I blame the move into a house for this disappointing number) but I can already tell you with certainty that Lucky Chops’ set will end up in the top ten, if not the top five, if not number one, of the year for me. Saturday night was the type of show I live for- a perfect fucking show.