Saturday evening started off in style with a head banging good time at The Cabooze in Minneapolis. With four bands on the marquee, Letters From The Fire, Stitched Up Heart, Palisades, and headliner Lacey Sturm, the evening was well ready for good ole heavy rock n roll. I arrived just as the crowd was filing into the venue. Inside, the liquid refreshments were flowing strong and the merch tables were all a few people deep.
Letters From The Fire, out of San Francisco, CA kicked off with a dominating start. What was the first of three female fronted bands for the night, Alexa Kabazie belted out incredibly strong vocals as the rest of the band, Mike Keller and Cameron Stucky on guitars, Clayton Wages on bass and Brian Sumwalt on drums, rocked out heavy riffs in true melodic fashion. This was my first time seeing Letters From The Fire and I was seriously impressed as the vocals were spot on and the music was heavy, fast and uniquely catchy. The energy really pours out of this band and never seems to let up, even when they slow the pace down. They really set the tone for the evening and ended their set with the crowd cheering for more.
Next up was Stitched Up Heart who is based out of Los Angeles, CA. Led by singer Alecia Demner, aka Mixi, who picked up the pace left off by Letters From The Fire. With Mixi’s strong vocals and heavy music by the guys in the band, Merritt Goodwin (Lead Guitar), Randy Mathias (Bass), James Decker (Drums), and Nick Bedrosian (Rhythm Guitar), they immediately got the crowd fist pumping with horn being held high. Mixi derives her material from her personal life and you can definitely feel those hard times and triumphs when she sings. It makes for haunting yet beautiful music, with songs that you can rock out to. The crowd was very into the music and Mixi returned that energy to the crowd (even crowd surfing at one point as she sang).
Palisades hit the stage next. Based out of New Jersey, with Louis Miceli providing lead vocals, the lone male lead vocalist of the night and musically assisted with fellow band members Xavier Adames (Lead Guitar), Matthew Marshall (Rhythm Guitar), Brandon Elgar (Bass), and Aaron Rosa (Drums). Playing a different sound unlike the first two bands, Palisades had a less heavy metal feel and almost a bit more towards Indie Rock. At times, they did play heavy songs that got the crowd moving and moshing along. Palisades produced a strong set but with a very different vibe as they closed.
Headlining the evening was Lacey Sturm, a pure dynamic performer that captures the audience with her vocals. Lacey was a real treat to see and the crowds response reflected that deep admiration for her work. She shared many stories throughout her life in between songs, talking about dark times in her life when she contemplated suicide and was turned around through religion and began to see the good in life. Lacey stressed that we are never alone, even if we feel so, we are never alone. We were all together this night in the name of rock and roll. The crowd erupted time and time again throughout the set. With bandmates Josh Sturm (Guitar), Tom Gascon (Drums), and Ben Hull (Bass), the music was hard and heavy as Lacey led the crowd through song after song that covered her latest album Life Screams along with a few selected favorites from the Flyleaf days.
All in all, it was a night full of great rock, banging heads, hair flying about, and the crowd singing along with many of the songs. The chemistry between the bands along with the energy in the crowd proved to kick Saturday night into an incredible night.
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