I went to the Turf Club on Friday, February 09 to listen to Manchita, who has recently branched out on a solo career after appearing with groups (Tha Clerb and GRRRL PRTY). Her solo career was billed as more melodic and subdued than her previous efforts. There were 2 other bands appearing before Manchita, so I thought I’d arrive early and give them a listen. After arriving at the Turf Club, I got my cameras set up and ready for action when a man approached me and told me I was in for some great music tonight. I asked if he was a fan of Manchita and he said yes, but the first 2 bands were great as well. I thought I’ll be the judge of that.
Beasthead was the opener for the evening and I must say, I really liked them. Highlights from their set included “Fastalker”, “Warbanger” and “Louder”. They have a driving, uptempo, mellow delivery and are very easy to listen to, incorporating electronic music with hypnotic beats and guitars. I would love to see them again and will keep a watch on when they appear in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area again.
The second band was 26BATS!. Their music was a combination of jazz, alternative rock and soul. The band included a trumpet player, keyboardist, guitar, bass and drums/percussions. I’m a sucker for trumpets, so they had me hooked right away. Bailey Cogan is the lead singer and has a great range. She played keyboard while singing vocals for the majority of the night until she stepped out from behind the keyboard and sang/danced for the final songs. 26BATS! had a very unique set and I really liked it. Favorites include “Edge of Life”, “Touch Mai Face” and “Steps of Grief”. Another band that I would like to hear a lot more of in the future.
As 26BATS! was leaving the stage and Manchita was setting up/testing equipment, fans in the audience cheered and shouted MANCHITA! People filled in around the stage in anticipation of the start. Bionik (Stefon Taylor) set up to the left of the stage and played guitar, bass, drums, percussions in addition to singing during the set. Manchita sang her new material mixed in with some older rap tunes. I really like “Can’t Save You”, “Head Right” and “Shame On Me” from the new One release. She conversed with the crowd throughout the evening. At times, it seemed like a get together with old friends instead of a show. She threw tampons into the crowd during “Period Song” (I was disappointed these were not “dip-dyed” as they were in other shows). She also apologized in advance for a song that contained the words mother f*****, because she has cut back using the words – indicating a kinder, gentler Manchita. I really enjoyed her set and look forward to her continued development. She has such a beautiful, silky voice, she is a pleasure to listen to.
Manchita also seemed like a very kind, pleasant person. At the end of her show, she stood in the back, along with Bailey Cogan, signing copies of CDs and talking to fans. I paused to listen for a bit and she was very humble and supportive of fans that stopped to talk to her.
After it was over, the man that talked to me at the beginning of the night came back and asked what I thought. I told him he was right and actually he may have understated how well the night went. It was a great night for music and I have a lot of new music and artists to listen to.