Marian Hill and Opia packed First Avenue on Thursday night for a sold-out set. For both bands this was their first time in the Twin Cities, but from the sold-out Mainroom it was clear they’ve already got quite the following here in Minneapolis. It was a sunny Thursday evening and a relatively early set, but fans were at First Ave to party on Thursday – the drinks were following, the room was toasty and people were there to have a good time.
Opening up the evening was Los-Angeles based duo Opia. Opia’s vibe is some combination of Harry Styles meets John Mayer meets Jack Garratt meets Vine-star. This two-piece had the largely (inebriated) female crowd, swooning just minutes into their set. Opia is Cole Citrenbaum (vocals/guitar), and DJ Stanfill (vocals/keys). It was hard not to be charmed by Citrenbaum’s million-watt smile and John Mayer-esque boppy guitar playing movements. A crowd pleaser from the evening was their cover of Britney Spears Hit Me Baby One More Time, a pretty much guaranteed hit with the largely 20-something crowd packed into First Avenue. Citrenbaum and Stanfill are both true showman, mixing a little 1D/Justin Bieber charm with a grittier, guitar-driven, bluesy sound. From the reaction they got when they brought out the saxophone player it was if the crowd had never seen someone play the saxophone before, but hey – people loved it. Whatever the magic of Opia is, First Ave was eating it up.Shortly after 9:00 pm, Marian Hill took to a dark and foggy stage. The stage at First Ave was furnished with two large tents that served as light/shadow boxes. Marian Hill started their set with their wildly popular hit Down. After the first song, they emerged from the tents to a screaming Mainroom. Marian Hill is multi-instrumentalist Jeremy Lloyd and singer Samantha Gongol. For most of the set, Lloyd sat back and let Gongol take center stage. Gongol worked the stage in her barely-there crop top, with First Ave hanging on her every move. I’m not sure if it was Marian Hill’s infectiously catchy, synth-driven tracks or the copious amounts of alcohol consumed, but Marian Hill turned First Ave into a dance party on a Thursday night.
Marian Hill and Opia continue their tour this weekend in Kansas City then Denver this weekend.Set List: Down / Talk to Me/ Wild / Bout You / Take Your Time / I Know Why / Good / Thinking / Sad Song / Mistaken / Same Thing / I Want You / Whisky / Lovit / One Time / Got It