Mary Bue says “See you next year” to Minnesota Winters at the Icehouse


It’s the time of year where all residents of our state turn their eyes longingly to the south. Yes, we are hardy Viking stock, but didn’t even our ancestors venture south? We promise we can do it without the whole city sacking and pillaging. Well for singer Mary Bue the stars aligned just right. She is about to start a 3 month artist-in-residence program in Taos, NM courtesy of the Wurlitzer foundation. After her return, she will release a new EP “The Majesty of Beasts”. Saturday night saw her perform at a send-off show at the Icehouse.

Starting the evening was Molly Maher with a couple of her disbelievers. Maher calls it “Americana band with a side of roots”. Starting off on the bluesy side her set quickly turned to faster, rocking songs.

Next up was Alan Sparhawk. I have had a chance to cover him both with his band Low and A Murder of Crows but this was my first time seeing him with just Erik Koskinen on guitar. My big boy words are failing me, it was like being in a cloud of sound, like a couple of smoke machines had filled the icehouse and distorted the sound coming from the stage. I’m usually not a big fan of “music you should turn off the lights for and just listen”, but whatever Sparkhawk was doing really worked well. I found myself quite enjoying his set.

Mary Bue moved from Duluth to the Twin Cities this year. To call her 2016 eventful would be an understatement. Check out an interview she did with City Pages. Her last album “Holy Bones” was departure from a decade of her softer side being more rock’n roll. Bue split her set into what she called wake up / mellow / wake up by adding a Cello for several songs and stripping down to just 3 people on stage before bringing the band back up.

Her infectious laugh, bright spirit, and desert sunset hair color (which got her stylist a shout out from the stage) brought great energy to the crowd. When the band returned quite a few people started to dance including some dance styles best described as “interpretive”. I am certain I am not alone in looking forward to the results of her residence and her new EP. 

Set List: No Turning Back / A Million Moths / Shit I Left In Duluth / Heart’s Desire / Cheribum / Gorgeous / Petunias / Apple In The Ocean / Haunt / Beeswax / Holy Bones / Put Up / Candy