Having discovered Mike Love a few years ago and missing many opportunities to see him perform I arrived an hour early in fear of both not getting there on time and not getting a decent spot. Sure enough, I was one of the first people there and got an awesome spot at the railing with an excellent view. Bear with me here as all of the venues in the MPLS area are new to me, but upon entry I would definitely place this venue in my top five. It’s small, homey, and has an abundance of PBR Pounders. What more could you ask for?
Jungle Man Sam, Toronto native, kicked off the night promptly at 8:30 p.m. sharing both old and new songs from his album, “Rooted Down”, that will be available in April 2018. He started the night with an acoustic version of CPR which was amazing; lyrics and all. About halfway through his set he played “Medicine Woman” from Rising Appalachia and managed to get a lot of the crowd to sing along. To close his set, he played “Ocean”, which let more of his already known musical talent shine through. I felt that this song was a great way to end his set and get the crowd ready for Mike Love to take the stage.
Mike Love opened with “Be Thankful” at 9:30 p.m. causing everyone to start dancing and singing almost immediately. With his charismatic personality and his incredible talent this show was definitely another one for the books. Throughout the rest of his set he played an assortment of songs such as, “I Love You”, “Forgiveness”, “I’m Ready”, and “Distant Travelers”. During his time on stage he played the melodica, and was accompanied by band mates playing the drums, bass, and keyboard. Love played “No Regrets” unaccompanied by the rest of his band about halfway through, and it was incredibly moving. This song has always been one of my favorites but hearing it in person was even more meaningful. I could feel myself getting more and more tired as the night went on, but I didn’t want to leave because I didn’t want to miss out.
“Music is our safe space. It’s a place where we can all be one, where we can all share.” -Mike Love (probably not the direct quote, but it was something close to this)
Mike Love, and Jungle Man Sam offered words of wisdom and inspiration to listeners periodically throughout each of their sets which I really enjoyed. If you came to the concert in a bad mood or feeling a little bit down this was sure to cheer you up by the end of the night. The atmosphere at the show was so positive and welcoming that it was hard to wipe the smile off your face no matter how hard you may have tried. I wish I would have written both statements down completely, but time was of the essence when trying to keep up with everything else around me. Jungle Man Sam spoke of his music as something that helped him find his true self and reflects his journey while working toward his true self. He reminded listeners that his music should also help “those that are still searching for that sense of self”, and after listening to his lyrics it’s incredible how much each song can speak to you.
Overall Experience: This was the first show I’ve been to by myself, and in my opinion, I couldn’t have picked a better one. The messages in the lyrics were memorable as I’ve previously mentioned, and both artists are very talented. I’m happy I waited this long to see Mike Love, and I’m excited to see the progression of Jungle Man Sam’s journey.
Venue: The Entry is an awesome venue. I really like how small it is creating an intimate atmosphere making it perfect for shows like this as there really isn’t much need for a large space. I enjoy the seating on the back wall as well as at the railing where I sat. I like the set up overall.
Attendance: This was a sold-out show which was great! I was very impressed when focusing on the attendance especially on a Wednesday night. I think this shows just how much of an incredible fan base there is. There were people of all ages and walks of life that came to the show which is always great to see.