Amidst the buzz over the Viking’s run for the NFC Championship and a potential spot in the Super Bowl, an intimate crowd of people gathered inside the main room of The Garage to catch a night showcasing quite a lot of local musical talent. The evening, headlined by the high energy pop-punk quintet A Better Hand, took me by surprise as it turned out to be one of the best local shows from start to finish I have been to months.
The first band up on stage for the night was indie surf rock trio The Aftergreens. Hailing from St. Cloud, the band lived up to the self described indie surf rock vibe, instantly bringing me to a place longing for summer nights as they played each song in their set. For both a relatively newer and local opening band, I was pleasantly surprised with how composed and in sync each member was with one another, this dynamic only adding to their performance. With a quirky stage presence, The Aftergreens played a set full of songs that fit in well with the vibe of the band. ‘
Next up on the stage was rock inspired local Lucid Flight, and a completely different ambiance tagged along with the them for the duration of their set. From the moment the band played the first note of their set to the lingering sound of the last note, the band brought up the energy with fast paced technical guitars accompanied by intense croons and funky rhythms. Lucid Flight gave the crowd a refreshing set, as the band was able to sonically switch energies well, displaying their musical range.
After a short set change, local pop rock band Cabin 10 took the stage, starting their set with the first of their three covers of the evening. With covers composing a good portion of the band’s set, the sprinkle of original songs was a refreshing experience, as this is when the band truly began to let loose and on stage. What made Cabin 10’s set most enjoyable was that the band was able to fluctuate between easygoing pop and faster paced power chords with minimal difficulty, all the while maintaining the same level of energy.
Last up for the night was headliners A Better Hand. Even though this was another local band that I had only heard of through word of mouth, was blown away with the band’s unmatched intensity and polished performance. The Minnesota pop-punk band all around lived up to the high energy description, each member visibly giving their all from start to finish. The intimacy of the crowd was perfect for this set, as it added to dynamic in the room. Overall, A Better hand played an impressive and refined set that showcased the band’s incredible amount of raw talent and blossoming potential.