I love the Twin Cities. I mean, I feel like me buying a house kind of makes that clear. It’s just such a great place full of amazing places, things, and people and I honestly don’t know if there’s anywhere else I would rather be. I’m not the only one that feels this way and it’s clear that some musicians appreciate these cities just as much as I do with the way the come back month after month after month…. okay, you get it. Dave Hause is one of those musicians. Maybe it is just due to his touring schedule but I’d like to think the reason I’ve been able to catch him multiple times in the past year is because he’s almost as in love with this area as I am.
The crowd was still trickling in as openers Indianola took the stage. The fact that these guys are from Nashville, TN and not Indianola, Iowa messed with my head a little bit but I got over it as soon as they kicked into their quick opening set. They had a very retro, almost vintage vibe about their music. Being just a duo, the music had an almost hollow sound which is typically frowned upon but something about the way that sound matched the music which matched the laid back vibe of the two men on stage was absolutely perfect. They weren’t trying to be a hard-hitting rock band yet somehow filled the room with the same atmosphere as any other rock band. Their songs had a country twang that I loved more than I think I’d like to admit. Is it true that our music tastes calm with age? Maybe this is just what living in the suburbs has done to me. Regardless, Indianola’s short set was perfect and I would absolutely go see them again any time they come back to the area.
Now bear with me as I write about Dave Hause and his performance while not trying to come off as some obsessed creeper. Dave is easily one of my favorite vocalists of all time. From his work in The Loved Ones to The Falcon to his solo stuff… he has always just had a way with words and his voice gives me goosebumps every time I hear it. As mentioned, I’ve been fortunate enough to catch this man live multiple times recently and every time feels like the best show yet from him and his band The Mermaid. Last night was no exception. The set list ranged from old to new, slow to fast and included some songs that I don’t think I’ve heard him play recently which kept it feeling new and refreshing. On the other side of the same coin, the set felt familiar because of the familiar faces in the audience and the vibe that never falters at a Dave Hause and the Mermaid show.
Even through some of the slower and quieter songs that Dave performed, the atmosphere in the audience had a very Friday night party vibe to it. I attribute that to the love and admiration that everyone in the audience clearly has for this musician and his band. Every song was met with a warm round of applause with a couple of shouts and cheers thrown in there and every gang vocal part was met with surprisingly loud participation from the big for a Thursday night but modest crowd. It didn’t matter what song Dave and his talented band were playing, it was somebody in the audience’s favorite song and that added a beautiful element to the already beautiful night.
Clearly I love Dave’s music but it’s also his personality that keeps me coming back for more every time he is in town. He clearly takes his music seriously and is a master of his craft but he still has fun with it. There were many moments throughout Thursday night’s show that had the audience and I trying not to spill our drinks as we laughed. one of those moments was when Tim, the guitarist, jumped into a song and was completely off. The whole band stopped but before they started it over, Dave pointed out that this was the first mistake Tim had ever made on stage. “I was going to just let you drown in it.” Dave admitted while the audience roared with laughter. It was such a small moment and just an honest mistake and something that happens to musicians all of the time but the way Dave joked about it made it perfect and a moment that was definitely a highlight of the night.
Although the setlist Dave Hause and the Mermaid performed was great, there were still songs left on the table that I wish I could have heard but the set could have gone on for hours and it still wouldn’t have been enough. No matter what Dave Hause and the Mermaid did last night, I was going to be left wanting so much more. I think it will be a little bit before Dave Hause comes back as he mentioned they will be going back into the studio to write another album as soon as they are done with this current run but that just makes me that much more excited for his next visit.
Regardless of it’s because of his touring schedule or his love for the Twin Cities, being able to see Dave Hause & The Mermaid multiple times over the past year has been amazing. Most people thing of Los Angeles, Chicago or New York City when you say the words “music hub” but I think Minneapolis and I don’t think I’m alone in that thought.