There’s a lot going on in the Twin Cities right now. With the Superbowl coming to Minneapolis in just two weeks a buzz has hit the area. Add abnormally warm temperatures and you get the making for a crazy couple of weeks. As if that wasn’t enough, let’s throw Red Bull’s Crashed Ice into the mix. Never heard of Crashed Ice? I urge you to look it up online, watch the videos, and try not to let your jaw drop.
Saturday night was the finals for Crashed Ice. I’ve never missed the event before and I sure wasn’t going to stop just because the warm weather would mean hordes of people so I did what I do best– I grabbed a group of mis-matched friends, kicked the evening off with some frozen pizza and drinks at my apartment, and then made my way downtown with my friends in tow. A lot has changed over the years with this event for better or for worse but the excitement of watching skaters speed down the treacherous course never gets old. One of the additions to this event this year was an after party concert. Of course I was going to go. You can’t expect me to miss a concert that is thrown in conjunction with one of my favorite events of the year!
After watching a couple of races and wandering around the street party happening, my group of friends split up leaving me and a buddy to head to the concert at The Palace Theatre just down the street from all of the festivities. We wandered through the busy streets of Saint Paul (which never happens- Saint Paul is typically a ridiculously sleepy town) and quickly found ourselves inside The Palace for the official afterparty.
Once I got into the venue and settled, I started to pay attention to the music pumping through the speakers being provided by local DJ Mike 2600. I loved the unique and vast song mashups that Mike did. There were certain songs that he would start up and I would look at my friend and the photographer I was working with with this face like ‘what in the actual..’ but then, within seconds, it would make sense. With older songs that I remember listening to on the oldies radio stations growing up mixed with new songs that I had never heard but clearly the young crowd had, and even some local hits, Mike 2600’s set constantly felt fresh and was the perfect greeting for the quickly growing crowd coming through the doors.
Mike 2600 played as an opening act and a buffer between the two other acts. During both sets he was joined on stage briefly by The BRKFST Dance Company. Watching the dancers give the crowd everything they got song after song was truly impressive. The way the members of this group were able to spin on their heads and go from being on the ground to a standing position in the blink of an eye was truly jaw dropping. As much as I loved the music that Mike 2600 was spinning, when it comes to DJ’s, there’s never much to watch. The addition of The BRKFST Dance Company was a very good choice and a true highlight of the night.
Following Mike 2600’s set was Shredders- the main reason I just had to go to this show. Shredders is basically Doomtree 2.0 with less members. With four of the seven in this group, the sound is very Doomtree-esque while still keeping a sense of individuality as to not get the two groups confused. Shredders features P.O.S. and Sims behind the microphones and Lazerbeak and Paper Tiger behind the computers and other electronic beat making machines, Shredders didn’t seem to notice the lack of crowd and jumped right into a dynamic set.
The group currently has one album out and only a couple of shows under their belts (although they are on a tour right now– being in Doomtree has it perks), they clearly didn’t have enough material to cover the hour of music that they treated the crowd to. I loved the fact that they threw in some of their solo songs and some Doomtree songs throughout the set. Although I’ve been dying to see Shredders, I had never actually heard any of their music prior to last night. Having them perform those older songs gave me a chance to sing along instead of being overwhelmed by new stuff. Much like Mike 2600, their set constantly felt fresh and, with the personalities of Sims and P.O.S. shining brighter than the lights, exciting.
After a lengthy set from Mike 2600 and another visit from The BRKFST Dance Company, it was finally time for headlining act Paper Diamond.
Paper Diamond is an electronic music producer from Colorado. Although his EDM type music was not quite what I was expecting (of course I didn’t look him up prior to the show– that ruins all of the fun), it worked well with the crowd that had stuck through the long wait. With an epic bass sound that had my three nose rings clanking together, it may have been after midnight but I don’t think anyone in the audience really noticed. I watched in amazement as the crowd shifted from watching a rap show to being in an almost rave-like atmosphere. The switch was flawless and, although I was caught off guard, I quickly warmed up to the idea of now watching an EDM artist.
So last night didn’t quite go as planned. Although the show seemed to be under-attended and a bit drawn out (what with the long breaks between artists), I still had a hell of time. I finally got to see Shredders live and that is more than enough for me to chalk last night up to a win.