Spring has finally sprung up here in the Twin Cities so obviously, on the first nice day of the year, I spent my day sleeping off a hangover and hating myself. Hey, I had the windows open at least! I honestly didn’t want to leave the apartment as time approached the showtime for the show I had slated for last night. It’s not that I didn’t care but the room had just stopped spinning and I had stuff to do. Okay, that’s a lie. I was just feeling uber lazy and getting off the couch for any reason wasn’t appealing to me. Regardless, I somehow peeled myself off the couch and got my butt to The Turf Club just in time for the show to start. I wasn’t happy that I was out of the house, but I was excited to see what the night would bring as I knew very little about any of the bands performing.
IOSIS was the first to take the stage… well, kind of. Instead of being set up on the stage, the opening act was all set up on the ground near the soundboard. Interesting choice if you ask me but, within just minutes, I understood why. IOSIS isn’t exactly what I was expecting when it came to the lineup. As I mentioned, I knew very little about the bands performing but knew they were heavy and all were in the metal world in same way, shape or form. I watched in amazement as Alex Bissen tactfully attacked this table that, to me, looked like just a bunch of cords, buttons, and keyboards, but to him was a true musical instrument that has so much potential. The quickly growing crowd all seemed to huddle around the musician as he made some of the most interesting drone-like sounds that I had ever heard. People wanted to see what he was doing and it how worked and although watching him really didn’t answer much for me, what he was doing was truly fascinating and captivating. Again, not what I was expected but IOSIS’ quick thirty minute set alone made me happy I had gotten off my couch and out of the apartment.
Following IOSIS was Sunless, a local band that is definitely buzzing around the metal scene. With a pretty expansive tour starting later this week in California, I feel like I kind of missed the boat on this trio. Sure, I knew their name and had heard their music in passing but last night was my first chance catching them live and it was instantly clear that I have been missing out. Their death metal sound was intense and powerful but still kept a sense of clarity about it. Their set was short but they really packed a punch with the time they were given. Although there wasn’t much movement on stage other than the constant sway of bassist Mitch Schooler’s dreadlocks, there was still an electric energy that radiated off the stage and into the crowd. After seeing Sunless last night, I understand why they got offered an opening slot on a national tour. Their dynamic live show and unique yet classic death metal sounds are sure to wow crowds across the country.
Pyralis was up next and after only catching the tail end of their set a couple months ago at the Knocked Loose show, I was sure to not miss a single beat of their set last night. Pyralis has one of the cleanest sounds I’ve heard in the local scene for a long time. With a sense of professionalism to match, the local five piece wasted no time and blasted through their quick thirty minute set. Singer Aaron Weseman had a very intense vibe about him as he stormed back and forth across the stage only stopping to scream his lungs out. Honestly it was a bit intimidating to watch but it was also like a splash of cold water to the face. Pyralis’ set woke you up if you were like me and feeling like a walking zombie. Even though there was no massive pit to speak of or anything like that, it was clear that people were enjoying it as they migrated to the stage and started bobbing their heads along to the beat. Pyralis is definitely a band to watch and, after seeing a whole set from them, a band that is on the top of my local bands list right now (Aaron also had a Lucero shirt on so that may or may not have gained them some extra brownie points).
Rosetta from Philadelphia had the job of closing out the Sunday night show and they did it with a sense of power and authority that gave me a wave of energy that was tough to shake when I finally got home and had to go to bed. With six full length albums and a spattering of EPs, splits and other various releases, Rosetta is not a new thing to the scene but they were new to me. Since 2003 they have been putting out music that they classify as “metal for astronauts” which, honestly, might be the best way to explain their music. There was a sense of spaciness about their music. They weren’t afraid to take breaks and give not only the audience members a chance to breath but also their instruments a chance to regroup. Even with the spaciness at times, there’s no denying the metal power of this group. There’s a sense of artistic intensity behind their music that truly sets them apart from anything else I’ve ever heard or seen.
The artistry behind this band was clear as you watched them perform. There was a sense of respect shown what singer Michael Armine would kneel down whenever there weren’t vocals going on as if to allow the other members a chance to shine. Even without this, the way the music is written gives each member a chance in the spotlight. At no time did the music feel overwhelming or did it feel like there was too much going on. There was a clear respect for the music what with the way every note was placed perfectly and with intention. Even though it was way past by bedtime by the time the final note rang out through the speakers, I left the show feeling energized in a way that only comes from a damn good show.
I could have been a little baby and stayed in last night blaming my hangover and exhaustion but I truly am glad I didn’t do that. I’ve spent the last seven nights at seven different venues for seven completely different shows and each one seems to be just as good as the last. Can’t wait to see what this week brings!