While the rest of the Twin Cities suffered through “You are a puppet! No, YOU are a puppet” a couple of hundred souls converged on the turf club to see a showcase of women in rock (and 2 dudes). I have the feeling anyone trying to grab one of the performing musicians by the private parts would end up with a guitar smashed on their head or a drum stick poke in the eye! Shonen Knife had come to town and brought out 2 local opening bands. First Avenue’s bookers did a great job matching them to the main act. There was a good sized crowd at the Turf Club with some of them already dressed for Winter (what the heck, Minnesota?).
First up were the Toxenes, a trio that seems to have been founded this year (judging by their FB page). There is very little information about them other than their lineup Ariel – Vocals, Bass / Monet – Guitar / Madalyn – Drums. Their sound is a hard surf rock with a punky vibe. I enjoyed their set and this is definitely a local band that I will keep on my radar. Stay tuned for more on this band!
Catbath is another local band that found it’s way into my heart the first time I saw them. I love their hard driving yet fun sound. There’s no denying their punk roots but those guys are having a blast. They recently added a fourth member beefing up what already was a fun band. Catbath did a 70s rock cover (I did not catch the title) dedicated to Shonen Knife before finishing their set with “Bop, Ooo”. Catbath will have their First Avenue Mainroom debut in a few weeks opening for Communist Daughter on 11/11.
Shonen Knife is one of those bands that I was aware of but never had a chance to cover when they came around. The last time they played the Turf Club it was live show number 1000 for them. This time around it was show # 1135. Dressed in shiny costumes (made by band themselves) they took the stage to the loud cheers of the crowd and opened up with a couple of older songs before launching into songs from their new album “Adventure”. Despite the costumes and poppy feel, this is a rock / punk band with edgy instrumentation, hard sound. Shonen Knife has achieved somewhat of a cult status and both opening bands hung around to hear them play and were clearly stoked about it.
Their polished and energetic stage show inspired the light tech at the Turf Club to push the stage lights to new heights and even change them mid song (a rarity for the venue). Overall I have to say Shonen Knife lived up to my expectations and the whole evening was great fun!
Set List (was in Japanese, so I’m trusting the internet here)
Pop Tune / Twist Barbie / Bear Up Bison / Jump into the New World / Rock’n’roll T-Shirt / Green Tangerine / Wasabi / Capybara / Whatever / Ghost Train / Loop Di Loop / Barbeque Party / Bad Luck Song / Concrete Animals / Riding on the Rocket / Buttercup (I’m A Super Girl)