Semisonic played Great Divide to a sold out hometown crowd in the Main Room at First Ave on Friday night. It’s been 5 years since the band has played publicly (not counting Wednesday night’s warm up show at the Turf Club).
Surprise opener Jeremy Messersmith, who has garnered many accolades, came on right around 9 armed with his acoustic guitar. The sold out crowd was a mix of 20 something’s to 40 something’s was captivated by Jeremy’s soulful voice and lyrics. Halfway through his set, Messersmith traded his guitar for an ukulele and broke into “Obscenely Optimist Songs For Ukulele”. There was a huge screen that displayed the lyrics in case you didn’t download his free digital only songbook of the same title.
Dan Wilson and his red SG took to the mic at stage right at around 10:00PM. With Jacob Slichter on the drum kit center stage and bassist John Munson stage left, the band broke into rocker “F.T.N.”, the opening track form 1996’s Great Divide. The boys were tight and polished right out of the gate. Slichter showed no signs of any lasting effects from the injury that caused the band to postpone the shows in January. The next hour was nothing but the 90’s, a time of AOL and Blackberries. Wilson and Munson deftly traded vocals through out the set. “Falling” and “In Another Life”, where Dan and John harmonized like Simon and Garfunkel, were mesmerizing. It’s magic when a band and the crowd vibe off of each other, and this magic filled the Mainroom Friday night. It was apparent that the band was having a great time on stage. There was no fog machine, lasers or strobes, these guys don’t need them. After “Ill Feel For You”, the band launched into a blistering series of songs that had the Mainroom rocking hard. They definitely fed off of the energy of the room. The band first launched a new tune “Basement Tapes”, from what I could tell a song about driving and cranking up the tunes. Next up were two smoking covers, “Air That I Breathe” and Princes’ funky rocker “Erotic City”. The energy just kept climbing as they cranked out “F.N.T.”, this time with another guitar player and percussionist, and the entire Mainroom sang every word.
Semisonic just flat out rocked it Friday night like it was 1996!
Setlist: F.N.T. – If I Run – Delicious – Down In Flames – Across The Great Divide – Temptation – The Prize – No One Else – Brand New Baby – Falling – In Another Life – I’ll Feel For You – Basement Tapes – Air That I Breathe – Erotic City – F.N.T …. Encore: Sculpture Garden – Singing In My Sleep