This week has been a pretty relaxed week for me outside of my usual 9-5 Marketing job, which in my experience, means that I’m about to have a pretty crazy weekend. The fact that my weekend started out at 7th Street Entry to see a grunge show just proves my point.
First on tonight’s bill was Strange Relations, a 2-piece Minneapolis- St. Paul (emphasis on the St. Paul) rock band featuring Casey Sowa (drums/vocals) and her girlfriend Maro Helgeson (bass/synth). These two pack a powerful punch on stage, while Casey was keeping a constant beat and nailing her vocal lines, Maro was bouncing around the stage with a groove bass to accompany her every step. They are a band I’ll have to go see again because I love two-piece groups, the energy they bring to the stage is so unique it makes each show an almost personable experience, Casey and Maro definitely succeeded at this on Friday night.Next up was the Seattle based punk band Mosterwatch, who has been touring with Skating Polly across the country for the past month or so and tonight just happened to be their first night in Minneapolis ever! The band is made up by members John Spinney, Jack Cornwell and Ben Parker. This group was so much fun to watch, and the sound of their music is just so punk, I absolutely love it. At numerous times throughout their set I thought “Wow, these guys song a lot like Nirvana mixed with the Clash.”
These guys were so high energy too it was entertaining. At numerous times throughout the set, they would just into the crowd and run up and down the venue without a care in the world. The crowd at 7th Street that night wasn’t fully prepared the first time it happened, but eventually the caught on and got a little rowdy. Definitely a band I’d like to see again, but maybe at a sold out show next time.In between sets, the venue had filled up nicely and people were starting to huddle closer and closer to the stage so they could see what Skating Polly had to offer this dreary night. Skating Polly is a Tacoma based sister duo with Kelli Mayo (Bass/Vocals) and Peyton Bighorse (Guitar/Vocals) and Kurtis Mayo (Drums) that is the most grunge band I’ve ever heard in my life. I’m not counting videos of Nirvana obviously, but I’m not going to lie… I’d place this group right up there with some best grunge bands in history.
Once Kelli and Peyton took the stage, while Kurtis just magically appeared behind the drums the instantly brought an energy to the stage felt like it just slapped you in the face. Kelli quickly caught my attention as she jumped up and down almost letting her bass’ momentum lead her every step. Here’s the amazing this about Kelli, not only is she a 10/10 when it comes to stage presence, but her vocals are perfect (for what they’re trying to do). I absolutely loved that raspyness that came from her voice during the high energy moshing parts, but she could also turn on the luscious melodies you’d expect during a slow intro.
Moving to the other side of the stage to watch Peyton shred it on the guitar! Now she isn’t as sporadic as her sister on stage, but she does know when it’s time to turn on the energy and throw down on the stage. What Peyton brings to the table is truly intricate guitar parts and an outstanding vocal range and discipline. While Kelli carries a lot of the weight with the classic grunge loud and in your face vocals, Peyton’s voice is smooth and it almost cradles you in comfort, that is until they get going and start egging you on to mosh.Despite the shitty weather, this night went pretty well and I really enjoyed hearing a grunge band again. It’s such a hard genre to sound good in, but Skating Polly has succeeded in it very well. If I wouldn’t have had my camera with my, I most definitely would have hopped into the middle of the crowd and moshed as Skating Polly trashed and bashed up on stage. I’ll be keeping my eyes on this group and I suggest you do the same, as they are a band you won’t want to miss out on seeing live.