Here’s the thing I love about Suzie…you never quite know what you are going to get. Since following Suzie, the brainchild of Mark Ritsema, I’ve been intrigued. Even after a few year stint in Los Angeles, I always managed to keep a pulse on what the former guitarist of Night Moves was up to musically. Ritsema’s neon drenched and chardonnay soaked world has a way of pulling you. Like that scene in Willy Wonka where Augutus Gloop falls in the chocolate river and gets sucked up in that tube, Suzie’s music sucks you in for a psychedelic, glammy, trippy ride through his sugary sweet world.
Wednesday night at 7th Street Entry was just that. A colorful and at times chaotic evening of music. Ritsema brought his current project, Suzie, as well as few other solid local acts along to kick off his massive 7-day tour. Suzie is fresh off the release of their newest album Chardonnay. The tour kicked off to an intimate but energetic crowd at The Entry on Wednesday night. And in true Ritsema fashion – it was once again a show for the books.
Kicking off the evening was Minneapolis based 5-piece Chalk. This quintet is self-proclaimed “Post-drake romantics” and according to frontman Michael Voller, “probably one of the weirdest bands in Minneapolis.” Their roughly 40 minute set featured jangly guitars, catchy harmonies and a surf-rock feel. Voller took center stage with his 12-string guitar and an intriguing frontman presence you couldn’t help but watch. Their set had that signature dreamy synthy sound mixed with heavier guitars and punchy basslines. Chalks’ set featured tracks from their most recent album Water as well as a handful of older tracks. There is a definite polished element to Chalk mixed with extended jam sessions and hooky chord progressions and riffs. As Chalk themselves put it, it was the most “lit” of starts to the evening.
One part metal, one part Uncle Tickle Torture, and two parts chaos. Mix that all together, stir in a heavy serving of costumes, confetti and fake blood. Let that simmer for 45-minutes, and the product is a delicious helping of Murf. Honestly, as a music writer, I’m at a loss for words to describe Murf’s set. It was chaos. It was theatrical. It was utterly hilarious absurdity. And it was possibly one of my favorite sets of 2017 so far. Want to know more? Peep the pictures below because they will say more about this set than my words ever will. Hats off to you Murf.