Photos by David Rubene
I knew that this week was going to be an amazing week of show. It will night after night of some favorite both old and new. I am expecting each show to be as strong as the last until my break on Sunday night. To say last night set the bar high would be an understatement and I’m truly worried if the rest of my shows this week will even come close.
Kicking the night off in style was Nashville based trio- Daddy Issues. I had never heard of this band prior to Tuesday night’s show but they instantly commanded the stage and audience and were the perfect opening act for the amazing night that was to come. Fairly new to the scene having just formed in 2014, Daddy Issues has definitely found their niche. A little bit grunge, a little pop-punk and a hell of a lot of energy, their opening set may have been short but it definitely left a lasting impression on myself and the rest of the quickly growing crowd. With being so young and with only two full length albums out, it’s obvious that there’s a lot more to come from this band and I, for one, can not wait to see how far they take this.
Following Daddy Issues was one of the many Minnesota born bands that is making this state uber proud. Even though they’re from Minnesota, last night was my first chance to catch Tiny Moving Parts and, within the first song, I found myself yelling at myself for not making more of an effort to see them in the past. Call them emo-revivalists, pop-punk, or just a mixture of a little bit of everything, these guys are a band that have their own sound and apparently their own show to match. I thought I knew what to expect. A trio of guys on stage playing with a sense of conviction and honesty because, well let’s be honest, they’re good wholesome Minnesota boys. What I got was exactly that and a whole lot more.
Per usual, I was a bit tired as I stood in the crowd. It may have only been Tuesday but I was already praying for the weekend and my bed. As soon as TMP took the stage, that feeling fell to the wayside due to the amount of energy they had and then, in turn, the audience had. They may have been an opening act on Tuesday but it definitely didn’t feel that way. People were jumping along to every beat and screaming along to every word as if this was a band that they been dying to see live. Maybe that was the case for some, finally a chance to see this band that calls Minnesota home, but I think it was more just the way the crowds up here act. You always want to see that band from back home make it. Being able to look around in the audience and see the band members’ parents in the audience jumping around with kids much younger than them is typical when it comes to bands playing a hometown show and last night was no different. All of that being said, last night’s excitement definitely wasn’t just because it was a hometown show for them (okay, I know they aren’t from the cities proper but close enough), it was also because TMP is a damn good band with a hell of a lot of energy and a live show that I’m already craving again.
It honestly took me a little bit of time to get over just how good TMP was but, as soon as the lights went down and the four members of The Menzingers took the stage, I felt my excitement level reaching an all time high. The band wasted no time and as soon as they each had their instruments in hand, jumped into what would become an extensive set of over twenty songs. Hailing from Scranton, PA (enter The Office joke here), The Menzingers are one of those bands that has been around for awhile but seem to just now be hitting their stride. It has been an absolute treat to watch them go from playing a sparse 7th Street Entry to a sold out Triple Rock (RIP) and now a nearly sold out Varsity Theater. I honestly don’t know if there’s a more deserving band out there right now.
The Menzingers’ music is honest, catchy, and perfect in nearly every way without coming off as over produced. Every song from their five albums holds a special place in my heart along with the hearts of many others. Each song last night was a sing-a-long and it didn’t take long for the surprise to take over the band members. You could see in vocalist Greg Barnett’s eyes within the first couple of words of their first song “After The Party” that he was delightfully surprised and a bit shocked. You could feel that the band was truly proud of everything they have accomplished and the thank you they gave the audience felt nothing short of genuine. I know I’ve said this about many bands in the past but it’s something that can not be ignored. Sometimes you see a band and you can feel all of the work that they’ve put into their music and show come to this new height. There’s a look that you see in performer’s faces when they reach that new height that just can’t be put into words and that was the look in every member’s face throughout The Menzingers’ nearly hour and half long set.
The Menzingers played every song I wanted them to play. I sang along to nearly every single word with a giant smile on my face. My voice is raspy and my cheeks hurt from smile but, like usual, it’s the best pain on the planet. The rest of the bands I have slated to see this week better step it up because last night was one hell of a show and definitely set the bar higher than most weeks.