The Von Tramps were at the Turf Club Wednesday night for their ‘Sun’s Out: Strung Out!’ EP Release and they played to a rowdy, near sellout crowd (4 tickets short, so I’m calling it a sellout). They appeared with 4 other bands and it was a GREAT night for music.
I exited on Snelling off 94 30 minutes before the show started and thought I would have plenty of time to park, get a spot by the stage and get ready for some rock. But I was surprised to see large groups of people on Snelling and trouble getting through the crowd. I really like The Von Tramps, but I had no idea they were so popular. Turns out there was a group protesting something and walking to the Capitol, along with a MN United Soccer game. And they were parking on every street close to Snelling and 94, so parking was very limited. I got to the Turf Club and found a smallish crowd, which I was expecting to be much larger. But the crowd grew as the night progressed and by the time The Von Tramps took the stage the Turf Club was packed.
The first band to play for the evening was timisarocker. I loved timisarocker and lead singer Timothy Dooley had a great voice and was very entertaining. I thought their set was too short and was left wanting more. I will see them again.
The second band was Katy Vernon, named for Lead Singer Katy Vernon. Katy also played the ukulele and one song she played guitar. I can’t name a lot of ukulele musicians, or songs, but Katy and her band may change that for me. I loved their folksy, earthy set and they are on my growing list of must see local bands.
The third band was The Carnegies. All I can say is WOW. I hadn’t seen or heard of them before and I will definitely see them again, as soon as possible. They were high energy, non-stop rock. My favorite song was when they played the Ted Nugent cover ‘Baby Please Don’t Go’. I checked their online page and found their influences to be all the bands that I grew up with. At one point in their set, one of the band members said they were just messing around – didn’t really know what they were doing, but having fun. And that everyone else should do what they enjoy and not worry about messing up. I loved what they were doing and hope they continue for a long time. And if they are in the area on their next show, I will do everything to be there.
The fourth band was The Prizefighters. The band described themselves as older ska. They were wonderful to listen to – a combination of reggae, ska and rock and just the right bridge between The Carnegies and The Von Tramps. Keyboardist Jorge Gil was especially animated and at the end of their set, he threw the keyboard over his shoulder and played it. Four for four on great music for the evening.
A really great night of music so far, but this night was all about The Von Tramps. The Turf Club was packed and the crowd was loud as they waited for The Von Tramps to begin. The band started playing, but Jenna Enemy was nowhere to be seen. She started singing and became visible on the left side of the stage, sitting on a surf board that was hoisted by several men. They carried her to the stage as the crowd cheered and high-fived Jenna on the way. I have seen the Von Tramps four times in the past and with each new appearance, they are more polished, more entertaining and more frenetic. Tonight, they added a keyboardist and a Bay Watch type model (with red swimsuit and red lifesaver) and were especially animated. They played their new songs, some old familiar Von Tramp songs and a few covers. I have been a huge fan of The Von Tramps since the first time I saw them and get more enthused after each performance. If you haven’t seen them before, you really need to. Buy a CD, listen to them online, or especially see them live – you won’t be disappointed.