Being someone who gets to write about music is fun. Being someone who gets to write about music is a city like Minneapolis is really fun. Just about every night there is a slew of great shows happening around the city. You’re never hard pressed to find a band playing at some bar or club or one of the numerous iconic venues that have become the lifeblood of our city. I found myself at The Triple Rock Social Club for the second time in 48 hours last night, this time for Nine Pound Shadow, a band out of San Francisco I didn’t really know much about and Electric Guest, back from a five-year hiatus.
Before heading down to The Triple Rock I gave Nine Pound Shadow a quick listen on Spotify so I wasn’t walking in blind (which can be fun too). I liked what I heard from these guys, but their live performance absolutely blew me away. It wasn’t necessarily something I had never seen before, but their harmonies mixed with their quintessential California psychedelic surf sound made for an all around feel good set. It made me miss living in Los Angeles and spending way too many days at the beach drinking Coronas and watching the sun sink down below the horizon line. Their set was sunny and breezy and much needed ray of sunshine on these sometimes dreary Minneapolis nights.
Some bands are great musicians but don’t really have a strong stage presence. Some bands have a great stage presence but struggle to translate their sound live. Some bands are Nine Pound Shadow and somehow do both in a way that looks effortless. Nine Pound Shadow is made up of brothers Breandain and Christopher Langlois, who were supported on stage last night with a drummer and bass player. The Langlois brothers took to the stage with a rather bashful demeanor, but it’s clear that musical chemistry is strong between these two. “Are you ready,” Breandain said before starting their set. “I think I’m ready,” joked Christopher quietly behind the keys. This humble and almost shy demeanor these guys have on stage should not be confused with a lack of confidence. The Langlois brothers have a clearly defined sound which translates absolutely beautifully live. Both the Langlois brothers have million-watt smiles and the way they spoke and carried themselves on stage was engaging and charming. “He looks like he should be in a surf video,” a guy next to me mumbled. About half way through their set, Breandain and Christopher switched it up between keys and guitar, “the fucking tradeoff!!” a guy behind me said excitedly. It took a minute, but the crowd definitely warmed up to Nine Pound Shadow. Nine Pound Shadow played a handful of songs including Bridges and Tell Me Why off their self titled debut EP, produced by Electric Guest frontman Asa Taccone.
Electric Guest kicked off their set shortly after 9:00 pm, running just a few minutes behind schedule. But hey – it’s the Triple Rock, they run on punk time down there. Electric Guest is Asa Taccone and Matthew Compton, who are supported on tour by brothers Todd and Tory Dahlhoff. Electric Guest is currently touring in support of their first album in five years, Plural. Electric Guest is one of those bands that is wildly underrated, but from last night’s performance it seems that we will be seeing plenty more from these guys in the coming months.
Asa Taccone is showman to say the least. His command of the stage and his vocals were absolutely flawless. For bands like Electric Guest, which is heavily synth driven, that sound doesn’t always translate live, but Electric Guest absolutely blew it out of the water. The energy and hype in the Triple Rock was thick. As they say – absence makes the heart grow fonder. “Fuck yeah, this a great crowd already,” Toccone said after the first song. “Can we get the lights a littler lower, a little more gothic, little more industrial maybe,” he said. He worked the stage and the room with a starpower that makes me think the next time Electric Guest rolls through town they will have graduated to an even larger venue.
In addition to their flawless and polished set, Electric Guest, specifically Taccone kept the banter from stage going. “So people always give us gifts when we tour. And you can always kind of tell the vibe of the city based on the gift they give you. So last night in Kansas City this dude gave me some pants. They’re way too big but I’m wearing them,” Toccone joked. Electric Guest got Minneapolis dancing on a Tuesday night, “last time we were here you guys turned the fuck up,” Taccone remarked. And last night was definitely a repeat. Electric Guest’s set was the perfect mix of new and old songs off both their albums Plural and Mondo. A highlight of course was their hit This Head I Hold, which is usually the introductory point to Electric Guest. Other standouts were Oh Devil, Dear to Me, Waves and Back & Forth. Hometown hero Sean Matthew Tillmann aka Har Mar Superstar even made an appearance during their set last night. The Triple Rock was definitely the place to be on Tuesday night. Being someone who gets to write about music is fun.