Though fall is quickly approaching here in the Twin Cities, there are still a few nights left like this past Friday. The weather was warm, there was a summerlike breeze in the air, the Twins were playing just down the street at Target Field. It was one of those nights that felt more like July than September. With that summer-like feel in the air and a Friday nonetheless, there was no shortage of energy and good vibes to go around at The Fine Line for Twin Peaks with Dehd and Slow Pulp.
Opening up the evening was Chicago-based trio Dehd. The trio is guitarist Jason Balla, bassit Emily Kempf and drummer Eric McGrady. Together the three make up what is perhaps one the most interesting bands coming out of Chicago right now. The Windy City is known for it’s eclectic punk and rock scene, and Dehd are no strangers to that. Balla is also known for fronting Ne-Hi, who recently called it quits earlier this year. Kempf is known in the scene for her role in art-pop project Vail. But together the three come together to make a fresh, new sound. Dehd’s sound during their set is clearly a marriage of each of the members backgrounds in the Chicago music scene. Their sound is a marriage of jangly, carefree, almost 60s sound rock and the garage, rowdy punk sound we are use to seeing coming out Chicago (think The Orwells, etc). Dehd’s set was short but sweet and featured heavily tracks off their 2019 release Water as well as some earlier tracks. Dehd was the perfect way to kick off the evening at Fine Line.Following Dehd, was another group with Midwestern roots. Madison, WI born and Chicago-based Slow Pulp took the stage next. This was probably the third or fourth time in the past year and a half that we have seen Slow Pulp in Minneapolis but each time, I find myself enjoying their set more and more. It’s clear their sound and performance is developing and they really seem to be hitting their stride as a group in an exciting way. Slow Pulp, like Dehd, someone seamlessly blends and blurs the lines of conventional genres. Lead singer Emily Massey vocals really carry the sound of Slow Pulp but their overall sound can be both psychedelic and dreamlike in one moment, and heavier, punky the next. Speaking of Massey – she commanded the Fine Line, again in a way that we just haven’t seen from Slow Pulp. There was a confidence and charisma that was absolutely captivating to watch. Perfectly balancing out Slow Pulp is Teddy Mathews, Alex Leeds, and Henry Stoehr who actually all grew up together, which in part explains the care-free, easy chemistry the group has on stage. It really does feel like watching a group of friends just jam out, but with a couple hundred people watching. I am excited to see where Slow Pulp continues to go musically and as a band. As the stage turned over from Slow Pulp in preparation for Twin Peaks, the energy and anticipation in the Fine Line grew. Twin Peaks is known for having a die-hard fan base, which always makes for the most fun live shows. There is no way you can’t have fun, when the entire crowd around you is dancing and moshing along. If one thing is true of Twin Peaks fans – is they know how to have a good time. And Twin Peaks punk meets 70s Americana rock with hints of a bluesy sound is the perfect soundtrack to a Friday night (and any night, lets be honest). Twin Peaks is Cadien Lake James (vocals, guitar), Clay Frankel (vocals, guitar), Jack Dolan (vocals, bass), Colin Croom (keyboards, vocals, guitar), and Connor Brodner (drums). Together the five have been making music for almost a decade and seem to have more fun on stage than just about any band I’ve seen live. They make it all look so effortlessly easy and cool. Their energy is contagious live. It’s been a few years since I last saw Twin Peaks, and similarly to Slow Pulp, it’s clear the band continues to develop both their live set as well as their sound . Watching Twin Peaks play a handful of songs off their newest release Lookout Low I couldn’t help but be reminded of the treasure troves of my parent’s record collection from the 60s and 70s I fell in love with. Their collection has mix of the Crosby, Stills and Nash, Three Dog Night, Merle Haggard, Alabama, and all sorts of feel good, Americana-rock. It’s hard to say if this ode to the sounds of 70s is intentional for Twin Peaks, but whatever it is, we love it. The crowd at The Fine Line was grooving along to the oldies and the new stuff from Twin Peaks. They sprinkled in their big ones including Making Breakfast and Wanted You.
With summer hanging on for one more weekend in the Twin Cities – there was really no better way to kick off that weekend than with Twin Peaks and friends at The Fine Line.