I walked into a show last July to see my boys in Rozwell Kid. I walked away with a new obsession that goes by the name of Vundabar. Their live show had me caught after their quick set on that fateful July night and I’ve been dreaming of the next time I would get to see them. Last night was that chance and, being a Friday night, I wasn’t going to let it pass me by. After grabbing a couple of drinks with my friend and fellow blogger, we made our way into the 7th Street Entry where we impatiently waited for the show to kick off.
Starting the night off promptly at 8PM was Midwest based Slow Pulp. The only way I can really classify this band would be dream-punk and I know that that sounds a bit made up. Basically this group has an energy about them that screams punk band but their music is more cascading and dynamic than your typical punk band. The female vocalist had a very beautiful voice that was light, airy and even whimsical at times just helping add to that idea of dream-like music. The band was a bit more edgier than her voice but the way the two clashed together formed a thing of a beauty and a sound that, although a bit calmer than what was to come from the other two bands on the night, was a great start for the night.
Chicago based Ratboys (not to be confused with Ratboy from the UK) took the stage next and honestly I didn’t have my hopes up too high for these guys. I had listened to some of their music and it just didn’t do much for me. It was good, don’t get me wrong, but a bit too generic for my taste. I was absolutely stunned when the group took the stage. It was almost like I was watching a completely different band. There was an infectious energy about this group that was impossible to ignore. They made you want to get up and dance with the stranger next to you. Although the nearly sold out crowd (it may have sold out completely by the looks of it) had been standing still during Slow Pulp’s set, everything changed as Ratboys kicked into their quick set.
Ratboys’ music was very cutesy punk. Sure, there was an edge to it but it wasn’t ‘punch your neighbor’ music. The crowd started pushing and shoving in the most Minnesota nice way possible. With the crowd feeding off the energy radiating from the stage and the band members feeding off the energy from the crowd, I just stood back in my corner and took it all in with a smile on my face. Although only being a band since 2009 and only having two full lengths and two EPs out, Ratboys is clearly making a mark in the scene. After seeing their live show, I understand why.
Closing out the night was the almighty Vundabar from Boston. As I mentioned, I randomly stumbled into one of their shows last year and fell head over heels for this group. There’s an informal quirkiness in the personalities of the three members but, even with the happy-go-lucky vibe, there’s a sense of professionalism about their music. Sure, it’s upbeat and contagiously happy music but there’s talent hidden in the shtick. The three members effortlessly captivated the packed venue with their charm and almost awkwardness and the music kept the crowd moving around.
There’s a sense of nostalgia that comes with Vundabar’s music. There are elements of the pop-punk scene that my whole generation fell in love with years ago but there are also elements of many of the new genres that seem to be taking over the world. With random freakouts throughout the music, there’s a very edgy punk vibe to their live show at times. At other times there’s a cliche indie rock vibe to them but, because of their personalities and endless energy on stage, the music comes off as anything but generic.
During most shows at The 7th Street Entry, you can find me in the back corner taking notes on my phone but something was different about last night. Standing in the corner just wasn’t going to work and, after my friend was done getting photos of the band we dumped our coats and bags in the corner and made our way into the middle of the rambunctious crowd. Being down in the crowd during Vundabar’s set added a whole new element to this band that has me already craving a chance to see them again. Everyone on the floor had a smile on their face as they pushed and shoved their way into a sweaty mess. Although Jessica keeps saying that she was moshing last night and I’m not quite sure that we can call what was happening moshing, it was still a super fun time. After a week of non-stop shows, I was exhausted. The fact that Vundabar’s music moved me enough to make my way down closer to the stage should say everything you need to know about how great this band is.
Clearly Vundabar’s show was the best show going on in town last night but there were a million and twelve other shows going on. If you found yourself sitting at home you really need to take a moment and reevaluate your life and pull it together. There’s too much great music that comes through this city for you to waste a Friday night on the couch.