It was Friday night in Minneapolis with about a dozen events happening in the Cities, but half the staff for Twin Cities Media found ourselves at The Parkway Theater. For those of you not familiar with The Parkway Theater, it’s situated in South Minneapolis near E. 48th and Chicago. The Parkway Theater is a historic theater in the cities, that recently has played host to a slew of great emerging rock bands in the Twin Cities and surrounding areas. Parkway is attached to a little hole-in-the-whole Mexican joint – Pepitos – that my fellow writer and I found ourselves at before the show. After some great tacos and margaritas it was show time.
The occasion on Friday was two-fold – XIII Arrows, an up-and-coming four-piece that we at TCM have fell in love with was releasing their second studio EP. XIII Arrows was joined by fellow Minneapolis four-piece – Boomtown Riot, making their debut performance. There aren’t many evenings when every single band on the ticket absolutely slays, but last night, that was just the case.
Opening up the evening was ImLazarus. Unfortunately, due to inconsistency is set times, we missed ImLazarus. Website said doors at 7:30, music at 8, but ImLazarus played a bit before 8:00. We’re so bummed we missed this guy – but will be sure to have him on our radar for upcoming shows. If he was anything like the rest of the evening, I’m sure he nailed it.
The second band of the evening was Orono, Minnesota based quartet – If Eye May. We caught If Eye May back on St. Patrick’s Day at The Parkway and were instantly hooked by their 90s alt-rocky feel. Our fellow writer here at TCM, Langen Goldstein hit the nail on the head with her words about If Eye May, “They were bright eyed and bushy tailed and seemed genuinely happy to be on that stage playing for the good sized crowd that had come out. Although their music sounded like it could have fit perfectly in the 90’s alternative scene (their next to perfect cover of Everclear’s “Santa Monica” solidified this idea), there was still a sense of youth to it that was nothing short of refreshing.” There was a fresh energy to these guys that I haven’t seen from a lot of bands in the Twin Cities. Looking forward to seeing more from them in coming weeks and months.
Perhaps one of the most unexpected bands of the evening was Milwaukee-based 5-piece, Eagle Trace. Every so often you stumble upon a band that hits something visceral within you – a band that plays with energy, poise and perfection of any band headlining Lollapalooza, Coachella or Bonnaroo, but in a place as unassuming as The Parkway Theater. For me – that was Eagle Trace. This 5-piece is four brothers – Max, Jack, Mitch and Cass Borgardt. Eagle Trace is rounded out by guitarist Phil Bregan. Frontman and lead vocalist Mitch Borgardt performed with an infectious energy, gumption and quirkiness that you can’t help but fall in love with. Fans of Tokyo Police Club, Young the Giant, Foster The People – highly recommend checking out Eagle Trace. We’ll be anxiously awaiting their return to the Twin Cities!
The darlings of the evening themselves, XIII Arrows were up next to play songs off their brand new EP. For those of you that follow TCM, you know that we’ve been nothing short of peddling XIII Arrows the past few months. We’re so excited about their bluesy-rocky sound, frontman Mike Borrell’s gritty vocals, and an effortlessly cool vibe that is filling a major void in the Minneapolis music scene – good old fashioned rock-n-roll. Adding to their hammering drive is Eddie Rickert (lead guitar), John Rickert (drums), Harrison Kohler Wood (bass). Last night, XIII Arrows had the Parkway packed for their roughly-45 minute set. Each time I’ve seen XIII Arrows they bring more energy, more confidence, more new tunes, leaving me continually excited for what the future holds for this four-piece. XIII Arrow’s set was a made of a handful of their new songs, along with some tracks we’ve heard from them before. Grainy, black and white videos played in the background, the visuals mixed with the big lights and sound of the Parkway gave their set a larger-than-life feel, think packed First Ave Mainroom. XIII Arrows closed their set with a flawless cover of The Beastie Boys Fight For Your Right To Party, which fit perfectly with their heavy guitar-driven, old-school sound. Their new tracks packed a serious punch, and their set was the perfect celebration of their new EP!
Set List: How Can You Rock / I Need You / This Time Around / Land of 10,000 Lovers / Run Away / Doubt About It / One Night Man / Wishbone / Fight For Your Right
Shutting down the Parkway with the final set of the evening was Jake Kemble’s newest project – Boomtown Riot. Twin Cities music fans may recognize Kemble from Kick, but he seems to have hit a new groove with Boomtown Riot. Their set was through the roof energy, ear-wormy tracks that are made to be sung a long to, and like XIII Arrows at bit of a larger than life feeling. It’s no doubt that Kemble is the frontman of Boomtown Riot – his Mick Jagger-esque strut, huge kicks and jumps and off-the-wall energy paired with his flawless vocals. The band is rounded out by Jeff Noller (keyboard/guitars), Jimmy Lyback (bass/vocals) and Jeremy Krueth (drums). Boomtown Riot Parkway Theater debut performance had a very mature, polished feeling, showing these guys are no newbies to the game. But they brought a freshness to The Parkway, that again, is not often seen on a Friday night outside the Entry, Fine Line, or Cabooze. It’s safe to say Boomtown Riot’s debut performance was a knock out. Stay tuned for plenty more from these guys along with a smashing EP.
Set List: Gotta Be For real / Mexico / Beatles on the Radio / Rhyme / Feeling It / Start Again / My Home / USA Girl / Lend A Hand / No Less No More / Repeat