Minneapolis was treated to a funky weird trip in the forest through the eyes of Ashnikko on Friday night. Hailing from North Carolina and having just released her second album, Weedkiller, this was the third stop on the sold-out Weedkiller World Tour. This marked Ashnikko’s first-ever concert in the Twin Cities. The front of the venue was packed; just one of many clues of the hype surrounding the artist and their flagship world tour. The line wrapped around the front of the Fillmore would have unsuspecting passersby thinking that they were outside an exclusive club in Berlin- ripped tights, tall boots, and spare spurts of neon color interspersed in the otherwise sea of black. Everyone was clearly excited and ready for the show. The line for merch wrapped through the venue a few times and the stream of people entering the venue didn’t seem to stop.
Audrey Nuna performed first with a vibe that perfectly matched the night. She came out after a few songs from her DJ full of energy and grabbed the attention of the audience immediately. Most known for her song, “Comic Sans” with Jack Harlow, the New Jersey based artist has been growing at an impressive pace. I didn’t really know what to expect with Audrey going into the night, but she set the standard for the night and gained quite a few new fans in the crowd. After seeing her set, I knew this was going to be the show I have been waiting for.When it was time for Ashnikko to take the stage the crowd immediately quieted. Starting out with the banger “You Make Me Sick!” sent myself and the crowd into a frenzy. Ashnikko really knows how to make you feel all the rage and all the softness and everything in between. Basically the entire night was banger after banger but I got to spend the first three songs (“You Make Me Sick!” “Stupid” and “Working Bitch”) up close and personal in the photo pit. Two dancers performed alongside Ashnikko changing costumes and props to match the song. Ashnikko herself is quite the dancer, she showed through some impressive choreography and never missed a beat.
The show continued without a flaw and Ash asked everyone if they just showed up for a slumber party before diving into the hit song. The crowd screamed, only a few songs into the setlist and the hits were not stopping. Many of the songs from her latest album have been making strides across the internet including “Dying Star” which features Ethel Cain. Before singing this song, Ash spent a good amount of time talking about the meaning behind this song, how growing up where she came from it was almost impossible to be a queer person who felt safe. Right as the song started she announced “Queer people deserve happiness” and the crowd erupted.
The rest of the night continued with a sense of desire to never have it end. At least that’s what I was hoping for. Ashnikko continued to fill the room with rage for the way life makes it hard for people who don’t follow the norms. She also balanced it out through her deep feelings of love for life and the people who she keeps close to her. She thanked her chosen family, stating that their love can be stronger than blood. Right before her last few songs she stopped one more time saying “thanks for allowing me to play such weird music,” which is definitely how I’ve been describing it since. It is a bit weird, maybe not for everyone, but a different way to feel through emotions that can’t always be described or understood. This show was all I had hoped for and more and I’m so sad it is already over. You can guarantee that everyone in that room is itching for her to come back as soon as possible.