Andy Grammer Brings Electric Performance to The Varsity Theater


After a long day of handling dogs for a German Shepard demo at the Nicollet Open Streets, I’ll admit it felt tiring to be headed back to Minneapolis to catch Andy Grammer headline a sold out Varsity Theater. Not that I didn’t want to be at the show, but the afternoon rain and gloom outside made me really want to call it an early night. However, as I made my way into Dinkytown and waited in line to get in the venue, I found myself becoming reenergized for the show, and excited to catch two artists I haven’t seen in a couple of years. 

To my surprise, and to the surprise of most of the audience I’m sure, I walked into the Varsity to the sound of spoken word.initially I was confused, and then the artist (apologies for missing your name!) explained that Andy Grammer thought it would be a nice surprise to add in a bit of poetry before starting the evening. Although this was the first time in my 13 years of going to shows that I’ve experienced a spoken word artist open a show, as the night progressed it seemed to be a fitting start. 

First up was Nashville based trio NIGHTLY, a band I last saw open for K. Flay back in 2016 at the Middle East in Cambridge, MA. First, I can’t believe it’s been three years already since I’ve Seen this trio, and second I was pleasantly surprised with the evolution of their sound and stage presence. The group felt like they matured into their style, putting on a set that was tight-knit, more charismatic, and holistically more enjoyable to experience. Playing an incredibly short set in comparison to Andy Grammer, NIGHTLY was on and off the stage in what felt like a blink of an eye. 

Last but not least was headliner Andy Grammer. To my surprise, Grammer started the night right in the middle of the crowd with a poem and an acoustic guitar, and headed straight into his first song of the evening “Naieve.” What started to be a quieter set turned into an explosive set once Grammer went onstage with the rest of the musicians he brought on tour. There wasn’t a quiet voice in the entire venue; everywhere I looked people of all walks of life and of all ages, even elementary school aged kids, were singing along to every single world in every song. The last time I caught Andy Grammer was at Basillica Block Party in 2018 and that short festival set definitely do his music justice. His set at the Varsity was larger than the venue itself; his set was energetic, upbeat, and exploded with positivity and genuine happiness. It was one of the more feel good sets I’ve seen in a while and Andy Grammer brought it, with every single one of his songs seeming to be crowd favorites. Andy Grammer proved he knows how to not only write catchy music, but how to give each song a larger than life performance.