My tour of venues post-shutdown continued Tuesday night onto The Fine Line in Minneapolis. I’ll be honest, it’s not one of my favorite places to catch a show in town because if you don’t get there early, chances are you won’t be able to see the stage but it is one of the many venues in town that I consider my home away from home so it was nice to step back into this familiar building. The building was the only familiar thing about the night. I had no clue who I was going to see or what I was in for but I was going to a show and that is more than enough to keep me happy.
Tuesday’s show started off with local band Products. This is a band I knew nothing about but, within the first track of their genre-bouncing set, I was falling head over heels for this band. Some songs had a very punk edge to them. Others contained a flawless post-punk sound whereas one track that they played even reminded me a little bit of Death Cab For Cutie. There’s honestly no way to classify this group musically but that’s what made them stand out. Sure, they were the only opener on this two-band bill but I truly believe if you put them on any line-up, they would stand out from the rest just due to their musical creativity. Beyond their genreless music, their live show was so much more than that of just any local band. Although it was clear that not many people in the audience knew who these guys were (myself included) their infectious energy was just what was needed to pull everyone into the world that is Products. I’ll be honest, I don’t think I’ve ever seen Products’ name on a line-up but maybe that’s due to their generic name (sorry, guys!) but I will absolutely be keeping a closer eye on them because catching them live again would be an absolute treat.
Tuesday night’s show moved super quick and, before I knew it, the entire stage had been sacked and headliners Black Pistol Fire were hopping up to a roar of applause. Although I had seen these guys before, I honestly could not remember it (it was back in February of 2018– can you blame me?). I had no clue who this duo was but was intrigued by how much they had packed the place for a Tuesday night and how much response they were getting from the crowd with just taking the stage. Kevin McKeown and Eric Owen are Black Pistol Fire and they are going to be your new favorite band if you give them a chance (trust me on this). I was a bit hesitant as I realized it was just a duo. I have nothing against duos and tend to be surprised by them the most but my exhaustion levels are at a critical level and I feared that this band wouldn’t have enough in them to keep me engaged and entertained through a headlining set. That’s when I realized there were three amps set up on the stage. Three amps, one drum kit with a small keyboard attached, one drummer and one guitarist– okay, I needed to see what this was all about.
As soon as Black Pistol Fire blasted into their set, I was taken aback. There was so much power, so much sound, so much to watch, and so much to hear. It was honestly sensory overload and, although I was supposed to be taking photos (and industry standard is you can only take photos for the first three songs), I spent the first song with my jaw on the ground just trying to get a handle on what was going on in front of me. Honestly, I pretty much stayed that way through their extensive sixteen-song set followed by a two-song encore. Their original music had such a cool vibe to it that it was impossible to tear my ears away from their music. Their sound is a little bit southern rock, a little jam rock, a little garage rock, and a whole lot of passion. I feel like the two covers they threw into their set explain their sound a lot. A cover of Childish Gambino’s “Redbone” and then a stunning rendition of Fleetwood Mac’s “Oh Well”. There are few parallels between those songs but they were both perfect fits for this powerhouse of a duo to cover. You could see it in both Kevin and Eric’s faces– they truly love what they do and enjoy creating music that makes you feel something.
I could go on and on about the absolutely amazing guitar solos that happened last night or the way Eric Owen was able to play an amazing drumbeat one-handed while pounding away at a small keyboard to give off a bass sound. The fact of the matter is, none of my words will do this band’s talent or passion justice. Go and see Black Pistol Fire– seriously.