It may be cool to photograph bands performing in front of thousands but my heart has always belonged to the small intimate venues where it’s about the band, the music, and special effects take a backseat. The last time Broncho was in town, they doused First Avenue’s entry in smoke and played through the haze. I was curious of what they would have in store for me Wednesday night.
The night started with Valen a new artists who only has one song “I don’t know why” published so far. TCM’s team members are probably sick and tired of my telling them “We always, always cover the openers”, but performers like Valen are exactly why I am insisting on that. She’s solo performer but what she lacks in numbers she makes up in stage presence. Greeting Minneapolis with “Welcome to my room” she proceeded to make it precisely that HERS. Her vocal range is impressive starting songs low and hitting a few high notes at times. There’s not much of a bio but Valen is a performer who I will make a point of seeing when she’s back in town next. In the meantime, there’s always her discord channel @valenforever
Broncho had the back of the stage covered in a reflective curtain and LED light strips scattered on the stage floor. They just released their third album “Bad Behavior”. Broncho has knack of getting their songs featured on TV for show and commercials but if you think their sound is Pop, you got another thing coming. Their live performance has one speed: All ahead flank! The set started on a darkened stage and slowly the LED strips came into play with only occasional flashes of the house lights. That may be hell on the photographer – at times my cameras could not even focus) but it sure made for one heck of an “immersive” environment for the audience. I’m not a fan of jam bands, I like my music organized. But I like Broncho live, so what If I have a hard time telling when one song is ending and the next one starts. Ryan Lindsey’s voice supported by the guitars fills every last nook and cranny of the entry (and there are many). It’s rare for a band to make me forget everything surrounding me, basically just lose myself in their sound but I sure got lost Thursday night.