I had been looking forward to Friday night’s Cold Kingdom concert for quite some time, because I love attending these shows as the group that attends are characters, and always make the nights memorable to say the least. When I attend concerts where the bands have a large yet close-knit following it reminds me of home as those that attend have slowly become like a concert family –pretty much all you see is familiar faces, and it’s fun catching up with those you may not have seen for some time. I’m also a sucker for The Fine Line as it’s a decent venue, and I enjoy having balcony access if you want to have a better view along with a little more personal space. After a long work week I was eager to relax, be around great people and listen to talented artists do what they do best.
The Missing Letters began playing promptly at 8 p.m. ready to kick the night off, and give an outstanding performance. Having this be the first time I have seen them perform I was very impressed with their sound, talent and personality that they brought to stage. Each of the band members really knew how to engage the crowd, and bring their own twist to the performance. I even noticed that they were burning incense during their set which was unique, and a detail I enjoyed. I obviously wasn’t familiar with their songs, but all were from their album, “Lucille”, which was released in 2016. The Missing Letters played for about a half hour to forty five minutes before the set change took place for The Zealots to take on the night. I can only imagine that all of the band members are this personable, but as the night progressed I did have the opportunity to chat with guitarist/vocalist, Josh Ripley. Through my conversation I could definitely tell that Ripley was passionate about his music career, and it was really enjoyable to be able to congratulate him and wish him well on his future musical journey. All around a stand-up guy.
The Zealots, a band based out of Iowa, took over between 8:45 and 9:00 p.m. bringing their own unique energy to the room. Having released their album, “Only Rocks Live Forever”, in June of this year their set list was an assortment of songs coming from this album. I’m sure this summer has been an exciting one for them as they’ve gotten to showcase their new work, and be on tour. I always enjoy coming to concerts when I’m not familiar with all the bands as it gives me the opportunity to explore new music, and dip my toes into something new. After their first song, I knew they were now added to my list as what they bring is something new and different – that makes them stand out from other musical groups. My roommate had prefaced the night with telling me to pay attention when The Zealots played because he was interested in knowing what I would think, and what do you know? It’s like he kind of knows me or something.
Local band, Fire Fight, took the stage after The Zealots completed their set. Once again another band I wasn’t too familiar with, but had heard quite a bit about after slowly getting involved more and more in the Minneapolis music scene. Throughout the evening they played songs from their album, “Transitions”, which was released in 2017 and provided fans with a sneak peek to their new single, “Burn”, which was released earlier this year. This band definitely has a following, and one could tell that the excitement in the room increased substantially once they started playing. I’m sure this was because of two details, obviously their fan base being able to enjoy music from one of their favorite bands and fans knowing that the headliner was that much closer to taking the stage and finishing the night. Overall I thought that Fire Fight was pretty awesome, and are incredibly passionate about what they do.
Closing the night was the one and only, Cold Kingdom. Having followed this band for quite some time after a close friend passed along one of their cds demanding I check them out it’s been amazing living in the Minneapolis area, and having the opportunity to see them live. The energy and presence they always bring to the stage is by far one of my favorite attributes of this band. This particular show was very emotionally charged as it was Dani’s last performance with the band as she has decided to carry on with the next exciting chapter of her life. I immediately noticed her change from the trademark “cold” blue hair to blonde, and felt it symbolized her choice to progress in her journey wherever that may take her. Throughout their set fans were surely nothing less than impressed as the band made sure to play a broad assortment of their hits some of which including “Child”, “Crash Poet”, “How Could I Know”, “The Light”, and “Let It Burn”. I really enjoyed it because they pretty much played every song as to not to leave anyone disappointed with not hearing a favorite accompanied by Dani’s unique, amazing voice. As their set progressed the crowd became more and more energetic realizing their last evening with Dani was sadly coming to an end. The energy included singing along, crowd surfers and even a short brawl that was stifled pretty quickly as everyone was there to enjoy each other and celebrate this musical group rather than have it be tainted by drama. There hasn’t been a time where I’m not incredibly impressed with Cold Kingdom’s overall performance, but one could definitely tell each individual in the group was putting their all and then some into last night to rest assured it was their best, last performance. At the end of the night the crowd was begging for an encore, but I could see that all band members had finally reached the reality of the situation and the nostalgia commenced. Attendees were filed out the door as they had the opportunity to say their goodbyes to Dani, and wish her the best in her future endeavors. Tears and all, this by far was one of my favorite parts of the concert as Dani was able to see how much following, support, impact and love her fans provide and she the same to them. I wish I could have had more opportunities to see Cold Kingdom perform before this change, but life is too short to sit with regrets so I’m thankful for the opportunities I did have. In closing, I wish each and every one of you the best in your future endeavors and I’m excited to see where this new chapter takes you. Dani – over the time I’ve listened you’ve become someone I look up to as I’ve connected with your lyrics and love the story each song tells. You’re an amazingly talented individual, and though I’m sad about this book closing I know you’ll give this next chapter your all and then some. Hats off to you girl, and don’t forget the musical family that’s slowly become an addition to your own over the years – we’re all rooting for you in whatever you may choose to do.