Durry Comes Homes To An Epic Sold-Out First Avenue Show


Photos by Vito Ingerto; Words by Langen Goldstien

It’s nearly the end of the year which means it’s almost time to start my “Best of 2023” lists. I always talk about doing lists like that but never actually take the time to do them but that changes this year. As I think back on the year as far as my favorite albums go, one name keeps popping up in my head– Durry. Their new album ‘Suburban Legend’ is one of those albums that just hit me so perfectly upon the first listen and has been a trusty “go-to” for me when I don’t know what I’m in the mood to listen to. Not only is it an amazing album, Durry is a local band so that makes it even more amazing. Long story short, I was stoked to be at their sold-out (that’s right– they completely sold the joint out and then some) First Avenue show on Saturday night.

The sole opener for the Saturday night show at First Avenue was a band I hadn’t seen in a long time but was stoked to experience again- DNM. The last time I saw DNM (pronounced Denim) was back in December of 2021 when they opened for Yam Haus. I fell in love with them that night because their sound was so different from what I typically listen to and they had me feeling that love all over again on Saturday night. Musically, this band is a bit all over the place. With an overall indie-pop sound but undertones that range from R&B to pop-punk, the thing I love about DNM is the fact that, regardless of what song they are playing or what genre said song falls into, it’ll make you want to dance and will have you smiling from ear to ear. It was nice to see and hear that, after a couple of years, they still have that same effect on me.

I loved how the members of DNM were clearly having fun and the time of their lives on the iconic stage but, at the same time, gave the audience a perfect set. That balance of fun and seriousness is something that I feel some bands try to find but never quite nail yet DNM makes it seem so easy with the way the members dance around the stage with giant smiles on their faces while never missing a single note or beat. First Avenue was already ripe with excitement in the air but this energy and the sound that DNM was giving the audience just enhanced it all making them the perfect way to get Saturday night’s sold-out main room show started.  

Saturday night’s show almost didn’t happen. Headliners Durry had just canceled their Chicago show due to vocalist Austin Durry coming down with some kind of terrible sickness. Durry’s social media feeds went from excited posts about being on tour to a miserable-looking Austin holding his “booger bucket”. It broke my heart to see this and, judging by the size of the booger bucket, I would have put money on the fact that they would have to reschedule the Minneapolis date but was thrilled when I saw the post saying that Austin had been cleared by his doctors to perform. Part of me felt bad because I’ve been there. I’m the type of person who, even when sick, will work non-stop because, well, the grind doesn’t stop but I also know how miserable that feeling can be. At the same time, I was stoked because, selfishly, I needed a Durry show in my life and knew that nothing else would suffice.

It was kind of surreal to hear the roar of applause as Durry started their set with “Coming of Age”. I only say that because the last time I saw Durry was when they played at the 7th Street Entry back in July of 2021. I don’t remember that show being sold out or anywhere close to sold out but I do remember standing there during their set thinking, “This band is going to be huge”. I know I say that about a lot of acts but I’m honestly typically right (not a flex, I’ve just been doing this long enough that I know when a band “has it” and I knew that Durry “had it”). It honestly made me want to tear up a little bit to see how far this band has come from that 7th Street Entry show. Instead of people just standing there enjoying their flawless sound like they had back in 2021, people were screaming every word back at the stage on Saturday night like their lives depended on it.

Part of this could be due to the brilliance of their ‘Suburban Legend’ album. I’ll get more in-depth about this album when it comes time for my “Best of 2023” lists but I just have to say, listen to the words of this album and try to tell me it doesn’t hit you to your core. Being able to hear those songs performed live while lost in a sea of people who clearly had been hit in the same way with the lyrics and overall sound was a dream and just one of the things about Durry’s set on Saturday night that made it so amazing.

Although their set was explosive and full of life, it was clear that vocalist Austin Durry was still trying to get over his sickness. There were a couple of comments about the booger bucket but, beyond that, you could hear a strain in his voice throughout the set. Personally, I liked the rawness that this gave their sound but also felt so bad because it was clear that Austin was feeling it in his throat. All that being said, Durry could have easily postponed this show like they had Chicago but they didn’t. That says a lot about this band. They didn’t take the easy way out and, instead, powered through because they knew that Minneapolis needed this show from their hometown heroes (oh yeah, did I mention these kids are local?!). I’m not sure that Durry could have gotten away with this anywhere else but, here in Minneapolis, nobody seemed to care that there were moments when they were in charge of the vocals to give Austin a break. They were just so appreciative and thankful to have a night to celebrate just how far this band has come.

Did I want to cry a little bit as the band played “Who’s Laughing Now” which is about all of the people that told them they would never make it yet here they were playing a sold-out First Avenue? Yes. It’s a song that I had playing on repeat in my head as I did photos for my first-ever arena show on Thursday night. Did I smile from ear to ear as the band invited their dad (Austin’s sister Taryn is also in the band) up on stage to play trumpet during “Judgement Day” and then went on to explain that their mom had made the backdrop for the tour? Absolutely because it was so wholesome and, honestly, so Minnesotan. Were there moments when I felt the music take me over in this almost other-worldly way and I completely forgot about anything else going on in my head or life for a split second and finally had a moment where I was just in the moment? Absolutely. What does this all mean? It all means that Durry put on a hell of a show on Saturday night and, sickness be damned, Durry had all of Minneapolis singing and dancing along with smiles on their faces.

Will Durry hit two of my top ten lists for the year? It’s quite possible. From ‘Suburban Legend’ to their show on Saturday, there’s clearly no stopping this band and I am just beyond grateful to have been on of the lucky ones to experience their magic on Saturday.