As soon as I stepped into the line to get into Friday night’s show, it just felt right. Familiar faces, familiar laughs– it’s what I needed and I could tell before I even got into The Cabooze that it was going to be an amazing night full of great friends and amazing music.
Perth got things started. I may have never heard of this local metal band prior to the show but, even after waking up this morning, they are all I can think about. Their sound was polished with each brutal drum hit and every guitar note ringing for the perfect duration and fitting in its spot perfectly. Although there are a lot of super-polished metal bands in the local scene, there was something just top-notch about these guys that had my jaw on the floor and my eyes glued to the stage. To say I was impressed would be an understatement and, within the first few tracks, they were clearly the talk of the venue. After their all too quick set was over, their name was being echoed throughout the audience as everyone was singing praise on this band. Perth is absolutely on my radar and I can not wait to hear and see more from this impressive band.
Following Perth was Common Choir- a band that was really starting to hit their stride pre-pandemic. I was honestly a little worried that this band wasn’t going to hold onto the power they had in the scene after having so much downtime but, as soon as they hit the stage, they proved me wrong. Another heavy band but with some more singing vocals than Perth, this band instantly took control of the audience and got a few of them moving around the ill-placed pole in the middle of the venue. One thing that sets Common Choir apart from other bands in the scene is their more party-based music. There’s just something about this band that makes you want to move a bit and has you smiling from ear to ear and it was super nice to get that feeling again after a long nearly two-year wait.
Where do I even begin with Agony Reigns? These boys (and yes, I said boys and will not change that because they are so dang young! Freaking babies!) have been a favorite of mine since the first time I had the honor of seeing them and they just continue to get better. Out of everyone on the bill, these guys had the most technical approach to their music which made watching them absolutely mesmerizing. With a little bit more of a trashy influence in their music, this band powered through their all-too-quick set like it was nobody’s business and, when it was gone, I found myself pleading with the concert gods for just a little bit more. Watching this band grow has been an absolutely delight and seeing them last night for the first time in over a year just proved that they are not going anywhere. The sky is the limit for Agony Reigns and I can not wait to see where they end up!
By the time it was time for the fourth band to take the stage, my back was hurting and the exhaustion was starting to hit. It had been so long since I had done a banger of a show like this with bands rushed on and off the stage and a constant onslaught of shredding guitars and banging drums. What I’m trying to say is that I’m getting too old for this shit but, thankfully, Earth Groans was up next and any tiredness I was feeling instantly fell to the wayside. I’ve been following Earth Groans for some time now and, although a friend pointed out I had seen them once before, I honestly just could not remember it. That being said, there’s no way I’ll be forgetting this band anytime soon. Like the other acts on the line-up, Earth Groans took the stage and instantly commanded control over the entire audience but there was something just a hair more engaging about this band than the previous bands to take the stage. There was such a sense of personality that radiated from each member and, although they were are clearly into their instruments and nailing every note, there was just something fresh feeling about watching these guys absolutely kill it.
Closing out the incredible night of music was hometown heroes In Search of Solace. I’ve caught this band live a handful of times now and they never disappoint. Their relentless energy and powerful riffs reigned supreme until the bitter end of Friday night’s show. With their signature sound that blends a sense of tenderness with slamming instrumentation and perfectly placed breakdowns, ISOS proved why they were headlining the night and why they are at the top of the local scene. Much like Earth Groans, these guys had the entire audience in the palm of their hands throughout their set and had everyone pushing and shoving until the final note was left hanging in the air. All of the bands that graced the stage on Friday night are awesome and I have my eyes on all of them but ISOS is the band that I see expanding outside of the local scene first and I’m thrilled about that. They represent everything that is Twin Cities metal so perfectly from the perfection of their sound to their constant energy and are absolutely making all of us more than proud.
Friday night was one of those shows that was all about family and great music. All of the bands that graced the stage absolutely killed it and brought their own sound and personality into the spotlight in the best way possible leaving everyone who was there with a night that will not soon be forgotten. Like it was said at some point in the night, let’s take a page out of Olive Garden’s book– “When you’re here, you’re family.” That’s seriously the best way to describe what Friday night was.