Enter Shikari Warm Up A Chilly Tuesday at The Varsity


Things have been insane. From Riot Fest to a wedding over the weekend, I’ve been feeling like I just can’t get above water. I know that I need to buckle down and just get caught up but that’s so hard to do when my body and soul have been craving a show so, naturally, I left my unanswered emails and the not-done laundry and made my way to The Varsity Theater on Tuesday night.

Unfortunately, opening act AViVA had to drop off the show last minute due to being sick. I was more bummed about this than I expected to be. Although it wasn’t instant love with her music when I saw her just over a week ago at Riot Fest, I loved the amount of power she had brought to the main stage that day and I was super excited to see how it would translate into a smaller and more intimate venue. I truly hope she feels better soon and finds a way to fit Minneapolis back into her schedule!

After a short delay due to AViVA not making it, UK rockers Trash Boat took the stage and all of the worry about my unanswered emails and the overflowing laundry pile fell to the wayside. Tuesday night was my first chance to catch this band live and I was thrilled to get it. Their music is a bit all over the place from nu-metal to good old-fashioned garage punk. There’s something gritty about their overall sound that has always just stuck with me and seeing it played out on the stage right in front of me was an absolute treat. This band doesn’t take themselves too seriously and clearly has fun on stage but is also sure to put on one hell of a show that makes sure you know who they are and what they are about.

Trash Boat had this way of connecting with every fan in the audience in an almost odd way. I truly could not figure it out. From telling the audience to enjoy the show however they wanted to getting everyone to scream “idiot” at the top of their lungs for their songs that is about, well, an idiot, the crowd may have been small but the love that I felt from Trash Boat (and the love I hope they felt from the audience) made it feel like a sold-out show. Their set was short at just thirty minutes which was not enough for me. Deep down, I was hoping they would get an extended set due to one of the three bands not performing during the show but that was not the case. I guess I’ll just have to appreciate what I got from them and patiently wait for their next visit to the Twin Cities.

There was anticipation in the air as the stage was turned over for the headliner. Full disclosure, this was far from a full show and honestly, the turnout had me super bummed out but that didn’t stop excitement from floating throughout the venue. The warnings started at the ten-minute mark with computerized vocals counting down to the moment the band was to take the stage. “Tonight’s travel into the great unknown will commence in six minutes!” Much like during Trash Boat’s set, somehow this growing anticipation made it feel like you were lost in a sold-out show and, when push came to shove and we were welcomed into the great unknown by the computerized voice, the crowd went wild.

Who is Enter Shikari? They are a British band that truly runs the gamut as far as genres are concerned. It’s EDM music without the drug culture, metal without the pretentiousness, and just overall super well-written, well-produced, and well-executed music. From political statements to lyrics about mental health and other-worldly travels, there’s truly something for everyone when it comes to Enter Shikari but it’s also a bit of an acquired taste. I have played Enter Shikari’s music for some of my friends and they just don’t seem to get it. To them, it’s just noise. To me, it’s a beautiful orchestra and sounds and feelings. Regardless of how you feel about their music, their live show is absolutely something that you just have to see.

Enter Shikari’s last album ‘Nothing Is True & Everything Is Possible’ came out in 2020. They were supposed to do this tour in conjunction with that release but, you know, Covid. Keeping that in mind and hearing the band admit that a lot has changed since their last visit to the Twin Cities made the night feel a bit more special than most. Enter Shikari had something to prove and the audience, albeit modest, had some aggression to get out. It was the makings for a perfect night which, in the end, is exactly what we all got.

From whizzing lights to vocalist Rou Reynolds’ almost break-dancing-like movements, it’s the kind of show where you don’t want to miss a single second. Maybe there was something in the air, maybe it was just my mood, whatever it was, like Trash Boat’s set, I felt like Enter Shikari was leaving the stage just moments after taking it. Their set was right around twenty songs long which is more than acceptable for a headlining set especially when there’s so much going on during said set but it just wasn’t enough for me. I loved how they played a little bit of everything from their impressive six-album career but it just wasn’t enough and sadly I left the show feeling a bit unsatisfied. That’s not on Enter Shikari though. That is purely on me being a brat and never wanting the night to end.