Hi Kids, Grandpa Markus is back in the land of Raves and EDM. You may remember me from such masterpieces as “So, this old guys goes to see Illenium”. Well thanks to our lovely MN weather, and a bout of bronchitis that struck the assigned photographer, I found myself at the first show in the brand new Armory with 4 well known EDM acts on the Horizon tour headlined by Seven Lions and Tritonal.
Of course I was quite curious about the “new” venue. First Impressions were good, there was only a short line and once past the doors and security I entered the wide open hall that can easily fit several thousand. There are balconies and bars running the full lenght of the floor on both sides. A good sized crowd was already on hand for Trivecta, the first artist. I saw a few brave souls dash form their cars to the Armory showing more skin than the rest of downtown Minneapolis combined – they certainly were ready to party, or simply rejecting the concept of a coat check. Trivecta’s set was a perfect appetizer of what was to come. Danceable music with some esoteric vocals thrown in.
Kill The Noise brought a dramatic change of pace. The sound got harder and bass was there in spades. At one point the floorboards in the pit were bouncing from fans jumping so hard, it actually overwhelmed the vibration compensation on my lens. The crowd easily doubled for his set and there was enough headbanging and hair tossing to do a heavy metal show proud.
Tritonal zigged when Kill the Noise zagged. Vocals took the foreground. Blasts of CO2 chilled the air and their set had them jump on the podium and emerge from behind it for brief dances. The duo of Dave Reed and Chad Cisneros stayed interactive with their fans through their performance Tritonal’s music includes prominent samples from other artists weaving it with their sound.
Seven Lions started his set on a dark stage and quickly established his grasp on the crowd. His set had a grand, cinematic feel supported by the projections on the LCD screens. Seven Lions recently released a collaboration with Kill The Noise who joined him on stage. By now The Armory was packed with sold out crowd and the energy level went pretty much through the roof. I was not familiar with much of Seven Lions’ work before, but listening to his songs as I write this the next morning, I keep finding tunes I like and adding them to my playlist.
As a concert venue I would call The Armory first show a smashing success. I found out Saturday morning that the show was indeed sold out best guess at 4-5,000 fans in attendance. I did not notice any excessive lines (disclaimer I did not check the one for the ladies’ restroom), The staff was professional and friendly. I observed one girl collapsing and immediately attended to by staff and paramedics. Looking at comments on social media some mentioned a longer wait at the door once the crowd started to arrive in force. They size of the smoking patio was also mentioned. The Armory’s arched roof eliminates line of sight issues from support columns and acoustics were pretty good as well. There was a bit of an echo noticeable when standing in a closed off section beside the stage but when I moved through the crowd if disappeared. It remains to be seen how the venue does with vocals as the center of a performance but first results are promising. With several big name shows coming up for the Superbowl and other shows booked in the next few months, I am looking forward to spending more time at the Armory. A flexible venue that size certainly is an asset to Minneapolis and hopefully will lead to bands including us earlier in their tours.