Grayscale And Friends Make For The Perfect After Holiday Celebration


I had been going through live show withdrawals. Yes, I know it has been under a week since my last show but that’s just too long. A mix of making a trek down to my hometown and then getting the booster shot that hit me like a truck had me spending more time at home than I typically enjoy. Although the break was nice, I was ready for the feeling of a live show and thankfully, there was an amazing one happening at Amsterdam Bar & Hall in Saint Paul on Friday night so, naturally, I grabbed a friend and we made our way to the show.

Unfortunately, due to poor planning on our part, we were a bit late to the show and walked in as Young Culture was in the middle of their set. Although Young Culture was a brand new band to me, they had me hooked within the first few seconds of their set that I caught. Their pop-punk sound rang through the speakers and hit me straight in the heart. The modest yet mighty crowd seemed to be in the same spot that I was as far as not knowing who this New York-based band was but that didn’t stop anyone from having a great time during their quick opening set. You could feel an undeniable sense of admiration for this band radiate from the audience and it was hard not to get lost in it but their set was over before I knew it and I was left wanting so much more from this band. Sure, Young Culture was not on my radar as I walked into the show on Friday night but their name and sound were still ringing in my head as I woke up on Saturday morning.

Following Young Culture was another band I had never heard of, Cemetery Sun. Much like the first band (and the other two bands on the bill), Cemetery Sun’s sound was pop-punk based but also took elements from everything from R&B to electronic to a more standard alternative rock sound. Although a bit more commercial feeling that I tend to like, I found something completely infectious about this band’s sound and stage presence. They commanded everyone in the audience with a sense of ease and as if they weren’t even trying for it. I’ll be honest, there wasn’t much room to move around on stage for any of these bands just due to the amount of gear everywhere yet somehow Cemetery Sun was able to get a sense of energy going in the room that really set the tone for the rest of the evening. Much like Young Culture, I found myself completely wrapped up in Cemetery Sun’s set and, before I knew it, they were leaving the stage and I was left wanting so much more. 

girlfriends is one of those bands that started popping up on my playlists lately and I just had to know more. Every song I heard from them hooked me and seemed to just speak to me so I was stoked when they announced this show and they were honestly one of the main reasons I was at this particular concert on Friday night. Although I loved their music and was excited to see them perform live, I had spent zero time looking into this band so I was a bit confused as they took the stage and I put it together that their vocalist is Travis Mills (also known as T. Mills) from back in the Myspace days. Although it took me a second to settle into the fact that, although I thought this band was brand new (which they kind of are), I have known of the vocalist for years, it’s didn’t take long for girlfriends to grab the entire audience in the palm of their hand. Like the other bands, the pop-punk vibe is strong with this band but it leans a bit more to a commercial pop song with their infectious beats that definitely get people moving. Again, the crowd was modest at best if I’m being honest and I feel like that may have affected the energy of all of the bands slightly but they made the best of it and, by the end of the set, girlfriends had the entire audience singing and dancing around while all smiling like fools.

Pennsylvania-based Grayscale was the headliner of this epic tour and definitely ended the Friday evening (I don’t even want to say night because they were on stage by 8:30 PM) strong. The icing on the cake, this band had the audience dancing and vibing until the very end of the set. I loved how every band on the bill brought something different to the table while all being in the same “style pool” and the order of it all was perfect. Although still highly energetic, Grayscale’s set was just a little bit more laid back and emotional musically yet was explosive when it came to the stage show. I feel like their light show and energy was almost a bit too big for the size of the Amsterdam stage but that made the night feel special. Grayscale (and all of the bands on the bill for that matter) is one of those bands that is clearly starting to hit their stride and I truly think that Friday night’s show may be the last chance anyone had to catch them on a more intimate stage as we did. Knowing that added a sense of excitement to their set that can’t quite be put into words but will also not be forgotten by any of the young people that decided to spend their Black Friday evening at the show.