Ho99o9 Finally Return And Make The Most Of Their Monday Night At The Varsity


I woke up on Monday and went straight to the beach. I had been in Miami over the weekend for a good friend’s bachelor party and was taking it all in one last time before hopping on a plane and coming back to north country. I’ll be honest, getting off the plane and walking into flurries was not a great way to get the motivation to hop back into reality for a couple of days before going to the next bachelorette party (literally over a dozen weddings for me this year– send energy drinks please!) but knowing that I had a show to get to shortly after landing helped keep me going and kept the exhaustion at bay for just a little bit longer.

Things were already popping off a bit as I walked up to the gorgeous Varsity Theater in Minneapolis on Monday. I had missed the excitement that led to someone being arrested but got the scoop from a friend who had gotten there much earlier than me. Not a thrilling story but someone had some attitude and words that they felt they had to give the police officer who was doing security for the night and they swiftly got ejected from the venue. Again, not a thrilling story which is a good thing but what a way to snap back to reality and a way to kick off a Monday night show.

Although I was under the impression there were only two acts on the night, I noticed as I was getting my ticket that there were three listed now and when I found out that the additional act was a local one, I got super excited. Killusonline took the stage promptly at 8 PM and jumped into their quick twenty-minute set with a weird but very cool vibe. Mory, the vocalist of this group, seemed to be more tired than I was as he sauntered onto the stage, His energy level never quite got to the point where I wish it would have but the rest of the band helped carry him through the set. Don’t get me wrong, his vocals were on point and I could even look past the fact that he had to read lyrics off for a new song from his phone but I couldn’t quite understand why the lack of outward energy when the music of this band is so chaotic. Much like the other two acts to take the stage, Killusonline’s style was a little rap, a little deathcore, and a whole lot of power which was just what I needed. Although their music is absolutely for a niche audience, I think this band has something and I hope that the next time I see them, Mory just has a little bit more energy to really be the icing on the cake.

Following Killusonline was N8NOFACE. I don’t really know why but, as soon as he took the stage, I was in love with this man. There’s something threatening about his stage presence but also something so comforting about it. I really don’t know how to explain it without you just going to see it for yourself. Gracing the modest audience with his synthpunk sounds, N8NOFACE had enough energy for everyone in the audience but still paid close attention to his music. One of my favorite moments of his set was when he told the crowd that he has been trying to do things that scare him and then proceeded to jump into an acoustic track. Although that song was honestly probably one of my less favorite from the set, I loved the passion that came with it and just the realness of that moment. Honestly, the entire set’s music wasn’t quite for me and I had a hard time figuring it out. There were moments that felt a little silly just with it being strictly vocals and synth (I had some Bob’s Burgers flashes throughout the set) but, at the same time, I just could not get enough of this man. He was energetic and emotive in all of the right ways and had me in the palm of his hand throughout his set. I may not be rushing to do a deep dive into N8NOFACE’s discography but I will absolutely be at his next show in town!

Headlining the Monday night show and the reason for me even going to a show instead of doing the responsible thing and going home to recover from a weekend out of town was Ho99o9 (pronounced Horror). I don’t remember how I stumbled upon this band but I have had the honor of catching them live a couple of times. It has been years and the most recent time I caught them was out of state. For some reason, they just seem to avoid the Twin Cities like a plague so I wasn’t missing the chance to catch them as they came through this time. I am not hooked on this band because of their music. Like N8NOFACE, their music is just a bit hard for me to understand at times. Sure, there are some tracks that I thoroughly enjoy listening to but the majority of the other songs just give me a headache if I’m being quite honest. All that being said, their live show is one that I live for and I was interested to see if it was going to be as effective with the smaller-than-expected crowd on Monday night.

Hailing from New Jersey, Ho99o9’s sound is a perfect blend of punk, rap, hip-hop, noise, punk, and a million other genres. It’s distinct, chaotic, in your face, aggressive, energetic– it’s just all over the place and something that must be heard to fully understand. Again, it’s not for everyone and I get that but there’s just something about their live show. It’s insane to me how much energy this trio can bring to the stage with just being a three-piece and it’s truly perfect. Notorious for crowd participation and crazy onstage antics, it was clear that the lack of a massive crowd had very little effect on their performance. The band blasted onto the stage and powered through their set without missing a single beat. Sure, there wasn’t any crazy stage diving or anything like I have seen them do in the past but their energy was mirrored by the small sweaty pit that had formed instantly in the audience.

Had it been any other band performing on Monday night, I would have passed out right on the floor of the venue due to my exhaustion level and the fact that I could physically and mentally feel my weekend catching up with me but Ho99o9’s music and energy were what I needed to power through the night and be able to wake up on Tuesday with a sense of energy, motivation, and ringing ears.