In those quiet winter months when Minnesotans suffer from cabin fever, some musicians brave icy roads and head out on tour. jeremy messersmith takes the “work smarter” approach and set up a 4 night residency at Minneapolis’ Icehouse. But unlike Britney Spears’ residency in Las Vegas each show pairs him with different collaborator and has a very distinct feel. Last night’s show had a string theme that saw jeremy perform with the Laurel Strings.
Starting the evening was Jillian Rae who managed to transition from country, to blues to indie rock with a Prince cover added in the space of 6 songs. And none of it felt forced, it just flowed naturally.
Set List: Somebody / Wanderlust / Nebraska / Heartbeat / Doves / Chains
Duluth’s Gaelynn Lea was up next. I had seen her a few times before, but this time she had a full band as they just wrapped up recording her new album. Lea always has been a fascinating performer and the band combined with her looping to a new sound for her. She retains her sense of humor introducing a Finnish dance with “I know you are not into dancing”
“Dillinger Eyes” was my gateway drug to jeremy messersmith. I had heard his songs on the radio and know about him but it wasn’t until I covered his show for the first time a few years back, that this song caught my ears and I started to listen more closely. messersmith is a great live performer. He does his stuff with a quiet confidence and charm. No fancy light effects, no gimmicks. If you follow him on twitter or listen closely to the lyrics, you know he’s witty and then some. His cover of Lana Del Rey’s “High by the Beach” was great and was enhanced by his story of getting her CDs from his record company and now giving it away at the show.
He played a few songs from his new CD, out “sometime this year” and they sounded very promising. My personal favorite was another cover: Robyn’s “Call your Girlfriend”. It’s a song I always enjoy and messersmith turned it into a soft ballad. Did it work? Well seeing a few couples spontaneously hug during the song, I’d say yes!
All said, a very enjoyable evening. I’ve run out of comments on how great the Minnesota music scene is <Insert your own fabulous comment here>.
Set List: It’s Only Dancing / High By The Beach / John The Determinist / Don’t Call It Love / Olive And Horace Break Out Of The Nursing Home / Organ Donor / Repo Man / Knots / Bullin / A Girl, A Boy And A Graveyard / Everything Is Magical / Someday, Someone