Joey Valence & Brae Bring Endless Energy To A Sold-Out 7th Street Entry


I broke one of my cardinal rules for the show on Tuesday night. One of my biggest rules is if you don’t know the band you’re going to see, do not look them up. I feel like not knowing is half the fun, and it keeps doing this night after night feeling fresh. Obviously, there are times when I know the bands I’m going to see, but on the nights that I pick out a show on a whim, I like to show up and be surprised. Curiosity got the best of me when it came to Tuesday night’s show, and I spent a hot second watching a music video from the headlining act. It was a good thing I did because, had I not, I would have found myself in a spot in the intimate 7th Street Entry with an expensive camera at risk of being smashed to pieces. I knew I would get energy from the show, but I didn’t realize just how much energy the sold-out all-ages crowd would bring.

Sadly, that energy I speak of didn’t quite make it to the opener of SLOE JACK’s set, but I liked what he brought to the intimate venue on an early Tuesday night. SLOE JACK is from Australia, but not the fun, sunny, and beachy Australia we all know. He spoke about growing up in a town that was famous for two things- the town that swears more than any other town in the country and the town with the most crystal meth usage. Although neither of those things is much to be proud of, SLOE JACK (AKA Jack Garritty) talked about how he probably wouldn’t be where he is today without growing up in those often harsh conditions. He honestly didn’t just talk about that; he showed it as he performed every song during his thirty-minute set with a sense of fire and ferocity that I instantly fell head over heels for.

Stylistically, SLOE JACK is a bit of Limp Bizkit meets Yungblud but with a strong Beastie Boys influence. It was a cool vibe that sometimes felt redundant, but the way Jack presented it kept the set fresh. He tried his best to get the audience moving to his beats, but when that didn’t work, he took matters into his own hands and wrapped up the set from right in the middle of the audience. Although it was clear to see that he was struggling to get the audience to do what he wanted, I feel like you could tell the young crowd was into it. It was the way everyone’s eyes were glued to the stage or the way that, at any given time, you could see a flurry of cell phones in the air trying to snap photos and videos of the performer. Tuesday night was SLOE JACK’s first time in the Twin Cities, and whether he noticed it or not, I think he would easily be able to bring everyone in attendance on Tuesday night back to his next show due to the energy and love he brought to that stage.

Even after watching the music video from headliners Joey Valence & Brae, I didn’t quite understand the hype behind this show. Don’t get me wrong– their music is fun. It’s very much a Beastie Boys-styled hip-hop vibe but with a modern twist, but I don’t think it was fully the music that had everyone out on a Tuesday night– it was their show. It’s crazy how the kids in the crowd went from just standing around and waiting while a DJ prefaced the set to exploding into a sweaty mess of limbs and smiles within just seconds of this duo kicking into their headlining set but I loved it and it gave me hope for the future of music.

Joey Valence and Brae is the hip-hop duo made up of Joseph Bertolino and Braedan Lugue. These two released their first single, “Crank It Up”, back in 2021 and I feel like it has been a whirlwind for them ever since. As mentioned, their brand of hip-hop is very Beastie Boys-influenced, but it’s so much more than that. I picked up on everything from punk tendencies to EDM-styled beat drops throughout their set. Sure, like SLOE JACK, there were moments throughout Joey Valence and Brae’s set where I felt that the music was a wee bit redundant, but they did every song with such a sense of heart and energy that I could look past that.

I may have been plastered to the side wall of the venue due to having that aforementioned camera strapped to my neck, but that doesn’t mean I longed to be in the pit where people were flailing and pushing their way through the set. It was a respectable push pit that instantly made me drop into a world of nostalgia where, when I was younger, I would spend all of my time at shows getting as sweaty as possible. Although years have gone by, and now I fear breaking a hip or breaking my glasses (come on, glasses are expensive!) and I rarely get into a pit like the one on Tuesday, the amount of fun that everyone seemed to be having definitely had me teetering on the edge of checking my camera and glasses and going for it. I refrained, but the fact that Joey Valence and Brae had me debating this is a huge nod to the energy that had taken over the 7th Street Entry.