I almost took last night off from shows. There wasn’t anything on the local venue calendars that I had to go see and with a couple impending snow storms that are sure to make life up here a living hell, I planned on using my night to stock up on groceries and get ready to hunker down with the cats. The more I thought about it, the more miserable I felt. I knew that with snowstorm after snowstorm due to hit the Twin Cities throughout this weekend, getting to my scheduled shows across town may be a bit of task and Tuesday night may be my last chance to get to a show until next week. I went back through the calendars and waited for something to catch my eye. A name, a picture, whatever, I just needed something to intrigue me. That’s when I saw the name ‘Le Butcherettes’ on the Turf Club calendar. I didn’t need to read anything else. I was sold.
Novacron kicked the night off as the sole local band on the three band line-up. Although not new to the scene (they used to be called Jet Lags), they were new to me yet I instantly recognized the three members of this band from various other local groups. I was excited as soon as I placed the faces to bands the likes of Gay Witch Abortion and Seawhores. I knew that with the creativity that flowed through those bands alone, this trio was sure to have me captivated within seconds and they did not disappoint. Novacron’s music was chaotic and frantic but not to the point of inducing a panic attack. Their unique blend of noise, punk, and good old fashion rock n’ roll made for a truly memorable set full of music that, although unlike anything I had ever heard before, sounded so perfect. The heavy distortion mixed with the complicated drum patterns played flawlessly and the bendy notes (yes, I’m sure there’s a better word for this but you know what I’m talking about- when the guitarist looks like he’s trying to bend his guitar in half creating a bendy note sound) was the perfect soundtrack to kick the night off with.
Four piece California based punk rockers Stars at Night were up next and, much like Novacron, I was captivated the second this group took the stage. An undeniable sense of fun-loving energy took over the crowded Turf Club and I instantly found myself in my happy place. Having never heard of these guys prior to last night’s show, I honestly had no expectations but, even if I had had expectations, they would have easily surpassed them. The almost Riot Grrrl attitude was mixed with a sound that refuses to be classified as a single genre left the audience moving and grooving along to the beat while keeping their eyes on the stage as to not miss a single movement from these four women. Although each member was entertaining to watch and clearly brought something to the stage that stood out, it was lead vocalist Janelle Obert that had me with my jaw on the ground. Her voice could be on Broadway with the incredible range she possesses and the way her face refuses to hide her emotion while singing. All four of the band members had a clear passion for the craft which, although it seems like every band should have it, you just truly don’t get out of all opening acts.
Unfortunately I was unable to find much information on this group online but honestly, there’s nothing I could write that would convey the amount of fun I had while watching them perform. It was one of those sets that once it was said and done, I instantly grabbed my phone and texted my brother that he needed to check out Stars at Night. From the energy they brought to the table to the perfect musicianship that definitely stands out in a scene of bands that all seem to sound the same at times, they definitely are in the running for one of the best opening acts I’ve seen yet this year (and yes, I know it’s only February but I’m already over forty shows in so yes, this means something).
After the two opening bands, it was clear that I had made the right call on choosing this show over spending the night in but headliner Le Butcherettes was the icing on the cake. This Mexico based punk band took the stage with a sense of power and command that had yet to be seen from the previous two bands. Legendary (no, not kidding) vocalist Teri Gender Bender wasted no time in jumping into a dramatic spoken word intro that had the entire audience moving as close as they could to the stage. With an almost quirky Bjork vibe about her, Teri instantly became the only thing I could watch. There was a sense of intensity and almost aggression that radiated from her. With the red stripe of paint that crossed over her eyes, Teri had this intense stare that, if caught in the cross hairs, was enough to give you chills while still bringing you a sense of comfort in some strange way.
The music of this group is chaotic but every note and every word still has it’s place creating a truly dynamic sound. I was clearly the only one in the audience that was seemingly stunned by what I was seeing and hearing. With four full length albums out, Le Butcherettes is not a new band and it seemed like majority of the crowd had been following them for years by the way they were screaming along to every word. It was hard not to get lost in the crowd and the emotion that was flooding over the stage from the group. Sadly, all good things must come to an end and it seemed like as soon as I had gotten over the shock of just how amazing Le Butcherettes were, they were saying their farewells to the excited audience and jumping into their last song.
Much like the last snow storm where I decided to go to a show instead of going to the grocery store, I’m sure I’ll be living off of whatever I can scrounge up in my kitchen or whatever I can walk to from my apartment but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Tuesday night’s show was well worth it.