Love the 90s? Nah, we’ll take the Present! Grouplove at First Avenue


While Vanilla Ice and Co catered to a rather suburban crowd at the Target Center next door, a much younger audience filled First Avenue. Grouplove’s tour promoting their new album “Big Mess” was in town.

First up was Dilly Dally a Canadian alt rock band. Members are    Katie Monks – guitar/vocals, Liz Ball – guitar, Jimmy Tony – bass and Benjamin Reinhartz – drums. They pretty much burst on stage and unleashed 30 minutes of ass kicking on an unsuspecting audience. Ball voice has a bit of Gwen Stefani (if she ever was punk and dangerour) vibe and the band’s sound feels a bit like Bully. It was a glorious hard rocking set that blasted whatever lethargy the audience may have had away. They received what in my memory are the loudest cheers for an non-local opening band in quite a while.

Muna was a change of pace. Composed of Katie Gavin, and guitarists Naomi McPherson, and Josette Maskin they were augmented by a bassist and drummer. Withing a few bars of their first song they had me….. Holy Crap! How had I not heard of this band before? Hailing from LA, the outspoken queer trio has caught the attention of RCA who signed them. They describe themselves as Dark Pop (with darker subjects) and to me there was a very distinct New Wave influence. Gavin has an oustanding stage presence and their whole set up works quite well. Check them out. I promise you if Muna gets back near the Twin Cities, I will be there to cover them (in a very non stalking way, of course)

Set List: Promise / So Special / I know a Place / Winterbreak / Crying on the Bathroom Floor / Loudspeaker

Grouplove has been on stead rotation with local Alt Radio Stations so the road was well paved for their show yesterday. After 2 fun opening bands, would they be able to raise the energy level? Spoiler Alert: Yes they did!

If the red / green hairdo of singers Hannah Hooper and Christian Zucconi, the leopard skin suit or the sneakers were not and indication of a fun filled set to come, “I’m With You” dispelled any doubts. The two move without seeming effort between instruments and roles. Lights were fantastic starting off low, being used to create silhouettes. The first highlight was “Tongue Tied” that had pretty much every one of the main floor of First Avenue bouncing up and down like a 2-year-old on a Red Bull High. A cover of the Beastie Boy’s “Sabotage” was a nice surprise and their current hit single “Welcome to your Life” closed out their main set in a firework of sound, lights and energy.

Set List: I’m With You / Good Morning / Itchin’ on a Photograph / Traumatized / Heart of Mine / Tongue Tied / Spinning / Let Me In / Cannonball / Bojack Horseman Theme / Do You Love Someone / Shark Attack / Hippy Hill / Borderlines and Aliens / Sabotage (Beastie Boys cover) / Welcome to Your Life Encore: Enlighten Me / Ways To Go / Colours