Maps & Atlases Kick Off Tour At 7th Street Entry And Help Get Us Back To The Real World After A Three- Day Weekend


The day after a three day weekend is never an easy day to get through. Having to wake up, go to work and get back to your normal mundane life instead of barbecuing with friends and spending days in overly hot parking lots while drinking cold beers and listening to some great local music is a very harsh reality to come to terms with. Thankfully, I had a show last night that was sure to make me forget my dislike of having to go back to the real world on Monday.

YANA opened the show with a truly unique sound that had me more intrigued in just one song than most bands can have me within an entire set. Based on the words spraypainted onto the bass drum, I’m going to go ahead and assume that YANA stands for “You Are Not Alive” which was more than enough to peak my interest. There’s something deep and aggressive about that statement yet something painfully mysterious about it. Before I heard the music, I had an idea of what it would be in my head. I had conjured up an entire set in my mind and was quite surprised when the three piece kicked in and their sound and look matched exactly what I had been thinking but it also threw me for a loop because it was unlike anything I had ever heard.

YANA’s music, as mentioned, is unique. They are not your typically 2/4 band where you can constantly nod your head or tap your toe along to the beat but their music is still catchy. With heavy reverb on the vocals and a guitar tone that, at times, had me wondering where they were hiding the keyboard that was playing the notes, everything about this band had me hooked. They sound like a few artists out in the indie-rock scene today but there’s something that catapults YANA into their own little genre of indie-rock meets drone music meets garage punk meets the sound of a broken down carnival– get where I’m going with this? There may be no way to classify this local group and that’s more than fine with me. Their short set left me confused, intrigued and wanting so much more from this group. It made me think and it had me on my toes. Kudos to this band for standing out in such an over-saturated local scene. I truly can’t wait to catch them again and drag all of my friends along for the ride.

The only other band on the Tuesday night bill was Maps & Atlases. Since 2004, this Chicago based group has been putting out unique indie music that seems to blur the lines between math rock, folk, punk, alternative– again, you see where I’m going with this. I’ve seen Maps & Atlases a couple of times now and am always impressed by their pure musicianship and talent. Watching singer Dave Davison as the taps through complicated yet whimsical lines of notes on his guitar is nothing short of captivating. He does it with a sense of concentration and precision that just isn’t seen much at the shows I find myself yet there’s still a fun-loving vibe about this group’s set every time I see them. Much like YANA, Maps & Atlases is very intrigued to me. Not just their music but also the vibe they give off while playing. It’s different than majority of the shows I go to but it’s an atmosphere that I just can’t get enough of.

Tuesday night’s show was the first night of a run of shows promoting Maps & Atlases newest album ‘Lightlessness is Nothing New’ which comes out in just a couple of days. It was kind of an honor to be their first stop on the tour. Dave explained that he was so glad to be starting this tour in Minneapolis and being able to experiment with new songs in such a hospitable place. I mean, it’s true, Minnesota Nice is a thing but it seems to be magnified when at intimate venues like The 7th Street Entry. Instead of people acting like the show was a social hour, everyone stood in silence as the band play through their extensive set of both old and new songs. Between each song was polite clapping and cheering. When the band played older, more recognizable songs, the crowd would cheer with the first couple of notes but quickly silence as to not miss a single movement or note on stage. I was a bit confused why this Chicago band would kick off their tour in Minneapolis but after seeing how polite the crowd was and how much respect was flying through the air, it all made sense.

Last night wasn’t an overly exciting show but it was perfect. Going to shows and getting lost in mosh pits and coming home with battle wounds is amazing. It’s definitely an experience. But sometimes it’s nice to go to a show where it’s strictly about the music and being a community of people who come together through said music. Last night wasn’t crazy but it was perfect.