After an amazing show on Wednesday night, I was ready for another. Although shows have been a bit slow due to the holidays, I am more than ready to jump back into my normal life of showsing every single night so of course I went out last night. Thankfully, last night’s show was one I had been looking forward to since my brother mentioned it. I had hyped the show up in my mind and, when it was all said and done, it exceeded all of my expectations.
The show started with Drones who are definitely in my top five favorite local bands right now. With a very Dillinger Four inspired pop-punk sound yet still keeping a very unique sound, this trio took the stage and instantly commanded the crowd with ease. Although their set was all too short for my liking, Drones definitely packed a punch with the time they were given. If someone had walked into last night’s nearly sold out show not knowing who Drones was, they definitely left with a new favorite local band as I did the first time I saw them. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to catch Drones many times this year but I hope to catch them more often next year!
I think I have seen the next band to take the stage at least twenty times this year but I’m not complaining. Arms Aloft is a staple in my daily playlist so why shouldn’t they be a band that I go see over and over again. Although I have yet to hear a new song from them, seeing them live never gets old and last night was no different. After a short delay due to technical difficulties, Arms Aloft jumped right into their set full of punchy pop-punk songs and their unique brand of self-deprecating humor that, if you’re not used to it, can completely catch you off guard.
Although the Eau Claire based group didn’t play any new songs, they played tried and true classics alongside some more b-side leaning songs. It really didn’t matter what they were playing, I just enjoy listening to them and watching the band member’s chemistry on stage. Their self-deprecating humor was on point last night. As with all of the other times I’ve seen them, singer Seth Gile always has a few choice words to say about his own preparation for his gigs. Thursday night was no different and multiple times he explained to the crowd that he hadn’t practiced lately because he blacked out the holidays. The crowd chuckled as he talked about how he wishes he could wish everyone a happy new year but, let’s be honest, next year won’t be much brighter than this year. That brutal honesty and apparent lack of self-confidence is something that had me in love with this group the first time I saw them. All four members come off as real humans with real issues and that’s a bit refreshing when you sometimes find yourself in a world of rockstars and fake smiles.
Closing out the night was Madison, Wisconsin based (although when performing they somehow have New York accents) Masked Intruder. Now, if you’ve never heard of Masked Intruder before, let me give you a brief background on the band. The four band members wear different colored ski masks on stage hiding their identity. You have Intruder Blue, Intruder Green, Intruder Yellow, and Intruder Red. The story goes that Intruder Blue and Intruder Green met while doing a stint in jail for robbing a band. So basically, the members of Masked Intruder are back robbers on the run from the law. You still with me? Well, when you have masked robbers, there’s bound to be a cop somewhere… right? That’s where Officer Bradford comes in. Officer Bradford is a cop that follows the band around to make sure they don’t steal anything from audience members and to give the band and audience members a hard time. If I’ve lost you, I apologize but it’s just something you have to see for yourself.
Masked Intruder’s music is fast and packs a punch with short songs that make you want to push the people around you a little bit. This fast-paced music mixed with the lyrics that typically revolve around love is a bit of a juxtaposition but somehow it works. Although you don’t see the members’ faces while they are playing, there’s a personal aspect to their live shows that makes you feel like you are watching some of your best friends perform on stage. With the crowd dancing their butts off and singing along to every word, Masked Intruder powered through their nearly hour long set playing through their 2012 self titled release (the album play through was the crowd’s Christmas present) along with a couple of covers and miscellaneous songs.
Throughout the set, Officer Bradford could be spotted dancing his way through the packed crowd. It seemed as if he was dancing with absolutely every person he came close to including myself. Multiple times he grabbed me (and other people in the audience) by the shoulders and started making us sway to the music and with him. Cheesy? Sure. But honestly it got absolutely everyone in the audience moving and it was impossible not to laugh about some of the dance moves he had people doing. Half way through the set, Officer Bradford lost his police officer’s uniform and showed off his old school wrestling outfit (you know the one with the skinny suspender like things holding up nothing more than a piece of fabric covering his bits) only the outfit had nothing covering his ass. This didn’t stop him from still jumping in the crowd although this time people tried their best to avoid him. Again, cheesy? Yes. Absolutely hilarious? Yes.
Although they played a fairly lengthy set, time seemed to move too fast and I was definitely a bit disappointed when the band announced their last song. Masked Intruder is one of those bands that I could watch over and over again and not get bored with them. They make audience members move and interact and that’s something that many bands aren’t able to do.
I saw a friend post something last night regarding the fact that there are no shows going on right now. This is false. It may be the dead of winter but some of the warmest places are your local venues. Go to a show you know nothing about. Get out of the house and and stop being a little baby about the cold. There’s plenty of live music out there. You just need to go find it.