Michigander Continues To Own This Writer’s Heart


There were choices to be made last night. Viking metal, a night of nostalgic crying, or a band that I fell in love with years ago that I just can’t get enough of. It was a hard decision and although I had ruled out the Amon Amarth viking metal show just due to me being exhausted and wanting something a bit calmer for my Sunday, I kept on going back and forth between the nostalgia of The Rocket Summer and the wonder of Michigander. That’s when it hit me– sure, The Rocket Summer is great and I will always love that band but I’ve seen Michigander a couple of times now and every time I see them I get a warm and fuzzy feeling just because I’ve been able to watch the crowd grow every single time. Being able to see people catch onto this band meant more to me than getting lost in a cloud of nostalgia so, there I had it, I was going to the Michigander show and would just listen to The Rocket Summer all day and pretend like I was at that show.

Local Warren Thomas Fenzi kicked the night off with a quick but energetic opening set. I had never heard of Warren before so knew nothing about his music or style but instantly fell in love with his story telling. Yeah, the music was great and his band was nothing short of dynamic but there was something truly captivating about his lyrics and the way he told stories through his words. That was one of the things that had me madly in love with Michigander (the headliner of the night) so to have the show start off with that same strong sense of story telling as it would surely end with was a great way to start the night off. Although his set was super short (made to feel shorter just by how great it was), it definitely packed a punch. I don’t think it would be a stretch to say not many people that had gathered in the 7th Street Entry on Sunday night knew much (if anything) about this man but it’s also safe to say that they will be back to catch him again sooner rather than later. I know I will have my eyes glued to his calendar.

Following Warren Thomas Fenzi was a personal favorite of mine- Whosah. This band never fails to light up even the darkest room on the darkest day and, although yesterday was far from a dark day, the energy they brought to the stage and the venue was infectious and exactly what I needed to round out the amazing week I had just had. Although I never listen to them outside of seeing them live (which needs to change because that’s just silliness), Whosah played through songs that I instantly recognized and was even able to sing along to at points. The fact that I could do that after only seeing them live a couple of times says more about this band than any praise I could give them would. Although their set wasn’t without it’s technically difficulties, the band pressed through and had the entire audience dancing along to their infectious beats. If I had to pick ten bands to represent the Twin Cities music scene to the rest of the world, Whosah would most certainly be in that list.

The night had flown by and before I knew it, Michigander was taking the stage and getting ready to whisk me off to a dream world where I somehow felt weightless and free of all and any stress. Don’t you love it when a band hits you just right and makes you feel like that? I first saw this band when they opener for Flint Eastwood back in April of 2017. Vocalist Jason Singer had me absolutely captivated that night and it sparked something in me that has yet to calm down. There’s something about his voice that is innocent yet deep and meaningful. His lyrics, like that of Warren Thomas Fenzi, seem more like stories than just words tied to notes but, most of all, it’s his personality that really has me praying for the absolute best for Jason and his band. Much like the music, there’s just something so real and honest about Jason and his bandmates when on stage. There’s something hesitant and almost shy about Jason when he talks between songs but that all disappears the second he jumps into one of his songs.

From energetic and poppy to heartbreaking and slow, Michigander’s music is all over the place but it somehow always sounds like them. From recurring guitar licks to a strong and steady yet somehow distant drum beat, there’s something in each song that makes it clear who the song belongs to. Jason’s voice is smooth and silky yet has a sense of pain and almost aggression hidden behind it. I’ve heard a million amazing voices but there’s something truly special about Jason’s voice that, at a couple points last night, had me getting all choked up. You can literally feel his pain and his passion as he performs and, although the rest of the band is amazing, it’s hard to take your eyes off Jason as you watch him with his heart right there on his sleeve for you to see. I lost count of how many songs they performed but it had to have been just over a dozen and, let me tell you, it was not enough. I could have stood there for eight dozen more songs and still not be bored with the night or have had enough.

This weekend was insane. From being about to photographer two of my all time favorite bands to spending some quality time with friends. I feel like I got nothing done but had no free time. I was stressed when I left my apartment with the dishes piling up in my sink, the cat hair piling up on my floor, and the laundry spilling out of my hamper. Thank you to everyone that graced the stage last night. Even though it definitely didn’t get my dishes, laundry or chores done, it did get me a bit calmed down and ready for the week ahead.