Do you ever dream about inviting some of your favorite bands to play an intimate show just for you and your friends? Well, that’s exactly what 3 Floyds Brewing seemed to have done on Tuesday night as legendary grindcore band Napalm Death took over the super intimate Turf Club in Saint Paul. A celebration of good music and amazing beer, I seriously can not thank everyone involved enough for bringing such a stellar show to Saint Paul and will continue to do so throughout this post so brace yourself.
The Twin Cities’ own Sunless got the night started off with a short yet super impressive set. Sunless is one of those bands that doesn’t give you much to look at when playing but the number of things to pay attention to musically is absolutely overwhelming. Each of the three members of this band seemed to be in their own little world playing their own little line of notes yet somehow the three parts come together perfectly to create a powerful and heavy sound. Although I found it hard to find a traditional beat throughout their set, I loved how there were moments of familiar patterns followed by perfectly controlled chaos. Although their set only lasted around thirty minutes, I was left almost exhausted by trying to catch everything happening on stage and, although I wanted more from this band, I was so ready for what was to come next.
Although Pig Destroyer has been around since 1997, Tuesday night’s performance was apparently only their second time in the Twin Cities and I was beyond thankful to be there to experience it. This Virginia-based grindcore band is one of those bands that, even if you don’t know their music, chances are you have seen their logo somewhere. They have a bit of a cult following and that was made quite clear as the audience erupted within the first song of their set. Pig Destroyer kept the energy level that Sunless had laid out high but changed it ever so slightly. Whereas Sunless seemed to have moments of intention and technicality, Pig Destroyer’s set was pure chaos from beginning to end. I don’t mean that there was no technicality in this band. Although my viewpoint wasn’t the greatest to watch drummer Adam Jarvis, it was obvious that he was playing his heart out behind that kit with complicated and dizzying fills. Whether you picked up on their grindcore vibe or the almost noise-inspired moments throughout their set or just the overall energy and chaos of it all, Pig Destroyer’s set was absolutely perfect. I honestly had not realized that this was only their second time in the cities and I can not thank 3 Floyds Brewing enough for bringing them through!
Even though i had just seen Napalm Death live over the winter when they came through with Gwar, I wasn’t going to miss another chance to see them perform. The fact that it was at The Turf Club was definitely an added benefit. Much like Pig Destroyer, Napalm Death is one of those bands that, even if you don’t know their music, you know their name and logo. Hailing from England, Napalm Death has been doing their thing since 1981 and there is clearly no stopping them. From the way bassist Shane Embury’s curly hair bounces with the vibration of the drums to the way vocalist Mark Greenway literally can not stand still throughout their set, nothing ever seems to change about this band and I love the feeling of comfort that comes with that. Much like during Pig Destroyer’s set, the energy on the stage was mirrored perfectly by the excited audience. Pushing and shoving mixed with people probably just in awe about seeing such a legendary band in such an intimate space, I loved that every spot throughout the club had a different feeling but one thing that was the same throughout was just the appreciation for the evening.
I couldn’t tell you what songs that Napalm Death played or even how many they gave the appreciative audience but I can tell you that it wasn’t enough. Although I have seen Napalm a few times now, Tuesday night’s performance just felt so much more special than the others. Whether that was due to the intimacy of the venue or just my overall mood and where my head was at during the day (more on that to come), something about their set on Tuesday came off as flawless, personable, and amazing.
I ran into a friend just before Napalm Death took the stage and she said something that I feel like really put the night into perspective and helped me move from journalist to fan during Napalm Death’s set (hence why I couldn’t tell you what songs they played or any super detailed things like that). She said, “There’s a lot to be angry about today” and it just really struck a chord with me. Although women were few and far between throughout the show, I think all of us that were there and aware of what had transpired recently really needed the show on Tuesday night just to let off some steam.
I again, can not thank the people of 3 Floyds Brewing enough for bringing this amazing show to town and can not thank the staff at The Turf Club enough for making sure that everyone had a good time during the show. It honestly didn’t feel real and it is a show that will not soon be forgotten by anyone in attendance.