“You have received a half-off discount on your next ride with Lyft”
This is how my night began on December 28th. On my agenda for the evening stood two major tasks: attend the Night Moves concert, but (in the way) stood the looming challenge of finding a way to the Night Moves concert. This day will forever go down in history for a variety of reasons: for one, I found this show to be absolutely outstanding, but we cannot dive any further into 12/28/19 without discussing how every road, highway, and sidewalk in the Twin Cities was turned into pure ice for most of the day. Travelling, even of the minor sorts, was a challenge. Luckily – Lyft gives coupons and thus I had a lightbulb moment of sorts.
I got dropped off as soon as Free Music started their opening set. Based out of the Twin Cities, the lone wolf act consists of William Statler and his outstanding dry humor, a few keyboards, and a MacBook. When I saw him I immediately thought of John Lennon due to Statler’s composure and hairstyle, but then I looked down and realized he wasn’t wearing shoes – while performing! Talk about being comfortable on stage and just being yourself. To cap the stage appearance, Statler has this nonchalant yet well polished sense of dry humor that I’ve yet to see on a musical stage. He’d ask us what time it was, what time he came on stage, and then would make up the amount of time he had left in his set between songs as joking updates; oddest of all – he didn’t even announce who HE was when he took the stage! As for the sound, Free Music is a whole lot of everything when it comes to their music. At times it sounded like the theme music to the video game Halo, or the intro to a Pink Floyd song, but then would segue into something out of a late 90’s Rap instrumental. It always comes down to taste, I’d imagine, but no matter what I’d recommend checking Free Music out once to experience something almost out of this world.
Second up we had Kansas Plates. The group, consisting of Patrick Horigan, Zoach Brose, Cole Pulice, Kyle Berman, and Zack Warpinksi sat around in a half circle and consisted of two guitars, a bass, drums, and a saxophone. There’s no succinct way to describe the sound of Kansas Plates besides chill. They produce a sound that is a concoction of easy-listening and psychedelic. Throughout their set, their melodies and overall vibe had me revisiting memories of old, with a curious nostalgia and chill of the spine with each verse of the saxophone and strum of a guitar.
The main performance eventually made way, as Night Moves took stage. Leading the locally founded rotating ensemble (as usual) was John Pelant (vocals) and Micky Alfano (bass). I want to cut right to the chase – Night Moves became one of my favorite artists of 2019 that night – they are that good. Growing up, I listened to a lot of MGMT, Foster the People, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, etc., and in my notes I had noted a resemblance all of those at some point or another. So, as for their sound, Pelant’s fantastic lyrics and spectacular yet curiously chilling voice gave me goosebumps several times. Additionally, the group has an impeccable ability to segue from dreamscape-sounding jams to chilling, nostalgic rock – making my jaw hit the floor almost every song. At one point, my notes were turning into “wow,” “WOW,” and “this is amazing;” It was a pleasant surprise after pleasant surprise. In other words, Imagine a lovechild between MGMT’s “Pieces of What” and Steve Miller Band’s “The Joker” – that is the best way I could describe this band’s music, but nothing will give them proper justice besides just listening to them. Eventually, during the song “Mexico,” lead singer John Pelant showed off his piano skills on top of the singing and strumming we had normally seen. It was around this time that I realized how focused in the crowd was. The venue was sold out, and the concert goers were packed like sardines. Not only was every up close and personal with each other, but they were almost a single body as the crowd was often singing along and cheering between every song.
At this point I am convinced that I am falling behind on some train that has already been gaining steam. It appears Night Moves is getting more and more momentum – and I am officially a part of the bandwagon. By the time I was leaving the show, I wanted to stay back and slow-clap the guys off stage. I won’t miss their next performance if I can help it, or the roads ice over again! The group doesn’t have any upcoming shows, but don’t let that stop you – Check them out as soon as you can. For a shortcut HERE’S a link to their YouTube page