2020 has been kicking my ass so far. I don’t know if any of you are feeling the same way, but I was in dire need of something to give me a break from adulting. When I heard about tonight’s show at 7th Street Entry, I knew it was the perfect opportunity for me to unwind and check out of the real world for a few hours. I didn’t care what type of music it was, as long as it got me out of the house!
I didn’t really know what to expect from tonight’s show. All I knew was that my friend, Alex Dunn, was playing in two of the bands, In Lieu and Harper’s Jar. I never listened to them (I know, what a great friend I am…), so I didn’t even know what genre they described themselves as. It wasn’t until I got to 7th Street Entry that I learned tonight’s line-up had a major grunge emphasis, it quickly occurred to me that shit was about to get rowdy in this venue!
First on the bill was In Lieu, a local 4-piece made up by Nikii Post (vocals/guitar), Mano Holgin (drums), Zac Morris (bass) and Alex Dunn (guitar). I was pleasantly surprised with the sound of this group. I loved the prominent bass tones that sounded so dirty and crunchy you could feel it shake your bones. Taking that and mixing it with the thunderous drum parts and guitar riffs/solos that kept each song driving forward immense energy, created the perfect opportunity for Post to focus on showcasing her vocal capabilities and talents as a lyricist. While she posted up (no pun intended) on the left side of the stage focusing on nailing her vocal lines (which she did), Dunn, Holgin and Morris took care of entertaining the audience as the filled in 7th Street Entry to support headliners, Partition, as they released their debut album.Thanks to In Lieu, the stage was set for what was yet to come in the grunge fest that was evolving inside 7th Street. Next up was the local trio, GRAMMA. They played so hard and loud you’d like their amps are turned up to 11. I became obvious after several 2-minute long songs that their goal wasn’t to impress the audience with their clever vocals. All they wanted to do was to put on a high energy show that allowed the audience to mosh around freely. I was surprised at how many people actually moshed and threw bows with each other. It’s been awhile since I’ve seen a half decent pit at 7th Street, so it was encouraging to see a little more angsty life get revitalized into these walls. If I wouldn’t have been carrying all my camera equipment, I certainly would have got in there for a few songs! After GRAMMA left the stage, it was time for Harper’s Jar to give the audience a performance none of them would forget. The well-known Minneapolis punk trio, has gathered a lot of chatter around town as they released their new song “home is a roach motel” just one day prior. After watching their set live, I can honestly say that this rare groups that actually has their shit together (musically, I’m not sure what their personal lives are like.) There wasn’t a moment in their set that felt awkward, you can tell that they had methodically rehearsed their songs to a T in preparation for this show. Each instrument sound had their own unique role to play in the songs. Whether it was to create a unique and complex drum beats for each song, provide a bass tone that invites you into the catchy rhythms, or replicating a voice that was eerily similar to that of Kurt Cobain’s. I can’t wait to hear what their debut album sounds like in the next couple of months (no set release date to my knowledge). It was finally time for the headliner, Partition, to take the stage. Tonight was a big night for the Minneapolis trio, as they were releasing their debut album, Prodigal Gun, which lead singer Taylor Nice had been working on this album since they were 17 (23 now). In a recent City Pages interview, Taylor opened up about their past experiences with drugs and mental health and how each of those experiences played a significant role in the creation of their album. However, reading about those struggles in an article and seeing/hearing how they personally conveys them through their art are two very different things.
Partition took the stage with glamour and theatrics that made their set one of a kind. Nice is really quite the stage performer, they encompass everything that is grunge. With a look that I can best describe as a Harly Quinn-esq, they command the attention of the audience with every movement. I could’ve been a facial expressions that made you feel like they were about to bite the head off a bat can or how they utilize the whole space They were occupying. The constant moshing along with the audience as they bash into each other just fed right back into Nice’s energy level causing them to topple over the drums and knocking over the toms and cymbals to end their set, They put on one of the most entertaining and hardcore shows that I’ve seen in a hot minute.Overall I was pleased with the impromptu decision I made to come to this show. It was a break from real life that I desperately needed. I wasn’t expecting this great of a show for a Tuesday night, but damn did the Minneapolis music scene surprise me once again.