It’s hard to be a live music junkie in the Twin Cities. On any given night there are multiple shows going on that I want, no, need to see. Last night there were choices to be made. Do I go see Blue October at First Avenue or trek out to Maplewood for The Word Alive? Having to say no to both of those damn near killed me but I had a friend playing a show and my friends are my family. As I always say, family comes first.
After grabbing some food and one too many drinks with a group of friends, we made our way to The Pourhouse in Minneapolis. I always love going to new venues because it’s like finding a whole new world with a lot of exploring to be done. I was in love with this venue and all of their nooks and crannies instantly. With two floors to explore and only a short amount of time before music, I snuck upstairs to look around a bit. My friend told me to push the bookshelf. I didn’t quite know what that meant but then I watched her literally go to one of the back walls upstairs that was home to a massive bookshelf and watched as she disappeared into the hidden room. I followed suit and found myself in a completely different atmosphere of a bar. Cheesy? Sure. But it was awesome and added a little bit of mystery to this venue that I was already in love with. After getting my bearings in the venue, I headed back downstairs to meet with my other friends. We got a drink, awkwardly waved to our friend behind the drumset, and prepared for what was to come.
Unfortunately, due to slowish service at dinner and the fact that there were six of us trying to coordinate everything together, I missed opening act Hot Pink Hangover. I was actually super bummed out over missing them since they have been on my list for awhile now. Everywhere I looked, there was someone with a Hot Pink Hangover button, shirt or sticker on and that made me even more bummed about missing them. My apologies to Hot Pink Hangover. You clearly killed it by the way the crowd was supporting you and it is completely on me for missing you guys.
Up next was Phoenix Philosophy and the whole reason my friends and I were braving the obnoxious insanity that is downtown Minneapolis on a Saturday night. TPP is a local rock band featuring my friend on drums. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect but that wasn’t the point. The point of last night was to support a friend. Honestly, the music could have been crap and my friends and I would have stuck it out just to support him. Thankfully, sitting through their set wasn’t like pulling teeth or a painful experience
TPP’s music isn’t quite my cup of tea but it was done well and I was more than impressed by them. There were a lot of elements of this band that shouldn’t have worked together but somehow created a perfect harmony and a great sound. My friend’s drumming seemed to steer the music a bit closer to the rock, almost heavy rock, scene. The female vocals from Stephanie took that driving drum beat and made the music lean a bit more towards the pop-punk scene. Singer and keyboardist Jesse had a very electronic style to him that added a whole other element to their music while Caio, the bassist seemed to take all of these elements and round out the sound with the finishing touches. Whether or not their music was exactly my cup of tea, all of these elements made for a sound that kept me on my toes and excited to hear what would come next.
Last night was a celebration for TPP. It was the release party for their debut full length album “Nocturnal”. I loved the fact that, even though this was a release party, the band wasn’t naggy about the fact that this album was on sale at the merch table. They brought it up once and were done with it. They let the music speak for itself and I feel like that’s something special especially for a local band. Too many bands throw these album release shows and, after every song, they remind the audience that the new album is for sale. Even though TPP didn’t bring it up too many times, their small merch table was swarmed after their set to the point where I never saw the band members again after their set.
Wrapping up the night was local act BlurCurve. They took the stage with a sense of power that definitely caught the people participating in the Harry Potter bar crawl who had made their way into the venue. They probably had no clue what they were getting into but many of the people dressed in capes and school outfits seemed to be drawn to the stage by the power of BlurCurve. Singer Alythia had a way to command the crowd whether the crowd wanted to be commanded or not. Their upbeat dance-pop numbers were the perfect sound for the bar crawlers to keep their night going and the perfect sound to end my night.
As it always goes, with five friends in tow, my friends were quickly becoming restless and were ready to move on. If you can’t tell, I really don’t get much time hanging out with my friends at night so I went along with them and, after just a couple of songs, we continued on to see what the rest of the night could bring.
Like so many other nights, there were decisions to be made regarding what show to go to last night. I’ll never know what those other shows were like last night but I’m okay with that. Being able to spend some time with friends while supporting another friend was better than any big show I could have chosen for the night.