Another night with another snowstorm looming in our future, the people at last night’s show were clearly trying to get one more party in before we all hunker down for what’s sounding like nearly a foot of snow. Add the fact that each band that played absolutely killed it and you get a hell of a Friday night. People were rowdy and ready to party. The 9:50 PM start time only enhanced that and by the time the doors opened to get in to see the Reckless Ones and the music started, people were already in Minnesota winter mood trying to get all of the socializing in that they could.
Per usual, I really knew nothing about any of the bands playing last night (other than the middle band who I had seen before and had been dying to see again) but I wanted a show I could walk to from my apartment so I didn’t have to lose my prime parking spot (the parking in my neighborhood is currently a joke due to the copious amounts of snow) so after a couple of drinks with a friend, I grabbed my bag and stumbled my way down to the Uptown VFW. After getting into the show and grabbing another drink that I clearly didn’t need, I claimed my spot against the wall near the stage. I noticed an upright bass laying on the stage and instantly got excited. What can I say, I’m a sucker for the upright bass.
Locals Teenage Exorcist were up first and they wasted no time jumping into their rockabilly fueled set that was topped off with a whole lot of energy. Their set moved fast but it definitely left a last impression. I’ve always dabbled in the rockabilly/ psychobilly scene but really haven’t found a way to completely dive in. I guess I honestly didn’t realize there was a local scene for that kind of stuff but the way the audience was cheering for Teenage Exorcist made it clear that there is a definitely a scene up here. The atmosphere in the venue side of the VFW was super bright and cheery. It was friends meeting up with friends and strangers turning into friends. Teenage Exorcist’s music was the perfect soundtrack to everything that was going on. Although the group demanded your attention with the unspoken energy that they were giving off, their music and vibe also allowed you to catch up with friends while grabbing another round. I walked into last night’s show completely blind to a whole scene here in the Twin Cities but Teenage Exorcist opened my eyes to it and I can’t wait to dive in a bit a deeper.
After a leisurely set change and the quick filming of a cheesy commercial for the VFW (yeah, it was super cheesy but also super cute and I’m so happy that people were willing to help out such a great place by being part of the video) it was time for Liquor Beats Winter. Their name alone was perfect for last night and described what was going on perfectly but their music and performance is what nailed it. I caught Liquor Beats Winter a couple springs ago at a local block party and instantly fell in love with their vibe and music but hadn’t found a chance to catch them since. I wasn’t going to let last night pass me by and, although it has been years since I’ve seen this group, I instantly remembered why I loved them the first time I saw them. Their music is unique. A bit blues, a bit punk, a bit rock all wrapped in a bow of swagger and quirkiness, this is a band that deserves to be at the top of the local scene. Their music feels a bit dirty if you can even use that word to describe music. The gritty vocals, harmonica, and trumpet all make Liquor Beats Winter so much more than just another garage band. Time was moving fast and with me pulling double duty for the other blog (doing photos on top of writing this) and the amount of liquor running through my system, it seemed like just as soon as I was satisfied with the pictures I had gotten, the band was clearing off the stage and making way for the headliner.
Closing out the super fun Friday night show was Reckless Ones from California and Minnesota (they share a bass player with opener Teenage Exorcist). I’m pretty sure I’m was the only one at this show who had never heard of or seen these guys before. All of the conversations between Liquor Beats Winter’s and these guys’ sets seemed to involve the phrase “I know! It’s been so long so I’ve seen them too! So excited that they came back!” Although there had been a feeling of excitement and rowdiness in the room throughout the night, it seemed to peak for Reckless Ones and as soon as the trio took the stage, it made sense to me.
Reckless Ones are definitely a rockabilly band but they definitely have a modern twist on it. Maybe it’s the lyrics, maybe the tempo, maybe their look, I honestly don’t know what it is but everything about their music seems very fresh while clearly nodding to the roots of the rockabilly scene. Something about this trio’s stage set-up seemed weird to me but it wasn’t until my friend pointed out the drummer that I realized why. All lined up in essentially a straight row across the front of the stage, my friend mentioned that the drummer was standing up while playing. Well, game over, that’s where my eyes were majority of the time. I was in awe as I watched him doing everything including a kick drum while standing up. Don’t get me wrong, all three of the musicians were killing it and it was obvious that each of them brought a different vibe and style to the table which makes Reckless Ones’ music so unique. There wasn’t a single moment during their set where I felt bored and felt compelled to get another drink. Between them and the couple dancing together in front of me (and nailing absolutely every move with ease– think swing dancing kind of– I mean, it was awesome), I was absolutely captivated until the bitter end of the show.
There’s a snow storm coming. You can feel it in the air. Chances are I won’t make it to my show tonight since it’s across town and I drive a go-kart for a car (no, not kidding, my car is tiny) but, you know what? That’s okay. Usually I go into concert withdrawals with one night off but the high I got from last night’s show should keep me going for a couple of days.