As incredibly excited as I was for this show, I always get nervous when I see that a show has more than one opener. I tend to have a short attention span, so having to sit through at least three different performances can be difficult, regardless of the talent I’m seeing. However, with this show, all the artists were engaging with a good set that wasn’t too long.
Towa Bird was the first opener, a rock artist with alternative/punk influences. They were accompanied by a bass player, guitarist, and drummer. Their energy was incredible, and they owned the stage like it was their own headlining show. I never got bored watching them perform because they constantly moved around on stage, and everything flowed smoothly. They immediately had a strong connection with the crowd and were interacting with them. At one point, the lead singer entered the pit and sang directly into the crowd, then went up and down the barricade, high-fiving fans in the front row. Their sheer musical talent and high energy made them stand out from other groups like them. I knew nothing about this band going into the show, so I went in with zero expectations, but I can confidently say that Towa Bird is worth giving attention to and worth any hype you may hear about them.
Alexander 23, the next opener, is someone I was familiar with going into the show. I was never an avid fan, but I was familiar with a few of his older songs. The two things that impressed me the most about Alexander were his love for his fans and his incredible vocal ability. Anyone there could tell he genuinely loved being there, performing his music, and seeing all his fans. He commented a few times on how great of a crowd Minneapolis always is and how he always looks forward to performing here, and you can tell that he genuinely meant it. While his music is much more low-key than Towa Bird, it doesn’t change that it’s still as heartfelt and engaging.
Reneé Rapp is undoubtedly an entire force of her own. The moment she walked on stage, she owned it and captivated the whole room with her voice. Her complete set was cohesive and had a consistent aesthetic. Her visuals throughout the show were an ever-changing collage of images that related thematically to each song she performed. Being in the same room as Reneé Rapp and witnessing her angelic voice in real time felt like an out-of-body experience. At one point, she sang her song Snow Angel, and I felt like my soul left my body and I was levitating about 3 feet off the ground. I knew Reneé was talented. I listened to her music for a while and knew she would be an incredible live performer. Nevertheless, her performance still managed to blow me away. What interested me was that I didn’t feel starstruck when she walked out on stage, but in the best way. It felt like seeing an old friend perform on stage, and I was overcome with pride the whole time. She was interactive and engaging with the audience and conversed with people in the crowd. I left the Fillmore that night feeling inspired and fulfilled.