I almost didn’t make it to the show Friday night. A mix of exhaustion from my first week doing shows every night to the discouragement I was feeling with seeing news of new mandates and my mind taking that and running with it to all the worst scenarios as it tends to do, I honestly would have been so content just ordering some pizza and going to be before the sun even went done but that’s not my style. You all know that. Well, it’s not my style and I’m low key embarrassed that I have lived in the Twin Cities for almost fifteen years not and have never seen Run Westy Run. Friday night was my chance to finally see this legendary band and no exhaustion or bad attitude was going to keep me from it so I rallied and made my way to the beautiful Turf Club in Saint Paul.
According to their Bandcamp, opening act Lunch Duchess is “baroque-grunge” and honestly, I couldn’t think of a better way to describe this unique band’s sound. From the get-go, I was absolutely captivated by the dreamy and slightly unstable pop tones that radiated from the stage. I don’t know what it was about this band but I was absolutely stuck in the palm of their hand throughout their set. The music isn’t quite for me as I felt it was a bit too dreamy at times and the vocals were just way too quiet for my personal preference (what can I say, I’m a lyrics lady) but, even with those things running against them, Lunch Duchess had me caught. I think it was a mixture of never knowing what was going to come next from this band. Was it going to be a bit of a 90’s R&B vibe or an explosion of sound with tender vocals cascading over the clash of instruments. I’m not going to question it. I fell in love with Lunch Duchess last night and that’s seriously all that matters.
With only two acts on the show,. you would have thought the night moved fast but it seemed to drag as the time between acts stretched. Even though I was starting to fade, knowing that I was finally going to cross Run Westy Run off of my list kept me going and I was re-energized by the time they took the stage. Now, full disclosure, I know very little about this band other than the fact that they used to be kings of the scene. I constantly see their name associated with Hüsker Dü and R.E.M. I know they are from an era I wasn’t a part of but always felt like I should have been and that had sparked the interest in me. As the band took the stage, I felt my excitement reach in palpable level. Thankfully, the band wasted no time and jumped right into what would turn into a lengthy and amazing set.
I had an idea of what I was going to get from Run Westy Run and I was pretty much dead on but this band is truly something to see live. Beyond their legendary and classic 90’s rock sound that had me smiling from ear to ear (I’m a 90’s baby through and through) was the amount of personality that radiated from the stage. Although a bit older than most of the bands I go see on a daily basis, this band radiated fun and energy like I hadn’t experienced lately. From dancing to joking around on stage, I loved how, although a big name here in the Twin Cities who has probably played the stage at the Turf Club countless times, they still enjoy being on stage and entertaining the audience. Not only were the band members dancing, so was the audience and there was absolutely no end in sight. Their set was long but so fun and, although I didn’t know all of the songs, it was clear that every song was a hit to the audience that was clearly full of superfans.
I found myself constantly shifting from watching the stage to watching the audience. No matter where I looked, there were smiles and people dancing which made me smile and dance. None of us know what is going to happen in the near future and things are surely going to continue to be weird and always changing but, if you find nights like the night I had on Friday night, you might just forget everything that’s going outside with the virus, the smoke in the air, whatever else it is. Everyone needs those kinds of nights and that kind of night was provided to me by Lunch Duchess and Run Westy Run.