With majority of the holidays behind me, it’s time to get back in the swing of things. Having gone nearly a week without a show, my withdrawal symptoms were out of control. My apartment is clean, I’m all caught up on dishes, and I even did laundry before my dirty clothes hamper was filled to the brim. Yeah, I lead a boring life outside of my shows.
After a couple of drinks and some food at one of our favorite spots, my friends and I made our way through the bitter arctic tundra we call home. We entered The 7th Street Entry and were greeted with heat and far more people than any of us expected. Our timing was impeccable and as soon as we claimed a small area, local group Maudlin jumped right into their set.
Maudlin is the longstanding creative project of husband and wife duo David and Priscilla Priebe. Joined on stage by drummer Whelan Keenan, Maudlin treated the quickly growing crowd to danceable indie-pop songs that had a little bit of an edge to them. Priscilla had a very punk rock tone to her voice at times where as David had a very indie-pop smoothness about him. The two voices clashed beautifully over the instrumentation that leaned more towards your everyday rock band creating a unique sound.
Following Maudlin was Sleeping Jesus- a band I had seen before but was never quite impressed with. Well, something changed and I can officially say I’m a fan of this local group. The reason I was turned off from these guys the first time was the lack of energy in their live performance. Last night’s set was full of energy and the band actually outshined the sold-out audience in that department. It was clear that the band members were giving the audience everything they had but the crowd wasn’t quite reciprocating the energy. Everyone was just standing in their spots with a drink in hand and a smile on their face. Although the crowd wasn’t exciting to watch, the calmness that the audience was showing was actually a beautiful reflection of the music. With a gorgeous sound that resembles Death Cab For Cutie at times and Whitney at other times, Sleeping Jesus has a sound unlike any other local band out there right now.
Porno Wolves were up next and, although I have seen their name all over the cities for a couple of years now, last night was my first chance catching this incredible band live. Their sound mixed a little bit of everything from psychadelia to blues with a little bit of everything in between. The genre-bending sound of this group kept the set feeling fresh and interesting as each song seemed to hone in on a specific genre while keeping an overall upbeat and funky baseline behind it. Porno Wolves’ music made you want to dance a little bit and move around creating the perfect soundtrack to a freezing cold Wednesday night.
The reason everyone was stuffed into The Entry on Wednesday night was to celebrate the release of The Shackletons’ new EP “Second Attempt”. Although I have only caught The Shackletons once before, I can easily say that I adore this band and everything they do. Made up of three brothers and a close friend, this group has been making waves for years and, due to their young age and their obvious drive, it’s easy to say that there will be big things in the future of this group. With a heavy blues and old school rock n’ roll sound, The Shackletons seem to have a sound that easily outdates the young members. They come off as extremely seasoned musicians with a true passion for the art while still keeping a very free form feel about them when it comes to joking around with the crowd and keeping the energy light.
Within the first song of their set on Thursday night, the sold out crowd seemed to have finally traded in their snow boots for some dancing shows and the crowd erupted into nothing short of a dance party. Absolutely everyone in the venue had a smile on their face. Even the door guy was bopping along to the music. There was no way to resist. The music of the Shackletons is just too infectious and happy go lucky. They are one of those bands where you could be having a terrible day but as soon as you step into a venue and see these young whipper snappers on stage, you will have forgotten all of your woes and find yourself with a smile on your face, a drink in your hand, and the music in your heart.
Although last night was about their newest EP “Second Attempt”, The Shackletons did not forget about the tried and true favorites that have been a staple in the local music scene. On top of both old and new originals, the group threw in a couple flawless covers including a beautiful Husker Du cover as homage to the late Grant Hart. They may be young kids but these guys know their roots and know how to perfectly honor all of the legendary local musicians that have come before them.
Last night was a powerful show of force for the local rock n roll scene here in the Twin Cities. Although people had to deal with sub-zero temperatures, a sold out crowd came out to support The Shackletons, Porno Wolves, Sleeping Jesus, and Maudlin. A completely local show sold out in a venue that many touring bands can’t even get close to selling out especially not in the dead of winter. If you ask me, that’s a pretty powerful statement on how amazing this local scene is.