Squid Finally Makes An Appearance in The Twin Cities


I love showing up to shows on a whim because you never know what you’re going to get. Sure, I could look up the bands before I agree to cover them, but I firmly believe that a band can be a bit lackluster when it comes to a recording yet absolutely kill it when it comes to a live show. Monday night at The Fine Line was one of those shows where I knew nothing about either of the bands performing. Honestly, the press rep for the opener had reached out to me about covering the show, and I had nothing else going on, so why not? I was bright-eyed and bushy-tailed as I walked up to the downtown Minneapolis venue and was a bit surprised to feel the air of excitement as I got in line. I may not have known what I was getting myself into, but hundreds of other people seemed to have been waiting their whole lives for this moment.

One of the craziest things about the show on Monday night was that the opening act, Water From Your Eyes, seemed to have just as dedicated of a fanbase in the audience as the headliner. You could tell this by the way everyone was patiently waiting for the opening set to start. People would shift forward when they saw an open spot on the floor instead of just hanging back and socializing like I typically see. This intrigued me, so I took my spot and waited for what was about to come while trying to take in the chatter around me. Unfortunately, that chatter didn’t give me any ideas about what I would get from Water From Your Eyes, but it made it so much more exciting when this “indie pop band” took the stage.

Why is “indie pop band” in quotes? Well, because although that’s the easiest way to describe Water From Your Eyes’ sound, it’s not a perfectly accurate description. With elements of everything from art rock to even a couple of songs that leaned more into a dance category with punk undertones, I spent the entire forty-five-minute set trying to figure this band out. I never truly figured it out and was left with many questions as they left the stage, but that added to the charm. It was cryptic and mysterious yet had me hooked rather than frustrated as I tried to figure it out. There were some parts of their sound that I really liked, especially some of the more danceable tracks that they played towards the end of their set. Some parts of their set had me nodding off to sleep due to their almost lo-fi nature, yet overall, this band had me hooked.

One of the biggest things that caught me about this band was the vocals or lack thereof. Vocalist Rachel Brown was clearly doing something into the microphone but I couldn’t hear it. At first, I thought maybe this was my hearing finally going out, but as I took out my earplugs to check, I realized that you just couldn’t hear her vocals as they were buried in the intense and intricate instrumentation happening behind them. I was not the only one who noticed this, and about halfway through the set, some people had taken to yelling at the sound guy to turn it up. Here’s the thing– if you aren’t a sound person, don’t say anything. You have no clue what they are dealing with, and in the case of Water From Your Eyes, it was clear that Rachel was whispering into the microphone, making it impossible for the sound guy to turn up the volume without creating a load of feedback. This was strike one for the audience on Monday night, but it didn’t stop me from enjoying Water From Your Eyes’ set.

Sure, there was a lot of excitement surrounding Water From Your Eyes’ performance on Monday night, but that excitement was pumped up a wee bit as the stage was set for headlining act Squid. Squid is a post-punk leaning band from Brighton, England that has been around since 2016. They clearly have a cult following here in the Twin Cities (and probably the rest of the country), yet this was their first visit to Minnesota, and that just added to the excitement in the air as the five members took the stage. The amount of cheering and roaring applause was deafening but quickly stopped as the band started playing.

Like Water From Your Eyes, Squid has a sound that, although I would most plainly call it post-punk, leans into every other genre out there. With elements of everything from rock to funk, each song brought a different personality to the packed venue, and because of that, I was kept on my toes the entire night. Although the sound may have been changing, the mood in the crowd never faltered. There was a sense of excitement and appreciation throughout the night that told me everything I needed to know about Squid. They may not be a band I know anything about and will never be my favorite band yet, to some people in attendance on Monday, this was their world and they were finally getting the chance to witness it live. That added that special sauce that I look for in shows on Monday night and made for a great night of stellar music.