St. Paul & the Broken Bones bring Soul to First Avenue


The crew at First Avenue really like bands that manage to fill the venue for two nights in a row. That’s one night where they don’t have to drag gear to be loaded onto the band’s truck. And in case of St. Paul and the Broken Bones, that’s a lot of gear.

Opening the evening was Diane Coffee, the solo project of Foxygen’s former drummer Shaun Michael Fleming. Their current album is “Everybody’s a Good Dog”. The set started with Coffee pretty much jumping on stage after a short instrumental intro. My first time seeing them I was floored by the combination vibe of David Bowie and Janis Joplin I was getting from stage. There was Soul, there was Blues, and there as a ton of androgynous showmanship. To call it entertaining would be an understatement. To give you an idea most of the First Avenue’s stagehands were watching and for a couple of songs even the stage manager (who has seen pretty much everything there is to see in rock music) came out for a couple of songs to get a better look.

St. Paul and the Broken Bones are headed by Paul Janeway and have just released “Sea of Noise” their sophomore album. Their single “All I ever Wonder” has been on The Current quite frequently. Looking at the audience they have a wide appeal, there was a good mix of ages, gender and fashion (even a few guys in suits). The set started in style with Janeway coming on stage in a cape that was shed halfway through “Crumbling Light Posts” with a gospel vibe. In their heart, this is an old-school Soul and R&B band with some modern influences. Don’t let appearances fool you, that bunch of white dudes and hang with the best. St. Paul and the Broken Bones took us back to the heyday of soul music with big sound, a great stage presence and fantastic horn section that was put to good use.
Janeway expressed his sense of awe as a Prince fan to be playing First Avenue – he stated it was a dream come true for him. Throughout the set Janeway used ample room on stage to constantly move. Overall, I enjoyed the show. They are back for a second night tonight (Thursday). Some tickets are still available HERE – get down to First Ave and check them out, you will have a great time!
Set List: Crumbling Light Posts / Back to the Future / Like a Mighty River / I’ll be your Woman / Tears in the Diamond / All I Ever Wonder / Broken Bones / Everything is Everything / National Anthem / Brain Matter / Waves / Midnight on the Earth / Half the City / Grass is Greener / Call Me / Loran’s Dance / Sanctify Encore: It’s Me / I’ve been working / Burning Rome