TALK Brings Passion And Heart To First Avenue


I know that the majority of people will be talking about the Super Bowl today, but my main talking point will absolutely be the show that happened at First Avenue on Sunday night. Sure, I watched the first half of the football game and the halftime show (which I thought was great) before rushing downtown to get to the show, but honestly, that game was the furthest thing from my mind as I entered First Avenue and was greeted with the sweet sound of live music.

The first thing that struck me about opening act Zinadelphia was her voice. This is not a surprise. One listen to her music, and you will surely be hooked. Her voice is this cool blend of jazz and soul with a slight hint of folk hidden in there. It’s powerful and staggering but, at the same time, wraps over you like a warm blanket full of comfort. Joined on stage only by a bassist, I was in awe of the way Zinadelphia was able to hold my attention. The music she was giving definitely wasn’t the typical Superbowl Sunday vibes as it was much more reserved and refined, yet there I was, completely caught in her web of beauty with no expectation or want of an exit.

Her set seemed to move fast, but I’m going to count that as just a point of how captivated I was. Before she left, she gave the attentive audience a treat of playing a cover of, as she put it, “the best song ever written.” It was a cover of Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive” but with a very Zinadelphia twist to it. This was definitely a highlight of her set for me as, instead of just playing a carbon-copy-styled cover, she truly paid tribute to this iconic song while letting her talent outshine the power of that track. Okay, maybe that’s a bit of a bold statement, as we all know that “I Will Survive” is truly iconic and a song of the centuries, but I truly loved Zinadelphia’s take on it. I had never heard of Zinadelphia prior to walking into the show on Sunday, but I could instantly tell that this is a voice to watch.

Speaking of voices to watch– headlining the Sunday night show was a personal favorite of mine– TALK. If you know TALK’s music, it may be a surprise to hear me say that he is a favorite of mine. His sound is very commercial and pop at face value, but if you dig into his lyrics and the soul that he puts into each song, it’s not hard to hear and see why I’m so obsessed with this human. Sunday night was my third time seeing TALK perform. The first time was at a giant field outside, the second one was at the Minnesota Twins stadium, and this time was at a more intimate (although still large) First Avenue mainroom. I love the fact that, regardless of the size of the venue, I have always gotten the same thing from TALK and his band, and that thing is perfection.

TALK’s rise to fame has been a quick and dramatic one. Hailing from Canada, Nicholas Durocher (aka TALK) has been in the music industry for a couple of years but really hit it big with his 2020 hit “Run Away to Mars”. I feel like this song, which was apparently written in just one night during the pandemic after watching ‘Interstellar’, catapulted TALK straight into the bright lights. Even with that almost immediate shot to stardom, TALK has stayed humble and, most importantly, stayed true to his unique sound. How do I know this when I’ve never met the human behind the superstar? You just get that feeling while he is performing, and I got that feeling on Sunday night, just like I had at the previous two TALK performances I have seen.

Honestly, I can’t quite put my finger on what gives me that vibe. Maybe it’s the way he banters with the crowd in a light-hearted way yet you know he means every word he says. Or maybe it’s the fun that you can clearly see him having as he powers through amazing track after track on stage, all the while smiling alongside his bandmates. On top of that, TALK seems to have a bit of a “IDGAF” attitude (that’s I don’t give a frick for you youngsters who don’t know the acronym). Wearing a flashy pair of purple overalls with his blonde curly hair bouncing everywhere, I love that TALK not only has his own sound, but his own style and he really doesn’t care what you think of it. It adds this sense of positivity, color, and creativity to an already stellar performance.

I just realized I haven’t gotten deep into why I like TALK’s sound so much. I mean, I touched on it, but before I let you go, let me just say– this man has a voice unlike anything else out there right now. It has this almost smoky quality to it that can put even the most anxious heart at ease. At the same time, there’s an undeniable power to it. The way he is able to hit high notes before dropping back down into a more standard range is something that will always give me chills but, more importantly, every note he and his band hits is perfect and comes with a sense of purpose. I truly think that TALK is one of the most underrated acts out there right now. I know he is buzzing a bit within certain circles but I truly think it’s just a matter of time before his name is a household one and we are all singing along to his passion-soaked lyrics.