TC Summerfest: The Friday Night Edition Featuring The Killers, The Flaming Lips, and Many More!


Photos By Laura Buhman

I promise I was on time today but due to a stringent security guard, an early start, and getting lost on the concourse, I didn’t make it to my spot until Yam Haus was a couple of songs into their set. Again, in my defense, the show started early, security took a hot minute, and I couldn’t find my elevator. Okay, I’m done making excuses and was honestly quite devastated that I wasn’t there for Yam Haus’ full set but I was stoked to catch what I did.

Don’t know Yam Haus? Time to change that like right the freak now. I hate to use such harsh language but I have been telling you about these guys for years and it’s really time you start listening to me. Although their set on Friday afternoon was short, they packed a punch and laid out their infectiously poppy sound perfectly for all to hear. The audience was light but I loved watching those who had made the right decision to show up on time dance along to this Minneapolis-based band’s sounds. Yam Haus is going to be the next band to put the Twin Cities’ music scene on the map so make sure to get on this train sooner rather than later!

Following Yam Haus was Los Angeles, CA-based Cannons. The mood shift between Yam Haus and Cannons was drastic but I liked the stark contrast. Whereas Yam Haus was upbeat and dancey, Cannons had a more atmospheric vibe to their set that was truly captivating. Vocalist Michelle Joy looked gorgeous in a sparkly silver dress that caught the lights in all of the right ways and really had a way of drawing your eyes to her whether or not you were trying to watch just her. There was something almost siren-like with the smoothness of her voice and although I’m not sure Cannons’ music was exactly what I was in the mood for, I couldn’t help but fall into their world and just get lost in it all.

The weather was starting to shift as Death Cab For Cutie took the stage. Instead of muggy air and a hazy sky, the feeling of rain was in the air and I would be lying if I said it didn’t have me panicking a wee bit as if this would be a replay of the disaster that was Thursday night at the Fall Out Boy. That being said, I also found a sense of poetry in this. Death Cab is one of my “sad day” bands. Their music is brilliant but, for some reason, I only really listen to them when I need an outlet for some pent-up emotions. That was not my mood on Friday night as they started their set so I was excited to see what seeing them live without being a ball of emotion would be like.

After a slight delay due to fear of rain, the members of Death Cab ran onto the stage and started their set which instantly had me feeling all of the feelings. Honestly, I kind of wish it would have been raining during this set because then I could have hidden the tears that were trying to escape my eyes without my permission. Obviously, I’m a bit biased when it comes to Death Cab. They are just one of those bands that inexplicably means so much to me and, when watching them on Friday night, although I was in a good mood, I was just hit by a wave of emotion. I spent their entire set singing along in my head as if I was all alone in my room having a slight breakdown. The raw emotion that radiated from the stage somehow made it all the way across the field to where I was sitting in such a beautiful way. Long story short, Death Cab was great but take that with a grain of salt. I will be covering them again next month so brace yourselves for another sappy post about this monumental act.

There’s something charming about a band doing their own sound check. I know it happens all the time at the smaller shows where I work but I wasn’t expecting a band with the same status of The Flaming Lips to do that. To say that this small thing really set the stage for something amazing. I’ve seen The Flaming Lips before but they will never get old for me. MC Brian Oakes asked the audience if they were “ready to get weird” before the set and I was beyond ready.

Pink inflatables of Transformer-looking creatures took the stage as a giant red balloon bounced throughout the audience. It was a weird start but I wouldn’t have expected anything less from this quirky band. Although the pink transformers didn’t last long (they were deflated before the first lengthy track have ever ended but then reappeared during the third song), the quirkiness did not end. That’s what The Flaming Lips does so well. It’s always a bright and colorful stage show mixed with their unique psychedelic-infused indie-pop-rock-jam tracks.

Friday night’s set from The Flaming Lips was a special one as they were doing an album playthrough of their 2002 album ‘Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots’ (which explains the pink transformer-looking forms on stage). This was a true treat and although I’m not uber familiar with their actual music just because they are such a visual band to me, I loved being able to hear the artistry that flowed through this album as a whole.

In case you weren’t one of the lucky ones to score a ticket to see The Killers at The First Avenue Mainroom on Thursday night, Friday night was a second chance to see this band as they were closing out the Friday night of TC Summerfest. Clearly a big draw, it was insane to see how many people had suddenly appeared on the ground for this set but that’s not a surprise. The Killers are a truly spectacular band to both listen to and see live and even I was excited to see what they would bring to beautiful Minnesota Twins Stadium.

The Killers wasted no time in hitting the audience with just what they wanted– the hits. The set started with “Mr. Brightside” which was honestly the last song I thought they were going to start with yet there we were. Starting the set off on such a high note was definitely a bold move on The Killers’ part but it paid off. It got the crowd amped right away and that energy truly never faltered throughout the night. I’ve seen The Killers multiple times but something about their performance on Friday night hit just ever so slightly harder than previous performances. There was just something a bit more organic, a bit more fun, a bit more energetic about the presence that, for the majority of the set, I was completely lost in The Killers’ world and I honestly never wanted to leave.

[Photography was not allowed during The Killers’ set]

Friday night was a feat to pull off. There’s no denying that. There were definitely mumblings throughout the scene about this festival being a bit of a questionable event mostly due to rumored low ticket sales and the fact that they kept on lowering prices and doing giveaways. Wayne of The Flaming Lips even made a little funny comment to the audience saying, “Thanks for selling this out!” when it was clearly far from sold out but I am here to tell you– The Twins stadium, staff, and everyone behind this event truly pulled it off. Friday was an amazing afternoon and night of highly talented musicians in a beautiful stadium. I’m already just counting down the moments until I can come back and do it all over again tomorrow night!

Tickets are still available for Saturday night! Snag them HERE so you don’t miss Imagine Dragons, Oliver Tree, and more!