As I’ve mentioned before, one of my favorite things is seeing a band grow right in front of my eyes. To be able to see a band open up a small show in Minneapolis, then catch them opening up a bigger show at a more mid-level venue in town and then, within months, headlining a sold out show back where they started at that smaller local venue I mean, come on, that’s the best feeling in the world. The Aces were that band for me. They were right back where they started at The 7th Street Entry but, instead of opening a show, they were headlining and instead of a handful of people, the places was packed with fans anxious to sing along to every word. Being able to see that transition and the hard work that makes magic like this happen leaves me breathless every single time and last night was no exception.
Kicking the quick night of music off was the beautiful and beautifully talented Tishmal. Tishmal (meaning ‘hummingbird’ Luiseño, the language of her Native American heritage) is the solo project of Rachel Brockbank. As soon as she took the stage it was all eyes on her and as soon as she opened her mouth to sing, it was all jaws on the floor. I can not stress to you have beautiful Tishaml is both inside and out. Beyond the obvious fact that she is gorgeous, she had a soul that shined as bright as the lights on stage. Every word she sang seemed to have an alternate meaning that was conveyed by the way she performed it.
Her music definitely leaned towards a pop-princess vibe but there was this edge about Tishmal that I still have yet to find the correct words to describe. Her short opening set was full of songs that made you want to sway along to the beat due to the energy but that same energy somehow helped sweep you off into the best day-dream you’ve ever had. The music was sensitive and full of emotion and could be interpreted however you saw fit based on your mood which had the sold out audience feeling more like family than friends. I always talk about the power of music and the way it can make strangers into family in the snap of your fingers and that’s exactly what Tishmal’s music did. Each song was followed by a polite applause from the audience and a couple “Holy shit!” “Damn!” “Yes!” comments from the people who just couldn’t not get over the talent we were watching. Honestly, I felt like I could relate more with those random exclamations than the polite applause. Tishmal is clearly a treasure and, just like the band she was opening up for, I expect huge things in her future.
As mentioned, I’ve watched headliners The Aces grow from the bottom to where they are now and I couldn’t be happier about it. These girls have seriously been working their butts off to get where they are today and it shows. No shortcuts, no fakeness, The Aces are one of those bands where, the first time I saw them, I couldn’t help but see the stars in their eyes and believe that they were going to be one of the ones that made it. The Aces have a very indie-pop sound but a very punk attitude. With each of the four band members bringing a different vibe and sound to the stage, this group has a sound that, although it can be classified, can not be put into a box.
The main thing that struck me about this Utah based four-piece the first time I saw them was their energy on stage. Although the stages and the crowd size has changed, their live show hasn’t and last night I was left with that same impressed feeling as I watched them power through their set. Playing right around fifteen songs, the group was able to play a song for everyone. Whether you had been with them since day one or just jumped on the very popular The Aces train, there was a song that you could sing along with. From new to old, fast to slow, there was seriously a song for everybody last night and even if you couldn’t sing along to the lyrics, you could surely bounce around to the infectious beat.
The young audience didn’t let a single song pass them by and, at times, it seemed like lead vocalist Cristal Ramirez may as well just throw in the towel. There were many times when Cristal’s voice was over powered by the shouting coming from the crowd. There are some shows where this will annoy the crap out of me. I mean, I’m there to see the band play, not hear you play live band karaoke but there was something different about last night. Maybe it was because I was so happy to see such a great and deserving band finally getting the love I had hoped for them or maybe I was just in a really good mood for some reason. Regardless, I left last night’s show beyond happy and with a warm heart.
Hard work pays off and I honestly expect The Aces may be selling out the First Avenue Mainroom the next time they come through. The Aces are proof that hard work, dedication, and staying true to yourself and your style will pay off eventually. So keep those stars in your eyes and keep dreaming about your name in lights.