The Carnegies celebrated the release of their new video “In the Night” at the 7th Street Entry on a snowy weekday night. Difficult travel limited attendance, but true friends, family, and fans found a way to get to downtown Minneapolis despite rush hour gridlock and greasy roads. Local bands Maple Sun and Seafarer got the party started and stuck around to help keep the party going. It was a study of contrasts as all three bands play vastly different styles of music. But also the witness of the wonders of live music; enjoyed by fans not limiting themselves to just one genre.
Hard rocking Maple Sun got the ear drums loosened up early with their powerful music style. Once they get their rock machine running, there is no turning if off. They have a special way of weaving together their endless guitar riffs and popping bass. It truly seems as if they could play each song forever yet it also seems it would continue to be enjoyable. Frontman John Dowling said he’s seen a few shows at the Entry and always wanted to try out the stage. This was his chance. His vocals are deep and coarse as you might expect for a metal band. He occasionally pumps his fist to lead the crowd in Metallica-like chants. While the lyrics are not always distinguishable, he sings with conviction. Lead guitarist Brad Adrian resembles Jack Black just a little bit (OK, just a lotta bit) and schooled us all with his guitar playing. Luke Brainard’s bass is so loud it hurts your ears and long-haired Jake Fulton handles the drums. Lead singer John was enjoying his band so much he jumped down from the stage mid-show to listen to his bandmates jam. That was until he started a brief mosh pit with their diehard friends stationed front and center. I learned all four band members went to high school together at Centennial and have kept the band together after graduating a few years ago. The future looks bright for Maple Sun as they played a few impressive new songs to add to their existing setlist. As they concluded their portion of the show, John said, “Thank you again to The Carnegies and The Entry for hosting this. Seafarer is up next and definitely a different type of music than this.”
That was so true. In fact, with Seafarer’s more mellow sound, I didn’t even realize they started their set until they were midway through their opening song. I just don’t think my eardrums had adjusted yet to hear something several notches down from the tremendously loud output of Maple Sun. The guys from the opening band made sure to stick around for the middle band’s show. They were front and center along with the evening’s hosts, The Carnegies. It was cool to see each band truly enjoy each other’s music. Later in the evening, The Carnegies would make it known that Seafarer had a large role in helping them get started as a band. Brian Huhn on bass guitar and Patrick Schiavone on guitar split up the primary vocals with the aptly named Calvin Keyes on keyboards also adding vocalizations. Bill Bruss adds guitar while Jesse Bruflodt sits behind the kit to fill out the five-piece. The psychedelic space rock of the Seafarer was pleasant, soothing, and well received. After some slightly upbeat songs, a slower number got those near the stage (including the other bands’ members) swaying and eventually in a long line with arms around each other and happy faces. No doubt they were all enjoying themselves.
All evening the large rectangular white screen hanging on the side wall of the Entry served as a reminder that we were here to celebrate a video release. That screen was finally put to use at 10pm sharp when The Carnegies took the stage to proudly watch the debut of their new video “In the Night.” Everyone appeared to genuinely enjoy the clever video with some loud hoots at various moments. After thanking the many people (including former member Owen Hiber and his dad Matt) that made the video possible, it was showtime.
If you are not familiar with The Carnegies, they look like they were pulled right from the 60’s band scene. Twin brothers Royce and Roman Mars have matching bowl cuts and outfit themselves as if they were living some fifty years ago. Right from the opening song, “54 Ford,” fans were treated to the third distinctly different music style of the evening. While their appearance may be authentic ’60s, their classic rock and roll is even more legit ’60s. They quickly got their fans grooving to the opener and my personal favorite, “Bury My Bones.” Roman said how much he loved the two opening bands and added, “I always enjoy watching the opening bands at these shows. Then I remember, we still have to play at the end!”
While tonight was about the premiere of their “In the Night” video, we also heard a story about the taping of their previous video, “Ragged Old Man,” after playing the song mid-set. Roman said he still has a nagging cough and fears it may be from the filming of the scenes involving sand. While they used clean play sand when pouring sand all over their faces, they still inhaled some of the sand. Weeks later Roman said he was still coughing up sand in the middle of the night. In fact, the entire band is still coughing.
After resuming action with a busy new song that left them out of breath, Roman asked Royce, “Why do we keep writing songs that take our breath away?” After recovering, the brothers introduced drummer Brandon Cox. They also presented the newest member of the band, their cousin, Danny Mars. While Danny said he was honored to be in the band, he also modestly added that he only has a fraction of the musical talent of his cousins. They, however, gave young Danny credit for his lyrical contributions to their latest songs. Next, Roman pleaded for everyone to go crazy on their cover of the old standard “Baby Please Don’t Go.” He got what he asked for as this was definitely a crowd pleaser as well as a crowd shaker.” That was more fun to watch all that, than to play the song,” he remarked.
Roman and Royce made sure to remind everyone about the tragic loss of original band member Taylor Tolle. They feel Taylor is always on stage with them when performing and they continue on in his legacy. They dedicated the next song, “Mr. Carnegie” to Taylor and hoped a family member could come up on stage. When that wasn’t possible, they settled for the next best thing. That was Jacob, the band’s close friend, manager, and all-around helper. Clearly the life of the party tonight, Jacob took the stage, wrestled the tambourine from Danny, and put on perhaps the most moving tambourine performance you might ever see. Picture a slightly heavier version of Will Ferrell’s Frank the Tank wearing a Beatles t-shirt and shaking that tambourine every way possible, even rolling on the stage. Yes, that good.
Given the theme of the show, the finale needed to be the song of the night, or should I say the song “In the Night.” This polished original sounded great and was really fun to hear played live after watching it in video form earlier. The remaining fans coaxed the band into one encore number then it was time to call it a night.
As we shuffled to our cars and drove slowly home over the snow-covered roads, it provided plenty of time to reflect on a great evening and the local music scene we are blessed with in the Twin Cities. Being able to partake in a video release party at the Entry and enjoy three completely different types of bands in one evening made for a special night. I’m sure many more wish the weather and traffic would have allowed them to be there. Good luck to Maple Sun, Seafarer, and The Carnegies in their future endeavors. I hope to see them all again soon. However, I hope not to see more snow any time soon.
Now you are probably wondering, where do I find that new video for “In the Night?” The cool video has now been posted. Find it above or here is another link to where to find it on YouTube
The Carnegies fans, be sure to grab a ticket for First Avenue’s annual “Best New Bands” show. The “Best New Bands of 2018” will be held in the Mainroom on Friday January 4, 2019 at 7pm. The 18+ show will be co-hosted by 89.3 The Current, Go 96.3, and Radio K and will include performances by The Carnegies as well as Annie Mack, Faith Boblett, Gully Boys, Scrunchies, Static Panic, and Yam Haus. This is a great chance to support your favorite band up on the main stage plus sample performances by several other up-and-coming local acts. Once again, a an opportunity to enjoy a wide variety of great local music. For more information and to purchase your tickets for just $10 go to First Avenue’s page HERE