The Current’s Birthday Party at First Avenue – Night 1 – 1/22/2016


The first evening of The Current’s 11th Birthday Party kicked off in style at First Avenue Friday night. Many of the on air staff were on hand to introduce bands and mingle with the crowd. The mood remained high throughout the evening culminating in the whole staff being on stage to introduce Low. Pretty much all bands on the bill this evening got introduced to the masses by getting airplay on The Current and each and every band took a moment to thank the station. Music between bands was provided the DJs Shannon Blowtorch and Jake Rudh.  There was a change in the crowd through the evening as folks came for certain artists but many stayed for the whole show.

Bones & Beeker

The duo of Brendan Kelly (a.k.a. BK-One) and Anthony Newes combine hip-hop-production sensibilities with classic, harmony-focused singer-songwriter musicianship. Both are veterans of the Twin Cities music scene and have worked with a number of artists. Their set focused on their smooth, lively sounds and their harmonies. Even though it started early their set was very well attended and the crowd seemed really into it.

Bad Bad Hats
The Twin Cities band with the most buzz in 2015 has been Bad Bad Hats. The trio of Kerry Alexander, Chris Hoge, and Noah Boswell and their debut album ‘Psychic Reader’ burst on to the scene and in the hearts of music lovers. Joking that it was cliche the trio donned The Current hats for their first song. One had to pay attention to singer Kerry Alexander between songs as she fired of a number of jokes including an explanation of “hat hair” and a reference to Mary Lucia’s “No Apologies” feature.

Mixed Blood Majority
The collaboration between Crescent Moon (of Kill the Vultures), Joe Horton (of No Bird Sing), and Lazerbeak (of Doomtree) released their debut album “Insane World” just a few weeks ago at First Avenue. As far as raw energy is concerned, this was the highlights of the evening. Moon and Horton used every inch of the stage and went close to the crowd. The beats came hard and fast and one had to pay attention to the lyrics.

John Mark Nelson
The Twin Cities singer-songwriter released his first album while still in high school and has proved himself to be an artist to watch in the booming Minneapolis music scene. His latest “I’m Not Afraid” came out last fall. He and his band seemed even tighter than they were at their CD release show a couple of months ago. The interaction between Nelson and guitarist Steve Bosmans was frequent and fun to watch.

“Ones and Sixes” current album by the Duluth trio was on almost everyone’s list of top albums of 2015. Low’s music always reminds me of a volcano that is slowly building up an eruption but does not explode but the lave flows out slow and unstoppable. Each of their instruments is played minimalist but combined they create a very unique, rich sound. Low also used the light to their maximum effect playing on a darkish blue dominant stage with green / yellow backgounds.