The Dollyrots End St. Patrick’s Day Weekend On A High Note


My weekend was nothing more than a hot mess if I’m being honest. From the drunken shenanigans that was Emo Night on Friday night to a trip to Saint Paul for their insane St. Patrick’s day celebration, I got absolutely nothing productive done. I swore that Sunday was my day to get back in the swing of things. Well, that didn’t happen because naturally I had to binge watch the new season of Queer Eye on Netflix (and yes, I bawled at the end of every episode). After still not getting anything done, I knew I had to do something to get me out of the laziness of the weekend and to get back on track so I did the only thing that makes me feel like I’m on a schedule of some sort, I went to a show. Thankfully said show was right down the street from my apartment and thankfully the bar wasn’t packed full of green clad idiots (because, let’s be honest, I had had enough of that on Saturday to last me until next year) so I grabbed my favorite piece of wall at the Uptown VFW and waited for some sense of normalcy and energy.

Kicking the night off was a band that is quickly becoming my new favorite local- The Von Tramps. As I said last time, just take a moment to marvel at how genius that name is. Okay, you good now? I saw this group for the first time just a couple of weeks ago and was instantly in love. I was excited to have a chance to see them and actually be able to pay attention rather than just spend their set standing there being completely stunned. Their diverse range of influences is heard loud and clear in their music. From ska to punk to rock to indie, you can really hear it all in this band’s music. Add their energetic live show and the personality of vocalist Jenna Enemy and I instantly felt the life being breathed back into me. With a cover of Blink 182 thrown in, I was instantly struck that, even though I just saw this band a couple of weeks ago, nothing about their set was the same. Sure, I recognized a couple of songs from the last time but don’t recall that Blink cover (although that could have been due to my shock) or a song that mentioned places like The Amsterdam and The Triple Rock (RIP Triple Rock and how dare the people in the audience not cheer after that line!). The crowd was definitely a sleepy one but The Von Tramps didn’t let that stop them from giving a stunning performance. This is a local band that I will never say no to seeing live.

Following The Von Tramps was The Melismatics- a band who I’ve seen the name of a million times but never had the chance to check out. Well, last night was my chance and it’s no wonder why I keep seeing their name. Much like The Von Tramps, these guys have a sound that refuses to be put in a box. Sure, if you want to get super general with it I would call them 90’s alternative rock but that’s not fair to them. Their sound isn’t dated like that description may make it seem and their music feels completely original. A sense of power could be felt radiating off the stage without being aggressive. This was one of those bands that didn’t seem to care if you wanted to sit in back and just continue your conversation but also a band that, if you were standing by the stage, would give you a hell of a good time. As mentioned, I had never heard these guys’ music before but there was something so familiar and comforting about it. With only about forty minutes on stage, I got just enough from The Melismatics to fall in love but not enough to be completely satisfied. Let’s hope I keep seeing their name around town like I have in the past so I can catch them again sooner rather than later!

Closing out the amazing night of music was The Dollyrots. Although not a local band, this trio was definitely treated like a local band. It became clear that they have roots here after hearing them talking about writing and recording in Minneapolis and noticing that guitarist Luis Cabezas was repping Whiskey Rock N Roll Club MPLS (a local favorite of mine) and that added a very surprising element to the show. After hearing vocalist Kelly Ogden talk about The Twin Cities, I realized that they come here quite often so I was a bit disappointed in myself for not catching them live sooner. Their pop-punk sound instantly had me in my happy place and the banter between the three band members and the audience was on point. Again, that whole feeling of them being a local band was not what I was expected but it was the icing on the cake to an already amazing night.

The Dollyrots are not a new band. Since 2000 they have been making some of the most infectious music in the scene. With eight full length albums out (and counting) and countless songs being placed in movies and TV shows, this band may not be a household name yet but they are getting there. An obvious sign of this is the way the audience received the band and the music. People were clearly excited and whether you were dancing on the floor or sitting at one of the back tables, there was a smile on your face. Just something about this band radiated positivity and their music was nothing short of infectious leaving the venue feeling ridiculously bright and sunny for a sleepy Sunday night.

I may have spent my day being a complete hungover pile on the couch bawling to the new season of Queer Eye but at least I ended my day strong with a hell of a show. Sunday night shows set the tone for a week so I expect this week to be nothing short of amazing.