Wednesday night was supposed to be my night off. My night to get caught up on work, laundry, and terrible TV. I was looking forward to it but then I saw who was opening up the show at First Avenue Mainroom. I was torn. I so badly wanted a night to catch up on stuff even if that meant just sacking out on the couch all night but, at the same time, I wanted to witness the magic I got the first time I saw the opening act just a couple of months ago. I went back and forth, back and forth, back and forth, and, well, here I am. Writing a blog post which can mean only one thing– my addiction to live music got the best of me and all of the work, laundry, and terrible TV will have to wait for another night off.
I saw The Velveteers when they were in town in June at The Turf Club opening for The Blue Stones. I honestly couldn’t tell you much about The Blue Stones’ performance that night (although they are a super solid band and you should really check them out if you don’t know who they are) but I could talk at length about The Velveteers. It was one of those sets that had me lost for words and my jaw on the ground. I called it that night at The Velveteers would be in my “top sets of the year” list and I was excited to see if I was struck as hard the second time seeing them.
The answer is yes, I was just as enamored with this trio as I had been back in June. They took the stage and wasted no time jumping into their sound which is reminiscent of The Kills but with an almost angsty grunge-rock twist to it. Although the band was up to some of the same schtick that they had given me at The Turf Club in June, I still felt myself falling deeper and deeper in love with this group with every note they performed. I know I used the word “schtick” which makes it seem like The Velveteers have a super-calculated set but that’s not the case. Sure, the group knows when the drummer is going to leap into the audience with a drum in hand, pass said drum off to an audience member, and then continue to power through a song but there’s still something thrilling and organic about it.
The audience was a bit lackluster on Wednesday night. If I’m being quite honest, it was the most empty I’ve seen the First Avenue Mainroom in a bit but that didn’t stop the audience from enjoying The Velveteers (or the headliner to follow) and didn’t stop The Velveteers from giving the audience all they got. If I had to describe this trio in one word it would definitely be “powerhouse”. Keep your eyes on this band and jump on this train now. They have a lot to offer and it’s truly just a matter of time before they absolutely blow up and we all know that it’s always so cool to think back on “that one time you saw that huge band at that small club before they were big”.
I’m going to blame it on exhaustion and stress but, as soon as the band kicked into their opening track “My Poor Heart”, I felt a wave of emotion hit me to the point where I felt like I was choking back the tears a little bit. This song is a true banger full of heart and soul but it’s the words that caught me. I mean, when you start my “night off” with the lines, “I need to rest my poor heart / I think I’ve taken it too far/ I need a cold glass of water and a place to fall apart / I need to rest my poor heart”, come on, vocalist Brett Emmons was clearly talking to me. Okay, I know that’s not true but there’s something about this band that makes you feel like you’re the only one in the room when they perform and that was just the tip of the iceberg when it came to the amazing things about their set on Wednesday.
With a sixteen-song set followed by a two-song encore, The Glorious Sons truly gave the audience all of the fire and passion in a beautiful way. Each song came with the band’s signature blend of talent and fun. It’s clear that this band knows their music and that they are trained professionals at this point. Every note had its place and was played at the perfect volume and tone but that’s no surprise. I mean, that’s what they get paid to do night after night. It’s the fun that they throw into their sets that sets The Glorious Sons apart from others. From the random headbutts that Brett would give to his bandmates to just the glances and smiles between members that were either because of an unnoticeable hiccup or just the joy they all felt on stage, there was just something “real” about the performance. Sure, the band is full of professionals but it also came off as a band full of friends and that’s something that can really make a band stand out to me especially when on a concert bender.
I made a joke online about yesterday being my night off so, naturally, I was a show because what even is a night off but that’s the truth. I can’t justify staying at home when there are bands like The Velveteers and The Glorious Sons rolling through town.