Four bands, many musicians, and one common goal of creating a warm and loving environment within the confines of First Avenue. The Ike Reilly Assassination has been journeying north from Illinois for longer than I can remember to play on the Eve of Thanksgiving. This journey has transformed for many into a family holiday tradition, and Ike and the gang delivered powerfully on this tradition yet again.
80’s sounding local band, Red Daughters, was the first to appear on the stage. They came together as five young men each of whom has their own knack for their respected instrument but all of whom have talented singing voices. Through exchanged versus and psychedelic jams the group powered through their 30-minute set leaving the remaining three bands with a difficult set to follow.
The Violet Nines seemed more than up to the challenge as they stepped on stage with sunglasses and groove. The group had great excitement about them and were more than eager to bounce through their early 2000’s inspired pop tunes. The tight rhythm section of the band allowed for the front members to flow loosely with their antics while still remaining tight.
The final opener of the night was local soul band, Southside Desire. This femme powered group brought to life the energy of the genre with loud vocals and grooving rhythm. Lead singer Marvel Devitt connected with the audience through raw and sensitive topics expressed beautifully through song. By the end of their set, the chatter of the club had died, and everyone seemed to be transfixed on what the music had to say.
With the openers having all come and gone, there was only one band left to take the stage. The Ike Reilly Assassination came in with a punch. Not messing around and not missing a beat, they set themselves on a quick-paced play through of multiple songs before turning it down to connect and catch up with the audience. Having been a frequenter of the Twin Cities for many years, most people in the crowd seemed to have a personal connection with Ike and vice versa. The kind family-man with a hard-rocking demeanor makes it hard not to love him. Especially when he brings out his kids to join him on some of the band’s songs.
Much of the night was a sing-along for the crowd; especially during tracks from his infamous Salesmen and Racists album. A moment of silence followed the track Put a Little Love in It, out of respect for the life and legacy of Trevor Engelbrektson a beloved member of the local scene and opener, Southside Desire, who tragically lost his life this past year.
The band continued playing on through many discography hits before settling in for the night. After closing their encore many crowd members stuck around to reflect on the night with the friends they came with and made along the way. With it now being Thanksgiving, there are only 364 days left until his next Holiday show.