Yesterday was my first day being self-employed. It was a wild ride what with Facebook and Instagram going down and some of my work is based on those platforms but I survived and, if I can survive that kind of thing on my first day, I think I’m going to be okay. Even though I survived, I was feeling a bit frustrated, confused, and questioning the life decisions that had led me to the self-employment world. Thankfully, the show on Monday night was just what I needed to remind me that I am absolutely on the right track here and that everything will work out fine.
The lovely Joey Harkum got the night started with a quick but brilliant acoustic-based set. Joined just on stage by Joe on bass and a single kick drum, Joey serenaded the modest audience with an undeniable sense of heart and passion. I usually only get emotional when seeing an act that has been with me through thick and thin but something about Joey’s delivery of his tracks had me feeling all of the feels. I can not stress enough how real Joey’s lyrics and presentation of said lyrics are. I was an instant fan and I’m sure that if you took the time to check out his music, you will be too so what are you waiting for? I highly suggest checking Joey’s music out and catching him the next time he’s in your area. I know that I will not be missing him the next time he rolls through Minnesota and I truly hope it’s sooner rather than later.
Although I have seen their name a million times before, Monday night was my first chance at catching Maryland-based Bumpin Uglies live and I was super excited for it. The second they took the stage, I was in love with this band. Their laid-back performance fit their groovy ska-based reggae tones perfectly. Don’t misunderstand that as me saying they didn’t have energy on stage. These guys absolutely had energy and it was infectious. I had a great time watching as the crowd warmed up and started to pull on their dancing shoes (although it would be nothing compared to what was to come but more on that shortly).
Everything about Bumpin Uglies set was super tight which is why I was so surprised when vocalist Brandon Hardesty introduced the keyboardist and drummer as being fill-ins for the time being. From their infectious originals to a flawless cover of “Come Together” by the Beatles, I just can not stress enough how perfect Bumpin Uglies’ sound is. It was smiles all around both in the audience and on the stage which just added to the fun of Bumpin Uglies’ set but I was anxious. I could tell I was anxious and as the band tore down the stage and made way for the headliner of the night, I could feel those little butterflies going in my heart and soul.
January 2018. That was when I was introduced to Tropidelic. I had shown up to a show at the very same venue as I stood on Monday night to see Flobots and left with a heart full of love for Tropidelic. I honestly don’t even know how to put their set or energy into words to please bear with me as I fumble through this while not trying to come off as a complete fangirl. Part ska, reggae, punk, rock, hip-hop, funk, and maybe a little boyband circa 2000 (solely due to their synchronized dance moves), if you like music, there’s something about Tropidelic that you will absolutely love.
I’ll be honest, Tropidelic is one of those bands that I just never think to listen to on the daily for some reason but I decided to spend some time with their music this morning as I write this review and I’m realizing just how easily their energy can be manifested just through their sound. Although they definitely aren’t in my living room right now with their infectious smiles and cheesy yet cute synchronized dance moves, it’s as if I can feel that energy radiating all around me as I let their music take over my house. With six full-length albums, these guys are definitely seasoned veterans with their own very distinct sound but I love how, even with that, every song feels just a hair different creating an every-changing mood. Even with that ever-changing mood and beat, the entire audience was dancing up a storm throughout their set on Monday night. I couldn’t tell you what songs the band played or even how many they played but I can tell you that that smile never left my face and my feet never stopped tapping. The same can be said about the other lucky souls who decided to get off their couches and spend a Monday night out on the town.
I’ve talked about wanting to bottle up an atmosphere from a concert before just so I could open it up on a rainy day or a day where my mental health is feeling lower than usual. Last night was that atmosphere. I want to have that smile on my face at all times and have that pep in my step that I had as I was walking back to my car after the show. What I’m trying to say is that Tropidelic (like the other acts who performed on Monday night) is just one of those bands that makes everything okay and one of those bands that I will continue to see live whenever given the chance.