Ty Segall, The Bed Band, Minneapolis, First Avenue, Concert, Review,
I’ve already told you how weird my week has been. From Judas Priest to Weird Al to country music to a sit down show watching Weird Al’s band to an amazing show of newer indie-punk bands… yeah, it’s been an eclectic week for me. I honestly thought it couldn’t get any weirder but then I walked into First Avenue on Saturday night and was instantly proven wrong.
Opening Saturday’s sold out show was an act named The Bed Band. Now, there’s not much about this guy (yes, although ‘band’ is the name, this is just a dude and some backing tracks) online but he does have nine albums out on his Soundcloud so I went ahead and assumed I was about to have my mind blow by some musical genius that has managed to stay underground even with so many releases. As the lights went down and the giant screen concealing the stage rolled up into the ceiling, I got my first glimpse of The Bed Band. I was instantly intrigued. With a scarf draped over his head covering his face, sunglasses put on over that, and a scarf made of what looked like butcher paper, I knew this wasn’t going to be just any opening act.
Without delay, The Bed Band jumped into his forty minute set and my intrigue turned to confusion within just a few notes. Now, keep in mind the following is my opinion and not at all a reflection of his passion or talent (?). I honestly thought the first song was a joke. With child-like vocals over computerized backing tracks, The Bed Band wandered aimlessly around the stage as he seemed to be singing just like one would when in the shower, or in the car, or just making dinner in silence. It was awkward, weird, and honestly I didn’t get it. As the short song set list started piling up, I realized that this wasn’t joke and this was his actual set and that just emphasized my confusion.
The cardboard cutouts that were strewn across the stage turned into his props as he held them and threw them every which way and a useless microphone stand was used as a fake guitar on more than one occasion. Everything about this guy’s set was intriguing to me but I seemed to be alone in that mindset. The crowd clearly wasn’t having it and there were multiple boo’s coming from some of the more outspoken audience members. As The Bed Band’s set started coming to the end, it was clear that some of the audience was restless and ready for something else and a few cans were thrown on stage. I truly loved the way The Bed Band just shook it off. He even made a statement at one point saying that he didn’t care if you liked it or not… he just thanked everyone for coming.
Did I like The Bed Band’s set musically? Erm, no. Did I understand anything about his set? Nay. But do I respect this guy for getting up on that stage and doing his thing without holding back? Absolutely. To all of those who booed this guy and decided to throw drinks at him– I don’t see you on that stage doing your thing. Art is art. Music is music. Just because you don’t like it doesn’t mean you can disrespect it. People doing these kind of things have put a lot of time into their craft and that’s something that absolutely needs to be respected (whether you like it or not).
I was honestly still a bit shocked by what I had just seen when headliner Ty Segall and the Freedom Band took the stage but, as soon as they jumped into their rockin’ set, I forgot about all of the strangeness of the opener. Ty Segall is a multi-instrumentalist, singer, producer, and damn near everything else under the sun you can be, from California. His first album Ty Segall came out in 2008 and has released nine albums since then. I honestly had never heard his music prior to last night’s show but the hype around this guy had me wanting to check it out and I am more than glad I did.
Ty Segall’s music is very garage rock but without the abrasive-ness you may expect and with a much more polished sound. Okay, so that makes it sound like it was just generic rock but it’s so much more than that. With obvious influences that range in everything from psychedelic music to indie rock to punk, the band’s set felt as if it was constantly changing. Sure, there were some songs that I didn’t quite enjoy as much as others but I knew if I just waited it out the next song would be completely different. There are edges to his music which keep it from feeling generic. His smooth voice against the loud and energetic guitars create a soundscape unlike anything I’ve ever heard before.
The crowd, unlike myself, seemed ready for this show and within the first song people in the middle of the floor were getting down and dirty to the music. Some people jumped up and down to the infectious beats while others just stood there with their drinks in hand as they bobbed their heads up and down. The beauty of Ty Segall’s music is that it doesn’t matter how it makes you move but it makes you move. Whether you stumbled into last night’s how without a clue of what to expect, or you have been a die-hard fan of Ty since the beginning, you were moving around during his set. With a nearly twenty song set, I could have easily stayed all night listening to Ty and his amazingly talented backing band. For being a show I knew nothing about, I found myself loving Ty Segall more and more with every note that he played and I may or may not have spent my morning diving into his discography.
Last night was definitely an interesting night in my already weird week of concerts but, hey, that’s what I signed up for and that’s why I love doing this. Where will my current concert grind take me tonight? Two words- Broadway performer. Let’s keep the weird coming!