I know we are all sick of hearing it but we’re all thinking it– this whole dark as night at 5 PM thing is obnoxious and absolutely screwing with me. I found myself constantly checking my phone and watch to make sure I wasn’t late for the show on Wednesday night because I knew it was an early one but it was already dark by the time I was starting to get ready to head out. The rainy streets of Minneapolis felt a bit depressing but all of that changed as I entered through the doors of The Cabooze for a banger of a metal night.
As soon as I walked through the door, the show had started with a local favorite of mine, Perth. Unfortunately, their all too quick set was being played as many people were still getting their wristbands and getting checked in at the door but for those who were lucky enough to make it inside while the band was playing, it was pure bliss. I’ve said it every time I’ve seen this fairly new band but they have something special. Their sound is powerful and solid and, although at face value, it sounds like every other metal band in the local scene, there’s something interesting about how this band comes together with intricate layers each one being heavier than the last. I feel like there was a sense of frustration that came off the stage due to how early the band was playing and how they were done with their set before many people even made it through the door but they still pulled off a flawless performance.
I was stunned when I saw Perth’s debut performance and instantly took to my phone to tell all of my friends about them. That same thing happened almost instantly when Wringer took the stage. The debut show for this local band, Wringer instantly had the quickly growing crowd in the palm of their hand. Wringer’s sound is intense and loud which sounds a bit cliche to say since it was a metal show after all, but, like Perth, there was an undeniable sense of perfection and energy throughout Wringer’s quick set. Their sound instantly reminded me of Every Time I Die at moments and, at other moments, I failed to find a comparison to jot down. Keep your eyes on this band. I see big things in Wringer’s future.
Kingsmen was the first band off of the giant tour package to take the stage. Hailing from Rhode Island, Kingsmen is a new band having just released their debut album last April. Their sound was, you guessed it, powerful and heavy but it was the vocals that made this band stand out from the rest of the line-up. Vocalist Tanner Gulmond has a freaking voice. There’s no other way to put it. There was an undeniable sense of aggression and power with every word while there was also this little spark of tenderness. All of that put together with the powerful guitars, drums and bass parts created a super unique sound that, although didn’t seem to really get the crowd going at times, absolutely had me captivated. Kingsmen closed out their set with a cover of Metallica’s “Sad But True” which has never been my favorite song but I couldn’t help but love it as Kingsmen powered through it.
There was an undeniable sense of anticipation as the stage was turned over for UNITYTX. I knew nothing about this band going into the show on Wednesday night but they had my attention as soon as they kicked into their set. UNITYTX’s sound was unlike anything I had ever heard. Part hardcore, part metalcore, part hip-hop– this band seriously had such a strong sense of style and uniqueness, it was impossible to not fall in love with this band. As if their distinct sound wasn’t enough to sell you on this band, vocalist Jay Webster had such a power over the audience that it was impossible to look away. The crowd had grown to a fairly large size by the time UNITYTX took the stage and Webster somehow got everyone to move. From a pit that had formed front and center to other people just bopping along to the intense beats, I loved the energy that was happening in the room throughout UNITYTX’s set and that was an energy that would reign supreme throughout the rest of the night.
UNITYTX was absolutely a hard act to follow but Varials took the stage next and definitely held their own. Hailing from Pennsylvania, Varials seems to have a bit of a cult following here in the Twin Cities. People were clearly excited to see this band perform again for the first time since before the pandemic (apparently their show at Amsterdam Bar & Hall in Saint Paul was one of their last shows before the pandemic and they claimed that that was one of the best shows of their career). Sadly, Varials’ set felt far too short and I feel like as soon as I had finished getting some pictures and had settled into a spot to watch the rest of their set, they were announcing their final song. Varials could have played for hours and you wouldn’t have gotten a single complaint from the crowd. Their set was full of power and kept the energy high. The audience was clearly eating it up as they pushed and shoved their way through the quick set. Much like all of the previous bands to take the stage, there was a sense of passion and emotion that came through with every note and every word that floated through the air like electricity.
I feel like I’m getting too old for these 32-band (okay, I’m being dramatic) metal shows. The wait between Varials and headliner Volumes seemed to go on forever and I could feel a pain starting in my back. Sure, being able to see multiple bands in one night is amazing but six metal bands on a school night is a bit rough. My mind was wandering to how I wanted to be at home curled up with a good book as the rain hit my windows but that fantasy came to a quick close as Volume blasted onto the stage and made me so very happy to be where I was. Like Varials, Volumes has an odd cult-like following up here in the Twin Cities. This band is from Los Angeles, CA but they are treated like locals here and I absolutely love that. Bringing an almost nu-metal taste to the night, Volumes kept the energy level high and the speakers bumping. Due to a positive covid case in the band, instead of playing as a four-piece, Volumes came in the form of a trio but, had you been completely new to the band, I don’t think you would have even noticed. The band didn’t miss a beat and gave the excited audience a flawless performance even with a member down.
Six bands are a lot for a single show but when they all bring the undeniable sense of energy and passion to the stage as they did on Wednesday night, you are letting wanting so much more.