Friday’s are the best, let’s be honest. The stress of the week is behind you and the anticipation of the weekend is ahead of you. And there are certain Friday nights that feel like everything just came together exactly the way it was supposed to be. Friday night in Minneapolis was on of those nights. Though creeping up into late October, the weather felt perfect in the mid 60s, there was a cool breeze in the air, and the city was alive with the magic of a weekend. There were a lot of shows in the Twin Cities from Noah Khan at the Mainroom to Frank Turner around the corner at the Pantages, but I was lucky enough to be at a Twin Cities Media favorite, Yoke Lore and EXES at the intimate 7th Street Entry.
This was my second or third time seeing Yoke Lore in Minneapolis, but this (as far as I know), was his first sold-out headlining show in Minneapolis. Yoke Lore, also known as singer/songwriter and dancer extraordinaire Adrian Galvin, has been selling out city after city across the United States on this fall tour, and can I just say, it’s about damn time. And by that I mean – Yoke Lore is one of those artists you can’t not cheer for. I’ve seen him play to 30 people and absolutely kill it, but I am beyond happy to see him selling out shows. Yoke Lore is an extremely talented multi-instrumentalist and dancer, but center stage, banjo in hand and microphone in front of him, it where he seems to truly shine. His set on Friday at the Entry was by far the best I’ve seen to date. Maybe it was the energy of the crowd and the seamless endless supply of good vibes flowing around the room, but more likely it was Yoke Lore himself. His sound was polished, the bass was booming so much you could feel your shirt shake against your body, and Galvin’s otherworldly vocals soared throughout the room. Another interesting component of Yoke Lore’s set on Friday was his use of visuals. The projector in the back of the room drenched the stage in swirly, dreamy-scapes that was the perfect backdrop to the ethereal set. Another dose of magic, the crowd themselves, singing along to song after song, every word. It’s clear the magic of Yoke Lore is spreading.
His set featured tracks such as Beige, which he said is about finding unique ways to tell people you love them and care about them. “Instead of just telling someone, I love you, which is a beautiful thing to say, tell them how they make your fingers feel and what color they make you feel,” Galvin said ahead of the track. Another standout was Goodpain, which Galivn said is about “getting through the hard shit to get to the good stuff,” a feeling I think we can all relate to. Yoke Lore also did his cover of Savage Gardens’ “Truly, Madly, Deeply,” which when released got him a nod from queen of pop herself Taylor Swift. Yoke Lore played through a powerful hour long set, despite being under the weather (which he shared on social media earlier in the day).
Every time I see Yoke Lore, I never want his set to end. I can’t wait to see where Yoke Lore goes next and can’t wait to see him back in Minneapolis, in front of an even larger crowd next time.Opening up the evening, ahead of Yoke Lore was Los Angeles based synth-pop ground EXES. EXES is the project of Allie McDonald and Mike Derenzo who write songs about well, their exes. EXES has been rotating in and out of my Spotify playlists for a few years now, but this was my first time catching this time. Both McDonald and Derenzo were absolutely captivating to watch live, and the crowd was hanging on their every move and word. EXES set featured songs like Taxi, Cain, Burnout and more. I am also looking forward to seeing them back in Minneapolis very soon!