I had no clue there were stairs at the back of the stage at The Varsity Theater in Minneapolis. I have been there multiple times but the back of the stage was always covered with a giant banner of the band that was playing. There were no banners last night. There wasn’t even a small logo strung up with duct tape like at many of the house shows I go to. There was nothing on the drum kits that hinted towards what band was playing. Hell, the bands barely addressed the crowd. But that was okay for last night. If you were at the show last night, you knew who you were seeing. It was not one of those shows that you just walk up to and decide, “Hey, this show sounds cool, let’s go!”, unless you’re like me and go to anything and everything.
The Velvet Teen opened the show. They had me hooked from the first song. The singer had some effect on his microphone for majority of the show that I just couldn’t get over. It was like auto-tune, but in a good way. They had two keyboards going which automatically gets me interested. Usually with more than one keyboard, the sound starts to get muddled but not The Velvet Teens. Their set was upbeat and had the crowd nodding their heads up and down and tapping their toes. Each song had a different feeling to it. The crowd never really got super into it, but you could tell that they were enjoying themselves.
This Will Destroy You was the headliner. They are an instrumental band from Texas that completely caught me off guard. I had checked them out a couple days ago just because a friend of mine was super excited that they were coming to town and I had a feeling he’d be dragging me to this show. I have to be honest, I fell asleep while listening to the first song. I hate instrumental music. I don’t relate to notes, I relate to words. I like concerts because I can sing along to songs and feel connected. I didn’t feel connected last night. I felt grounded. I felt like they were laying out the notes for me to sing my own song to. It was a soundtrack to my life and I was the singer and lyricist.
Their music can be extremely atmospheric and spacey at times but just when you get okay with that feeling, they hit you with an almost metal sounding section of the song. The crowd mirrored the sounds. One minute they would be swaying back and forth cradling their loved ones, or in my case, cradling my beer. The next minute, devil horns up with a little headbanging session in there. I loved these guys because they would keep you on your toes. You could seriously tell your life story through their music with the ups and downs, the slow and fast… the realness.
Apparently, it’s been awhile since these guys have played in the Twin Cities. They seemed genuinely surprised so many people showed up at the show. It was no where close to a sold out show, but there was a pretty good sized crowd. I hope that this means they will be back soon. Although this was a show where I felt a bit out of my element at, they were amazing and I would love to see them again and feel grounded yet again.
Venue: Varsity Theater
Sausage Fest Meter- 6 out of 10
Average Age of the Crowd- 29
Crowd Surfers- None
Broken Bones- None
Drunkards Taken Out By Security- None
Found in the Pit- There was no pit