It is rare that I got to a show knowing nothing about the bands and walk out wishing the night had never ended. Now don’t get me wrong, I love seeing bands I know nothing about. I think it’s fun and exciting to discover new music in a live setting. That being said, it’s usually a night that goes too late for me and I am left daydreaming of my bed towards the end of the night. Last night was different.
The opener alone was more than worth going out in the sub-zero temperatures for. Fake Limbs had a show that kept you entertained and had you wondering what comes next. Singer Stephen Sowley was nothing short of a character. He came up on stage with a stand-up comedy routine that had me questioning how the night was going to go. Stephen was almost awkward on stage but then the band came in and that awkwardness turned into a true performance.
Stephen stumbled across the stage for a while until he decided that the stage was no place for him. He jumped right into the crowd and started walking all over the damn place. He was stopped by nothing. Even when the mic finally gave out he just kept singing a capella. Or was it singing? I don’t know what it was. It was almost just ranting but to a rhythm? It was strange, it was bizarre, it was perfect.
The older crowd seemed to be a bit shocked by Stephen’s theatrics but they enjoyed it nonetheless. People would move out of his way as he made his way through the packed house. There was one point where he handed the microphone off to a random kid in the crowd so he could take his jacket (that only lasted a song before he had one arm out of it and continued on with it hanging from his side) to the merch table. He came back towards the front of the crowd. It seemed as if he had completely forgotten about the microphone until the kid that was holding it said, “Um, I think this is yours?” Stephen responded with a , “Thank you sweetie.” and continued on his merry way back up the stage, microphone in hand. He stayed up there for maybe half a song before he was lost in the sea of people again.
Their music was more like noise, but it wasn’t obnoxious… at least not to me. They reminded me a bit of At The Drive In only less punk and more art-rock? Whatever their influences are, these guys are, musically, one of a kind. Add the insane energy of Stephen (and the rest of the band) to the interesting sound and you have a band that has completely stolen my heart.
I honestly thought Fake Limbs had stolen the show by the time they were done but then Bully took the stage.
Bully is a female-fronted indie rock band who, when playing live, comes off more as a punk band. I was wondering why this show was so packed (it had to have been damn near sold out if it didn’t sell out!) but then I found out that Alicia Bognanno, the front-woman, is actually from Rosemount, MN even though the band claims to be from Nashville. This band only has one full length out (Feels Like which was released just last year) but I noticed their name popping up on everyone’s “best of 2015” lists. Last night proved why these guys are on fire right now.
Their set, although short, was packed full of energy. There were times when the music sounded like something you could hear on your local alternative rock radio channel but then there were also songs that sounded like Brody Dale of the Distillers was making a comeback. There were straight up punk songs mixed into a set of good old-fashioned alternative rock. Some songs were fast and loud while other sounds were almost soulful and beautiful. Regardless of the style of song, Alicia’s voice was showcased through the night.
Even during the harder punk songs, where her voice was intentionally raspy, it still sounded absolutely beautiful. Her whole being radiated beauty and power. She had control of the stage and the crowd. The crowd couldn’t turn away. You couldn’t take your eyes off of her or her band. No, they weren’t as theatrical as Stephen from Fake Limbs but they had just as much energy.
The forty-five minute set left me wanting more. They played song after song but still, it was not enough. Granted, they only have one full length and one EP out and they played just about everything they could, but it was not enough. It was just a taste of what this band can do. How unfair! It is rare that I wish I had been out late on a weeknight with the reality of work in the morning looming over me, but last night, I didn’t care. They could have played until 5AM for all I cared, I wasn’t going anywhere. They had the crowd, myself included, right where we belonged… completely captivated.
Last night wasn’t supposed to be that amazing. It was just supposed to be another show to add to my list but it ended up being so much more. Bully is definitely going to be a huge band this year. You better check them out so you can tell your friends, “Yeah, well I knew them before they were super famous!” Fake Limbs is definitely in my top list of bands to see live. You should go see them next time you get a chance because they will NOT disappoint.
Venue: The Fine Line
Sausage Fest Meter- -4 out of 10
Crowd Surfers- Surprisingly, there were 2!
Spotted Flying Through The Sky- One, lone, plastic cup
Broken Bones- None
Average Age of the Crowd- Mixed Bag
Man Buns- 7
Level of Moshing- Light to Medium
Photo Credit- Stephan… the sound guy and friend of mine who has been “stalking” me at shows.
Overall Score- 8.2 out of 10
Show on Deck- 1349 at The Triple Rock