To say I’m exhausted would be an understatement. It has been eight straight days of shows and I’m not quite sure if I would even know how to sleep more than four hours at a time if I tried. Benders like this make my day job and everyday tasks insufferable. Not all of the shows can be winners but I feel like this bender was a bit better than any other bender I’ve had. I got to see bands from my childhood, bands I had never heard of before, friend’s bands, and last night I got to see a band all the way from Australia that I absolutely love.
As soon as the show started, I knew I was in for a great night. Koo Koo Kanga Roo is a local rap duo that typically plays at elementary schools. Yes, you read that right. They have songs geared towards young kids but for some reason, they have this strange older following. That following is for good reason because these guys are, straight up, one of the most fun live bands I have ever seen. I have seen these guys before and fall in love a little bit more every single time.
As I said, their songs are geared towards very young kids but when you put it in a bar setting with the alcohol flowing, it becomes much more entertaining. Their songs are about things like peanut butter & jelly sandwiches with no crust, unicorns, and everyone’s favorite, their song about pooping. They are such a weird band to have open a punk rock show but, when you start to think about it, they are the perfect band to open up a show like last night’s show.
They get you moving and get you excited to be out at a concert. They aren’t afraid to get up in your face and get you involved in their show. There was one point where they were singing their song about unibrows and then ended up in the crowd rubbing everyone’s (including mine) invisible unibrow. It was awkward, being a person that hates having eyes on me, I could feel my face turn bright red as he rubbing my “unibrow” but I felt more than comfortable. The way these guys can make you dance even if you hate dancing is something that is hard to explain. You can’t help but have fun during their sets.
Like I said, they were a weird choice as an opening band for last night but they had befriended headlining act The Smith Street Band on a previous tour and I truly think that is the best way to land an opening spot on a bill. It doesn’t matter if all of the music is the same for an entire bill, what matters is that everyone has fun during all of the bands and that is exactly what happened last night. I spotted members of all of the other bands out doing Koo Koo Kangaroo’s version of the hokey pokey with the rest of the crowd. Everyone’s face was beaming and everyone was laughing. My friend Andrew, who I convinced to go to the show with me, looked at me like I had completely lost my mind but he had a great time as well and that’s all that matters.
All of the other bands sounded amazing last night. Both Hard Girls and Signals Midwest have earned a spot on my daily playlist due to absolutely killing it last night. I could go on and on about both Hard Girl and Signals Midwest but this blog could easily hit 3,000 words and I try to keep them under 1,000 words for your sanity and mine. I will just have to go see both of those bands again soon so I can focus my blog on them. (Hey guys in Hard Girls and Signals Midwest… that’s a hint that you need to come back soon!)
The crowd was small but the energy they had was not. The show was held in the basement of Mill City Nights which is a huge venue but the basement is literally just a brick room with one of the smallest stages in the Twin Cities but all of the bands and crowd made the most of it. It was steamy, smelly, and sweaty… everything you could want in a Sunday night rock show.
The headliner of the night was The Smith Street Band all the way from Australia. I am a huge fan of these guys because I find their lyrics relatable, their music fun, and come on, who doesn’t love an Australian accent coming out of some really cute guys?! I have seen them once before but that was opening for The Front Bottoms and, although I really enjoyed them, I was too focused on the fact that The Front Bottoms were about to take the stage.
Last night I was able to give The Smith Street Band the attention they deserved and I truly enjoyed their set for what it was. It was fast and dirty. The sound was punk rock but with the feeling of indie rock. Everyone in the crowd was loving it and the modest crowd quickly turned into some resemblance of a mosh pit only with more dancing and less shirtless, angry men than I’m used to.
Singer Will Wagner seemed to tear up when thanking the crowd. He went on to explain how amazing it is to go to all of these new cities and meet all of these people. This was The Smith Street Band’s first headlining U.S. tour which they were more than deserving of. It almost seemed as if Will was completely overwhelmed with the support they have been getting on this tour. The venue wasn’t packed last night, in fact, it was pretty disappointing but that’s not what was important. What was important is that every single person in that venue stopped what they were doing when the bands were on stage. The merch tables were flooding between bands and after the show with people wanting to support these amazing bands. People cared and that’s what the music scene is all about.
I’m having a hard time keeping my eyes open at my day job right now. I am looking forward to a night off tonight and getting caught up on Chicago Fire and eating real food. My life is hectic and I tend to go non-stop but when you see the singer of a band that you absolutely adore start to tear up when thanking the crowd for the support, that makes all the exhaustion and coffee more than worth it.
Venue: Nether Bar
Sausage Fest Meter- 3 out of 10
Average Age of the Crowd- 19
Crowd Surfers- None
Stage Divers- None
Broken Bones- None
Drunkards Taken Out By Security- None but there was one guy that almost got taken out by another member of the crowd due to him being drunk and hitting on this other guy’s girlfriend
Celebrity Sightings- None
Overall Score- 8 out of 10
Show on Deck- The Wild Feathers