There are three phases in a tour.
Phase 1- The first few dates of the tour. The bands are typically just getting to know each other and the live performances are almost like a test run when it comes to the set list. The bands are still trying to figure out the perfect timing when it comes to songs, banter between the songs, and everything else.
Phase 2- The middle of the tour. This is when the bands fall into the routine of no sleep and typically too much alcohol. The music becomes polished and the members have mood swings worse than a teenage girl.
Phase 3- The last night of tour. This is when none of the bands (pardon my language) give a flying fuck. They just want to go home but at the same time are sad as hell to be leaving the new friends they have made on the road and hate the fact that they have to go back to normal life.
Last night was a phase 3 night which just happens to be my absolute favorite phase of all tours.
The show started out with Pinegrove. It was their first time ever to play in Minnesota but you wouldn’t have thought that by the percentage of the crowd that was singing along to all of their songs. Honestly, I had never heard of them before. Their music is much calmer than I typically like but it was so unique that I couldn’t help but fall in love. Their music was definitely presented like a generic indie pop band but it was far from generic once they started playing. The singer’s voice had a certain southern twang to it. Mix that with the slide guitar that was prominent throughout the set and you had this glorious hodgepodge of indie, alt, country music that was hard to shrug off. These are super young kids (the singer’s birthday is actually later this week and he will be turning 27), so I can’t see what the next few years holds for them. Even though this was the last night of tour for them, they stayed professional and played their set flawlessly
The Sidekicks were the second band to play last night. I fell in love during their sound check when they were playing Lit songs to check the levels and everything. That right there won them so many points in my book. This is when I got my first glimpse at a “stage 3” band in their prime. The drummer was through bottles of water and other various items from behind the drumset over to the side where the other bands were hanging out and taunting the band on stage. The band was truly just having fun on stage. The interaction with the singer and the crowd seemed awkward at times but that could either have been exhaustion on the singer’s part or that fact that it was a phase 3 night and the band just didn’t care anymore.
Their music was upbeat and fun. After hearing a couple of their songs, the Lit soundcheck made more sense. Their music has a bit of a 90’s feeling to it but it still felt modern and new which was great. They ended their set with a cover of Prince’s Kiss. It was perfect and, surprisingly, the first Prince cover I had heard since the death of the legend (which absolutely blows my mind being that I live in Minnesota but oh well). Their singer was able to show off his amazing voice during the cover and the drummer was able to show off his hilarious dance moves.
Into It. Over It. was the headliner of the night. Of course these guys killed it because they always do. The vocals and lyrics that come out of Evan Thomas Weiss’ mouth regardless of what project he is performing in (he has multiple bands including, my personal favorite, Pet Symmetry) never fail to blow my mind. Their music is overall upbeat but still somehow gives off the feeling of that angsty emo music I used to listen to when I still lived with my parents. Their lyrics are mature and evoke something in you that not many bands can.
These guys were definitely having a stage 3 night but in the best way possible. They were obviously having a great time on that stage. They were joking around with the crowd, joking around with the other bands. Just smiles all around… perfection. While they were sound checking, news broke that these guys (along with the other bands) had pulled a prank on The World Is A Beautiful Place And I Am No Longer Afraid To Die (more on them in a wee bit). They had taken the battery out of TWIABP&IANLATD’s tour van and had replaced it with bibles. Now, I didn’t witness this (although I truly debated running outside to try and get a picture), but this is just a great example of a stage 3 band. Eventually the battery was found and replaced. Lord knows what happened to the bibles.
Every band that played last night blew my mind with their talent but TWIABP&IANLATD took the damn cake.
I’ve always wondered how many people you could actually fit on the stage at Triple Rock. It’s not a huge stage but it’s also not tiny. The answer is 8. 8 people along with all of their instruments and backline gear. TWIABP&IANLATD is a huge group and 8 people may sound ridiculous for an indie/ rock/ weird/ noise band but it was necessary and, even though the were crammed up on that stage, they played flawlessly.
The music these guys play is indescribable. I love listening to it on CD but had no clue how they would pull something like that off live. There were beautiful moments of ambient noise in their songs that are so damn gorgeous you feel like you should be having a glass of the bar’s nicest red wine with a cigar or something. But then, as soon as you get comfortable with the quietness of the moment, the band explodes and you are hit with a giant punch to the face in the form of sound.
Their lyrics, like that of Into It. Over It. evoke hidden feelings in you. There are moments when you feel nothing but hate and anger. But then, within minutes, they bring you back down to a calming reality where you start questioning all of your choices or you start looking ahead to your week all starry eyed and optimistic that this is going to be the best week ever. As soon as you settle on that place in your head, they hit you with their wall of sound and you are back to being pissed off at everyone and thinking about how to quit your job.
Last night may have been a stage 3 show and full of goofing off and imperfect sets, but those are my favorite. The banter amongst the bands and with the crowd is something that makes every show different and fun and that is always the best on the last night of a tour.
Dear bands, Please play every show like it’s the last show of your tour because last night was a show I will remember for awhile.
Venue: Triple Rock
Sausage Fest Meter- 4 out of 10
Average Age of the Crowd- 21
Crowd Surfers- None
Stage Divers- None
Broken Bones- None
Drunkards Taken Out By Security- None
Celebrity Sightings- None
Overall Score- 8.5 out of 10
Show on Deck- Wild Nothing/ Whitney