The security getting into the venue last night was ridiculous. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I understand that, after the events in Orlando last weekend, this was bound to happen and I wasn’t surprised, but it made my heart heavy. There’s always been security at Mill City Nights and all of the other venues I go to but last night was different. They actually searched and patted you down. People were told to take their hats off so security could feel around the band of the hat. Hoods of sweatshirts were searched on the off chance there was something in there.

Apparently this is the sad reality we live in. It made me a bit nervous walking into the venue after going through such tight security. Nobody said it, but we all knew why the security had tightened up and, honestly, when that realization hits you as you’re walking into a club, it’s a bit scary.

My brother and I claimed our spot towards the back of the young crowd and as soon as the music started, every fear, all the anxiety, all thoughts of what could happen fell to the wayside.

The show started with Thin Lips. These guys are a female fronted band and, as you know, that is a huge turnoff to me because… well, I honestly don’t know but something was different about these guys. Their music was honest and raw. Their female singer wasn’t trying to be anything she wasn’t. The whole band was great and you felt the integrity coming off the stage. It was a bit Mixtapes mixed with a bit old school Tsunami Bomb and all wrapped up with a bow made out of the current pop-punk scene. Absolute perfection.

As soon as Thin Lips got off stage, the crowd started to push towards the front in anticipation for Joyce Manor. Here’s a band where I thought they were fairly unknown up here but was proven wrong within the first few seconds of their set. The crowd erupted with the first note.

These guys are in no way, shape or form new to the scene, they’ve actually been around since 2008 but, due to the pop-punk revival that is going on in the music world right now, they seem to finally be getting the recognition that they deserve. It was unbelievable to see how much of the crowd was singing along to every single word of every single song these guys played. The band seemed to be feeding off the energy of the crowd as they played through a good mix of new and old songs.

After Joyce Manor I ran downstairs to scope out the merch and use the bathroom. On the bathroom door was a sign that suggested that you use the bathroom that best matches what sex you identify with. Nobody said anything, nobody was snickering as they read the signs, it seemed like nobody had an issue with it (as it should be). More people were taking pictures of the sign or telling their friends how cool that is or didn’t even acknowledge the signs. It was a truly beautiful sight to see. It seemed to just be for last night’s show but this is now the second show I’ve been to where I’ve seen signs like this on the bathroom doors. I truly hope I keep on seeing things like this.

Modern Baseball was the headliner of the night. I have seen these guys a few times now and am always impressed by their live shows. Their music sounds like it’s straight off of their recordings but with a sense of energy that you just can not get from listening to a CD. The other times I have seen these guys, they were the opening band. It was nice to see them get the headlining slot that they deserve.

Some of their music is great for a headlining act but some of their more emo, slow songs had me wondering if these guys were ready to be this huge headliner. It was a bit hard to pay attention through some of the songs towards the middle of their set. It’s not that they were bad, they sounded great. It’s just that the songs themselves are so mellow and I’m just not a mellow person. I would much rather hear a set full of their upbeat songs but I realize there’s just not enough of that to fill a whole set. When it came down to it, these guys did a really good job of mixing it up between slow and fast songs and then their new and old songs.

They ended their set with my favorite song, Your Graduation. It’s a song that I interpret to be about the one who got away but because you let them go. It’s full of angst and emotion. It’s raw and angry at times and then completely beautiful at others. It’s honest and makes you feel something. It was a perfect ending to my night.

Yeah, it was a bit weird having to go through tons of security to get into a show. I’ve been doing this damn near every night for a few years now and had never had that experience before. It’s a bit scary to think about the tragedy in Orlando and how it could have happened literally anywhere. It’s sad to realize that the extreme security and the fear that comes with it is just the reality now but as soon as I stepped foot inside and felt the kick of that bass drum, everything was fine and I was safe and felt at home.

Line Up:

Thin Lips

Joyce Manor

Modern Baseball

Venue: Mill City Nights

Sausage Fest Meter-  4 out of 10

Average Age of the Crowd- 18

Crowd Surfers- 67

Stage Divers- None

Danceability- High

Broken Bones- None

Shout Out- Shout out to the random guy downstairs that bought my brother and I a round of drinks. Minnesota nice was alive and well last night.

Drunkards Taken Out By Security- None

Celebrity Sightings- None

Most Impressed By- Security– They were killing it no only when it came to searching people on their way in, but for also catching and taking care of the endless stream of crowd surfers.

Overall Score- 7 out of 10

Show on Deck- Flight of the Conchords!