With having more than a couple of days off from shows, I was clearly going through withdrawals. I mean, don’t get me wrong, it was super nice to spend some time at home and get caught up on some work stuff but I could tell I was getting super anxious and crabby without having shows. There were multiple concerts going on last night that I wanted to go to so, out of frustration, I had decided to just not go out at all. Thankfully, I give into peer pressure easily and I quickly found myself at The Amsterdam in Saint Paul.

Unfortunately I didn’t make it in time to see the first band, Common Choir but it was clear from the chatter in the room that they freaking killed it. Missing a band perform gives me a huge feeling of guilt but I promise I will catch you soon Common Choir!

My friends and I walked into the venue just in time to see Milestone. These kids have been around for a little bit now and I try to catch them every time they play. Each time I see them play, they seem to get a little more polished but they’ve still always had that “young band” feel about them. Something was different about their set last night and I think it’s safe to say that these guys have graduated from one of the “young bands” in the scene to one of the “big boys”.

Their sound was cleaner than I had ever heard before. Their set last night made it clear that these guys are more than just a couple of kids with instruments, they are true musicians. It’s not like I didn’t know that these boys could shred before last night, but something just kind of clicked for me as they played through their all too short set. Not only did their music seem to be better than it had ever been before, their overall show was more professional that I had ever seen from them. With a legit light show going on behind them (nice job Sam!!!) and a sense of confidence that I had never seen them with before, I felt like I was watching a whole new band. Had I not known the boys personally, I would have put money on the idea that they were part of the touring package.

The perfection of Milestone’s set led perfectly into Auras’ set. Auras, from Canada, was the first of the three band touring package and (as if Milestone’s set wasn’t a clue) it was clear within the first song that coming to this show was the right choice. Their music had the passion and energy that I crave from a live show. Singer Eric Almeida didn’t have to try very hard to get the crowd moving as it seemed I was one of the few people in the venue who had never heard of Auras before last night. With a combination of technical guitars and  an unmistakable sense of harmony between all instruments, it’s clear that these guys are on their way up in the scene and I hope that means more visits to Minnesota.

After Auras was Phinehas. They started their set off strong, like really strong. I was shocked to see how involved the crowd was within the first couple of songs. With the rowdier crowd came a new sense of energy and that all truly added to Phinehas’ already amazing set. Their music, like all of the other music of the night, was clean and clear but still had an element of fun to it. As the lights flashed and the crowd pushed and shoved their way through the set, everything was good and I felt at peace in a way to just be at a show like this surrounded by friends.

As you may know, I’m not a fan of preachy Christian bands. I don’t care if you’re a Christian band and honestly I listen to more Christian metal bands than I would like to admit, but I don’t want to hear about it. Go ahead and sing your songs about your love for Jesus Christ but don’t lecture a concert crowd on religion. In my mind, it’s just not the time or place. I’ll admit, Phinehas was nowhere near as preachy as some of the bands I’ve seen but as soon as the singer started talking about turning to Jesus if you’re feeling lost well, I was just done. Maybe I was just looking for a reason to socialize with friends and I’m sure the alcohol was making me over-react a bit but as soon as that Jesus talk started, I checked out. I totally get and respect the band’s stance and message it just isn’t for me.

Finishing off the night was Erra who I truly do enjoy. The catch with these guys is there was a time when it seemed like they were here every couple of months and I think I had kind of burned out on them. Last night was the first time in quite a while that I had seen them and I was quickly reminded of just how great they are. Even though the music sounded great and the energy in the crowd had remained high, I was feeling a bit sassy and more in the mood to socialize than be at a concert. I guess that’s what happens when you stay in every night for more than four days in a row or something. Again, not saying that Erra was boring or bad or anything about that because they absolutely killed it from what I could hear and I also heard from some friends that the crowd got a bit rowdy which is always the sign of a great set.

Last night seemed to be a bit more of a socializing type of night for me rather than a concert but I’m quite alright with that. I also think that’s kind of the charm of shows like last night. Everyone is everyone’s friend and, if you don’t know a couple people when walking into the venue, you probably ended up leaving with a couple of new friends. It was just one of those nights that I was quickly reminded of just how great the local metal scene is not only because of the music, but the true sense of family you get when you’re standing around with this crew.

Line Up:

Common Choir

Milestone

Auras

Phinehas

Erra

Venue: Amsterdam

Sausage Fest Meter- 8 out of 10

Average Age of the Crowd- 22

Crowd Surfers- 7-10

Stage Divers- None

Broken Bones- 0

Fights-0

Pukers- 0

Passed Out People – 0

Celebrity Sightings- Jace of Gabriel & the Apocalypse; the Buried Above Ground boys; the By The Thousands boys; Lee of Mithya; Bill of Metalsota… oh man, I’m sure I’m missing some and I’m sorry!

Overall Score- 8 out of 10

Show on Deck-  Mithya!

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