Block party season is upon us and I couldn’t be more excited. Living in Minnesota, you tend to take advantage of every single nice weekend you get because, let’s be honest, our winters suck and last far too long. Memory Lanes (a bowling alley in Minneapolis that frequently hosts shows and is just an all around awesome place) kicked off block party season yesterday with the first day of their annual two day block party.
You Oughta Know started off the sunny day promptly at 3:30 with their absolutely amazing covers of everyone’s favorite 90’s songs. I’m not typically one for cover bands. I’d rather see the real band play their songs and, in my line of work, that’s not hard to do. But there’s something about this cover band. They are so tight and on point that it’s hard not to love them. Singer Sarah Adams has one of the most beautiful voices I’ve ever heard and it’s a voice that is so versatile that it’s jaw dropping. Whether it was a Spice Girls cover or a Brittany Spears song, Sarah nailed it perfectly and even seemed to take on the persona of the singer with her mannerisms. The backing band allows Sarah to take the spotlight but don’t let themselves get lost in her power which creates a set of pure perfection.
Lady Lark, another super powerful voice in the Twin Cities, took the stage next. To say her energy was contagious would be an understatement. Lady Lark joined her backing band after a short intro and had me caught within the first couple of words. Her power and presence in general was a thing of beauty. She didn’t care if the quickly growing audience was more interested in their drinks and conversation than her music, she commanded the stage like it was a sold out show where everyone was there just to see her. The music leaned a bit towards the side of R&B and funk which helped warm up the crowd for the long day ahead. It was easy to see that the crowd was enjoying it as they started to move a bit closer to the stage and started to dance around a bit.
The next band to take the stage was probably my favorite of the day (although absolutely everyone was amazing). Colin Campbell & The Shackletons is a band that I have been wanting to catch for awhile. My friend (and fellow writer) Jessica did a track-by-track with these kids for the blog we work for. She has been harping on me since then that I need to see these guys. Why in the hell did I wait so long to make that happen? Colin Campbell and his two brothers took the stage and I was instantly struck by their age. These kids are young. I mean, super young. I mean, it was just the drummers 17th birthday the other day… that young. You could tell from the suitcoats and sound that The Replacements are a huge influence on what they do but they still had a very original vibe to them. Their music was upbeat and fun while having a sense of maturity that is sometimes lost on these young bands. To say I was impressed would be an understatement and I can’t wait to catch these guys again!
It seemed like all of the drinks my friends and I had consumed throughout the day were catching up to us all after Colin Campbell & The Shackletons’ set. Attention spans grew shorter and trips to the bar more frequent. The giant great dane that some one had brought out became more attention-getting than the stage to some of us and some in our group were quickly deteriorating into a drunken mess. Unfortunately, I feel like I missed the next couple of sets other than catching just a song or two from P • PL and The Crunchy Kids. My group of friends and I finally threw in the towel after The Crunchy Kids and completely missed out on Sarah White and JC Brooks who closed out the night.
As much as I felt bad for missing a couple of acts, I was also having a great time just being outside with good friends by my side and cold drinks in my hands. That’s the magic of a block party. There’s so much to do if you want to or you can just do nothing and sit there while everything goes on in the background. Partying in a parking lot may not seem glamorous but when you live in a state where it’s winter 80% of the time, it’s absolutely everything to everyone.
No plans today? It’s freaking gorgeous out. Come meet me at the Memory Lanes parking lot today for day 2 of the block party! With Dillinger Four closing out the night, you know it’s going to be a party!
Venue: Memory Lanes
Sausage Fest Meter- 4 out of 10
Average Age of the Crowd- 35
Crowd Surfers- 0
Broken Bones- 0
Passed Out People – 0
Celebrity Sightings- 0
Overall Score- 8 out of 10
Show on Deck- Memory Lanes Block Party Day 2