Let me list off all of the things I should have done last night: Vacuum, wash the dishes currently piling up in my sink, laundry, clean my cats’ litter box, sleep… but instead of doing any of those things, I found myself at First Avenue for yet another show that wasn’t quite my cup of tea. Was it worth it?
The show started with Bell the Band… Well, with one member of Bell the Band. Based in New York City but with a southern sound that would have you convinced otherwise, Bell the Band is typically a five piece but the young crowd at First Avenue was treated to a solo performance by singer Caitlin Marie Bell. Caitlin seemed to be a bit shy as she took the stage alone with just a guitar in hand but, due to the warm welcoming of the audience, she loosened up a bit and ended up presenting a super intimate and beautiful set.
Caitlin’s voice had a very old-school southern feel to it making her cover of “Make Me A Pallet on the Floor” (from the 19th century) perfectly fitting. The fact that she would pick such an old song to cover was a huge selling point for me. It was a song that I doubt anyone in the crowd had heard before and it was a perfect way for her to showcase her talented voice. Sure, the crowd wasn’t very enthusiastic when it came to helping her sing the song but she didn’t seem to mind. With a passion and an apparent love for what she was doing, Caitlin played through her quick set with her beautiful soul shining as bright as the spotlight that illuminated her as she performed.
Up next was a group of high-school kids who have been making waves in recent months. The Greeting Committee was the main reason I had interest in last night’s show. I caught one of their singles on the radio and was instantly intrigued. I have to be honest, when listening to their music, I had no clue just how young this four-piece was and was a bit shocked when they took the stage. Although they looked the part of being super young, they didn’t act like it and took the stage with a sense of fury and energy that you would expect from seasoned veterans.
I was instantly envious of singer Addie Sartino’s energy. There I was downing Red Bull’s and still having trouble staying awake while she was up on stage literally jumping to every single beat. Beyond her copious amount of energy, I was struck by her voice. Addie’s voice is what intrigued me about this band from the first time I heard them and being able to see and hear it live just solidified my thought that these guys are definitely going to be “the next big thing” very soon. Addie’s voice is a bit haunting at times as she seems to stay in a lower range but she also doesn’t stray away from higher pitched notes. When she hits those high notes, it’s a goose-bump inducing sound.
The Greeting Committee did a great balancing act of playing upbeat songs mixed with slower, darker songs. Due to their age and energy, even the darker, slower songs came off as more upbeat than they do on recordings and sometimes that can really irk me but it was clear that these guys were just playing for their audience and they were nailing it. Addie ended the set with a jump into the crowd to crowd surf. After the crowd let her down so she could walk back and start tearing down the stage, I caught her giving multiple people some of the most sincere hugs I had ever seen. It was that energy and aura that had me wanting more when their short set ended. Keep your eyes on this band… seriously.
Finishing off the night was Misterwives. I have a love hate relationship with this band and I was hoping seeing them live again would help me make up my mind. I love this band’s music. Although it’s a bit more generic than I typically care for, it’s catchy and they are making songs they instantly get stuck in your head to the point where there’s no relief. I hated these guys’ live show last time I saw them. It seemed a bit too scripted and campy for me and I just couldn’t get into it. I was feeling generous last night so I tried to go into their set with an open mind and a sense of optimism (which is admittedly tough for me).
With three full lengths albums, this New York City based pop band has been taking over the world one single at a time. As I mentioned, their songs are catchy. Not just your normal catchy… more like catchy as fuck. Whether you like this band or not, there’s no way that you can listen to their music without singing, or at least humming, along. It seems like these guys are constantly on a tour and I more than respect the grind that they have been doing since they started five years ago. I always hear people talk about how great their live show is and how much energy they have. Maybe the last time I saw them I was just in a terrible mood or they were having an off night. Whatever it was, I didn’t see or feel that energy or passion.
Something switched for me last night. Although the spiels that singer Mandy Lee said between songs seemed a bit scripted, I was able to feel that passion and energy that so many people rave about. All six members of this band jumped and danced their way through the nearly hour and a half long set and had me in the palm of their hand. Sure, I lost interest a bit when I was unable to sing along to a song or when I started to realize that I was one of the oldest people at the show without a child in tow but Misterwives never failed to pull me back in. Their upbeat music had me bobbing my head along as the crowd jumped and screeched along to the words.
There were so many things I was supposed to do last night. Thankfully, the show was an early one and I was home by 9:30 (which is when majority of my shows are starting). Not only did I get the cats’ litter box cleaned, I also got to finally experience what so many people talk about.
I’m not usually big on second chances when it comes to bands. There are far too many shows going on any given night here in the Twin Cities that I don’t have time to waste. For some reason I was feeling generous last night and it definitely worked out in my benefit.
Venue: First Avenue
Sausage Fest Meter- -9 out of 10
Average Age of the Crowd- 12
Crowd Surfers- 1- Addie of The Greeting Committee
Broken Bones- 0
Passed Out People – 0
Celebrity Sightings- 0
Overall Score- 6 out of 10
Show on Deck- Cymothoa/ Hatebeast/ CWN ANNWN/ Deephaven/ Zenith Waves