I was going to take last night off. I had some work to do at home, a deep cleanse of my apartment is necessary at this point and, let’s be honest, I just didn’t want to go to the show. There wasn’t a band on the line-up that I was dying to see and I was being a big baby about my hangover. As the doors opened for the show, I rolled around on my couch and explained to my cats that I really shouldn’t feel bad for not going to the show. My cats didn’t seem to agree or disagree so I sat there a little bit longer. As the first band was taking the stage, I talked myself into going. I mean, it was a show and, although there wasn’t a “must see” band on the lineup, I don’t miss shows. I got in my car and made the trek to downtown Saint Paul.

Unfortunately, due to my indecision regarding even going to the show, I missed the first two acts. As always, my apologies to both Sons of Vengeance and Our Common Collapse. I blame my cats for not being decisive for me.

Wisconsin based For Once was the first band that I caught and I was instantly happy with my decision to go out. This group had a sounds that was too clean and crisp to have me believing that they were really just a “local” band from Wisconsin. Although their music was heavy and there was a dominant chugging coming from the guitar, there was a sense of emotion behind their music that was impossible to ignore. With two vocals that shouldn’t have fit together when listening to them separately but came together to create a beautiful wall of sound, I seemed to have instantly gone from pessimistic to optimistic about what the night may bring.

Like so many other early all ages shows with a couple of locals on the bill, For Once’s set was only a half hour long. It seemed like as soon as I started picking out the certain parts I liked from this band, they were hauling their heavy gear off the stage and the next band was quickly setting up. Last night was the first time I had ever even heard of For Once and, although they are not necessarily “local”, I hope they start playing out more in the Twin Cities. They have a refreshing sound that this scene needs and their down to earth personalities would fit in perfectly.

Following up For Once was AfterTime. I have to be honest, I have seen these guys multiple times and I just don’t get it. They are a symphonic metal band from right here in the Twin Cities and they definitely have the sound that you would want from a band in that genre. I decided, after being blown away by For Once, that I was going to go into AfterTime’s set with an open mind– think of it as a fresh start. I was pretending that this was the first time I had ever seen this band and I was hoping I would finally hear or see what other people see in this band.

AfterTime has a sense of power without being aggressive. Singer Sarah Wolf easily demands your attention as she stalks the stage in her gothic styled dress as she sings beautiful lines of lyrics. Is it my style? No– but there is no denying the power that Sarah has on her own. Regardless of what you’re into, you can’t help but watch her with your jaw on the ground as her hair blows in the fan set up towards the front of the stage. It seems to take her no effort to hit high notes and hold notes for long periods of time all the while keeping a smile on her face and keeping the crowd engaged.

As I scanned the stage, I watched the four other members of the band as they played their way through their stage. They had a sense of energy that I had never noticed at their other shows. Maybe I was always just too captivated by Sarah and her siren-like voice but I feel like last night I finally saw this band as a whole. With two guitarists, a bassist, a drummer and almost too many tracks to keep track of (see what I did there?), there was definitely a wall of sound coming off the stage and into the modest crowd that had formed. Was this my eureka moment? Was I finally seeing what everyone else sees in this band? Maybe, maybe not. Regardless, I seemed to enjoy AfterTime’s set a bit more last night than I had in the past and I think I’m finally starting to get it.

Closing out the night was September Mourning. I had heard things about this band and, honestly, they weren’t good. Much like AfterTime, I was trying to go into it with a clear head. The lights darkened and a comic book like video started playing towards the back of the stage. The artwork was impressive and the story line instantly had me hooked. It was a comic about a world being taken over by darkness and grim-reaper hybrids. The story focuses on one girl who bridges the gap between the two worlds. I was in love with the artwork and storyline and almost forgot that there was a band involved in all of this.

After a little bit of video, four people took the stage all in long, sinister looking cloaks. As the portion of the video ended, the band members took their spots on the stage and the singer whipped off the cloak to reveal an intricate white outfit. The comic book had come to life right before my eyes and this singer was September (real name- Emily Lazar)- the girl who was bridging the gap between the two worlds. Emily instantly commanded all of your attention as she powered through the first song. Her dark voice didn’t quite match her comic book like outfit. Her white and black hair whipped back and forth as she sang with a sense of ferocity that could not be ignored.

As the show went on, the crowd was given a portion of the comic book styled video between each song. Video- song- video- song it was truly a show that transported you into another world. The music wasn’t quite for me but it fit the whole style of the show and I seemed to be able to look past my personal preference and truly enjoyed the set. Was it a movie? Was it a show? Was it a concert? Who cares?! The smoked, lights, video, outfits, and sound all created an atmosphere that I instantly fell in love with.

My night started off rough. I didn’t want to go. I was using my hangover as an excuse to stay in all night and binge watch more terrible shows on Netflix. Thank God I talked myself out of that and dragged myself to the show.

Line Up:

Sons of Vengeance

Our Common Collapse

For Once

AfterTime

September Mournings

Venue: Amsterdam

Sausage Fest Meter- 8 out of 10

Average Age of the Crowd- 19

Crowd Surfers- 0

Stage Divers-  0

Broken Bones- 0

Spotted Flying Through The Air- Nothing

Fights-0

Pukers- 0

Drunkards Taken Out By Security- 0

Celebrity Sightings- None

Overall Score- 6 out of 10

Show on Deck-  The Cro-Mags

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