Something very odd and interesting happens in Minnesota when the temperatures start to drop and the snow starts to fall. People just get a bit nicer and rowdier. This whole phenomenon can be seen loud and clear when you find yourself at a show at a smaller venue in town like the 7th Street Entry on a night like last night. Don’t get me wrong, all of the bands that played definitely deserved the hype and attention the audience was giving them but was a mosh-pit like thing necessary for a dream-pop band? Absolutely not. Did it add a very fun element to the show? Most definitely.
Unfortunately due to a hellish commute home, the need for some food, and a longer than usual wait for an Uber and then, again, crappy roads, my friend and I did not make it downtown in time to see opener Double Grave. My apologies to the band but having seen them a couple times before, I know that they killed it!
Slow Pulp was taking the stage as we walked into the warm and inviting venue. Like Double Grave, I have seen Slow Pulp before and am always thoroughly impressed. Funny thing is, the last time I saw Slow Pulp was with the same headlining act but I’m definitely not complaining. Their unique sound matches the unique vibe of headliner Vundabar in the most perfect way. With vocalist Em’s dream-like and whimsical voice clashing against the powerful almost punk instrumentation, this band truly has a sound like none other. Although I clearly see the power behind Slow Pulp, their live show is so laid back and chill that it wouldn’t be hard to miss it. The past couple of times that I’ve caught this Madison, WI born, Chicago, IL based band, the audience just kind of stood there and took it all in. This was not the case last night. The dream-punk sound made the young crowd dance and, as mentioned at the beginning of this post, they were rowdy. Although there’s no denying the power behind this band, there is something funny about watching beer being sloshed all over the place while listening to music that could easily make you drift off to dreamland.
Following Slow Pulp’s set was Paul Cherry- an act I had never heard of but loved the second he took the stage. Backed by a band of five incredible musicians, Paul Cherry instantly took over the speakers with his oddly smooth and almost sultry psychedelic music that had funk tendencies in it. Confused yet? I honestly don’t know how to explain his music other than it was fun, made you want to dance, and had a personality to it that shined brighter than any of the lights on stage. Much like Slow Pulp’s set, there was something so informal and chill about his set while still coming off as very energetic and professional. The audience was eating up note after note. Again, his music is not the type of music you would typically see a mosh pit for but that’s exactly what the audience was giving Paul and his band. This odd display from the audience clearly caught the eye of the band members who could be caught chuckling throughout the set. Paul didn’t say anything about this whole situation other than thanking the crowd for taking time out of their busy lives and dealing with crappy weather to come out and just have a good time. Again, I truly think what happened during Paul Cherry’s set was such a prime example of what happens to the youths in this town when the temperatures start to fall and outside looks like a winter wonderland.
Boston based Vundabar closed out the Tuesday night show with a sense of energy and fun that lasted well into the night. I first caught these guys in July of 2017 and was instantly hooked. I’ve had the complete privileged of catching these guys multiple times since then and believe me when I say– catching Vundabar live never gets old. Vocalist/ guitarist Brandon Hagen is kooky and painfully awkward but I mean that in the best possible way. His odd mannerisms mixed with his awkward conversations with the audience between songs and the way he almost dances with his guitar as if it’s his date all add up to a truly engaging and entertaining live show. Beyond Brandon, drummer Drew McDonald has his own little quips that he adds to the show. With random hoots and hollers that seem to come from out of nowhere and the way he lets his long hair just kind of dangle in front of his face majority of the set, he does not let you write him off as just the drummer. The bassist (not quite sure of his name and I truly apologize) doesn’t bring quite as much to the table as far as awkward and kooky is concerned but the way he balances everything out is beyond perfect and definitely something that is needed for this trio.
Vundabar’s music kind of matches their odd live show. It’s pop-punk with a little indie, a little garage rock all tied up in a bow of beats that make you want to dance and move. Although they are super fun to watch as a band, there’s no denying the talent behind this young band. Brandon’s voice is nothing short of impressive and the way he can manipulate his voice from high to low in the blink of an eye will truly leave you with your jaw on the ground. The instrumentation behind Brandon’s impressive vocals is not cliche or overdone which can be super hard for a band to do in such an over-saturated music scene. I don’t know how they do it and can’t pick out specific examples but there’s just something about the instrumentation that puts Vundabar in a playing field all on their own. Again, this is a band that I will never get sick of seeing live and I hope this trend of coming to Minneapolis every couple of months keeps happening.
I always joke with family and friends that winter is the perfect time to come visit me in Minneapolis. Although I’m clearly joking, I’m also not. Something happens up here in the winter that just can’t be put into words and can only be felt. I felt that last night at the show and as the young audience jumped and moshed their way through the night, I stood in the back corner sipping my drink and taking it all in with a smile on my face.
Venue: 7th Street Entry
Sausage Fest Meter- 6 out of 10
Average Age of the Crowd- 22
Crowd Surfers- None
Mosh-Ability- Should have been 1 out of 10 but ended up being 8.7 out of 10
Stage Divers- None
Broken Bones- 0
Spotted Flying Through The Air- Nothing
Drunkards Taken Out By Security- 0
Celebrity Sightings- None
Overall Score- 8.9 out of 10
Show on Deck- Bring Me The Horizon/ Thrice/ The Fever 333
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