After getting taking a break on Sunday night, I was ready to jump back into my current concert bender. I didn’t know anything about the show I ended up at at Amsterdam Bar & Hall in Saint Paul but I knew it was miles away from the chaos that was The Final Four championship game in Minneapolis. After weaving through more traffic than I expected for a Monday night, I finally made it to Saint Paul where the city still felt a bit more electric than it usually does on a Monday. Maybe it was the excitement of the Twin Cities hosting the game or maybe it was the fact that the temperature had hit 70 degrees but there’s an epic snowstorm forcasted for later this week. Regardless, I was in love with the vibe around me and excited for this show that I knew nothing about.
Amsterdam was packed as I walked in and it was clear that the excitement in the air outside had transferred to the inside of the venue. With banners plastered around the venue advertising Go 96.3 (the radio show sponsoring the event) and various other sponsors including Audi Minneapolis/ St. Paul, my humble Amsterdam Bar (that I’ve been going to for years and years) seemed to have been transformed into something else. The young crowd wasn’t the regulars I had gotten used to seeing here for the many metal shows that this place hosts but it still felt like home which says loads about this venue and their staff. A bit out of place and alone, I claimed a spot behind the soundboard and waited for the music to start. I was clearly the only person who had come to this show blind and the excited conversations around me about the two bands performing had me excited as if I was about to see one of my favorite bands.
Still a fairly new band to the American scene, this English band performed like their life depended on it and that’s something I truly appreciated. Their sound was a bit quirky. Think MGMT if the members were 16 but making music for 2019. With vocals that wouldn’t be considered classically good, everything about this group worked and although it took me a couple of songs to really get into it, I ended up getting it and low key falling in love with it. There was a sense of fun that radiated not only through the speakers but also from the stage. The way the members would joke with each other mid-song and hang on each other while singing gang vocals that weren’t really gang vocals– there was an undeniable sense of family on that stage that refused to be ignored and gave the night a whole different side (it also helped that two member Ewan and Callum are legit brothers but the whole band truly felt like a band of brothers).
Bad Sounds’ set was fairly short lasting only around forty minutes but their set list showed a wide range of what this young band has to offer. From that MGMT sound that I mentioned to almost a reggae meets rap-rock meets indie vibe in others, this band was seriously a bit all over the place in the best possible way. Bad Sounds’ debut album ‘Get Better’ came out just last year and the band spoke about what a whirlwind this whole experience has been. From starting off in a “shit town” in the UK to now touring the U.S. and playing sold out shows– it must be a true shock to them all but they are handling it like pros. Good thing too because if this band keeps up, there will be even brighter lights in their future.
Headlining the short and sweet show was New Zealand based Broods. This is one of those bands that I know I’ve seen their name a million times before but for some reason never really took the time to dig into them. Like Bad Sounds, Broods was started by brother/sister duo Caleb and Georgia Nott. Sibling bands are definitely one of my favorite things on the planet. I know it’s cliche and goes without saying but there truly is a connection between siblings that just can not be mimicked and that connection makes for some of the most heart-felt music on the planet. That is exactly the case when it comes to Broods. Every single song emitted an undeniable sense of passion and love from it and even though I couldn’t sing along like the rest of the sold out audience around me was doing, I could feel the words and sometimes that makes it even more enjoyable.
With three albums out, Broods had plenty of material to sift through before landing on their sixteen song set. The perfect curation of the set list left the excited crowd more than satisfied having heard their favorite songs along with some that were clearly a surprise. The young crowd felt more polite than anything else which, as someone who likes to push around in a moshpit every once in awhile, left me a bit underwhelmed but the truth is that Broods’ music just doesn’t make you want to move, push and shove. It makes you want to stand back, drink in hand, swaying along to the beat while letting your mind drift away from any worries that may be plaguing you and that’s exactly what their set do. Now, don’t let that statement fool you into thinking there was no energy because there definitely was. It was just a completely different sense of energy than what I typically write about.
Last night could have been a disaster along with all of the other shows that I so blindly walk into but it wasn’t. I was introduced to two bands that, although not my typical cup of tea, will definitely be on my radar for the future.
Venue: Amsterdam Bar & Hall
Sausage Fest Meter- 3 out of 10
Average Age of the Crowd- 22
Crowd Surfers- None
Dance-Ability- 3.5 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- 7.1 out of 10
Show on Deck- Earl Sweatshirt/ Bbymutha/ Liv.e
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