I can usually roll with the punches. I’m not one of those people who is afraid of change in fact, I typically embrace it. That being said, I was a bit shocked when I walked into The Turf Club to find myself in a sea of people an hour before the show was even supposed to start. Usually my calm and easy nights, The Turf Club is a cute little club in Saint Paul where it was truly all about the music. With very little around it, it was definitely a destination club, not a walk up type of place– until now. Yesterday was the first game at the beautiful Allianz Field soccer stadium that just opened up a mere blocks for my humble little Turf Club. As soon as my Uber driver turned off the freeway, you could feel a sense of energy that had never been in that part of town before. I loved it, yes, but I also love my easy and calm Turf Club shows. My friends and I sat at the bar having our drinks and catching up as the crowd’s conversations made it nearly impossible for us to hear each other. Rowdy and clearly in the mood to have a good time, the vibe in The Turf Club was one of those feelings that I wish I could put into a jar and save for a rainy day.
The energy was great until opening act (and personal favorite of mine) Michigander took the stage. A bit surprised to see vocalist Jason Singer on stage alone instead of with his band, I was instantly worried about how it would go. My worry was right. The audience was loud and Jason’s voice is more sensitive and full of love than loud and full of aggression that could command such a rowdy audience. My friends and I were in love with it when we could hear it but just a couple of songs in I found myself frustrated with the loud conversations around me and the fact that I couldn’t hear every single word flowing out of Jason’s mouth like I wanted to. Regardless of if I could hear every word or not, I could feel the love, the passion, and the energy that made me fall in love with Jason and Michigander the first time I saw him. Last night definitely wasn’t my favorite time seeing him perform but chances to catch him seem to come only every once in awhile so I am beyond thankful for the opportunity.
Omaha based Twinsmith was up next and although the audience was clearly still in rowdy mode and having loud conversations, Twinsmith’s full band helped make them stand out a bit more. Their sound was unique but oh so familiar. I found myself deep inside my head trying to figure out who they sounded like but never quite being able to put my finger on it. A little Vampire Weekend mixed with Adam Richman-like vocals and a very Matt & Kim pop vibe, the music was all over the place but clearly a better suited for the energy of the audience around me. Although their set was on the completely other side of the spectrum from Michigander’s sweet and calm opening set, there was still that undeniable sense of passion and love that rolled off the stage like waves. These guys may have been from Omaha (and Michigander from Michigan) but, if you didn’t know that, I think it would have been easy to be fooled into thinking these were local bands just due to the sense of family and love that was in the air.
Closing out the packed Saturday night show was Jared & The Mill. A name that I’ve seen a million times before, I had never actually taken the time to search for and do my research. Within the first song, I realized that I was in the minority when it came to not knowing what was gone. The conversations instantly hushed and the entire room exploded into a sing-a-long. Now that I’m finally doing my research, everything makes sense. This Arizona based band has been around since 2011 and seems to have been grinding ever since. Constantly on the road and constantly putting out new music that shows the evolvement of this band loud and clear, Jared & The Mill is the type of band that I truly respect and look up to. They didn’t just get the respect that was being shown from the audience, they earned it from hard work and dedication. Regardless of if their music was my cup of tea or not, that energy and that hard work is something that will sell me on a band every single time.
Much like the rest of the night, there was that undeniable sense of love and family in the air as Jared & The Mill powered through their set but it was definitely a heightened feeling of love compared to the rest of the night. Maybe it was the fact that about half way through a man appeared on stage, asked a woman to come up on stage and proceeded to explain that the next song was this woman’s favorite song and, well… “Will you marry me?” After a yes, a kiss, and the showing off of the ring to the roaring audience, the band continued on. Yes, I’ve seen this before and, much like the music, regardless of what my thoughts are on the mid-show engagement, it’s something that will warm even the coldest of hearts. Congrats to the newly engaged couple!
Another truly heart warming moment was when the band vacated the stage only to set up in the middle of the audience. I couldn’t tell you what song they performed or what all vocalist Jared Kolesar was saying before the band kicked into said song as he didn’t have a microphone and was just shouting from the middle of the crowd but I can tell you the feeling got as he started singing the song and his voice was instantly lost in the sea of every other voice in the venue screaming along. It was goosebump inducing and, although I see bands get into the crowd and do this thing more often than not, there was something so genuine and heart warming about the entire moment. Maybe it was the fact that I was an outsider looking in or maybe it was the amount of whiskey diets I have flowing through my system, regardless (and I’ll never admit this to my friends who were there with me), I was touched and truly felt the love all around me.
Friday night was a long night and after driving home and spending the rest of my day nursing my hangover yesterday, the last thing I wanted to do was fight with a crowd when it came to getting drinks and moving around. It may have been packed in The Turf Club last night (which is totally not what I wanted) but there was this fun-loving energy in the room that made everything more than okay and my friends and I ended up having a great night as always.
Venue: The Turf Club
Sausage Fest Meter- 6 out of 10
Average Age of the Crowd- 32
Crowd Surfers- None
Dance-Ability- 6.5 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- Ahem/ Owen
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