This weekend was probably the most nostalgic weekend I’ve had in years. It started with reliving my boy band era with 98 Degrees on Friday night and ended with reliving my confused “I want to be emo but I’m too happy to be sad” phase with Hellogoodbye. I preach time and time again that nostalgia is one hell of a drug and although some people try to hide who they were or what they used to listen to, it’s something that I embrace, celebrate and always look for when going to a show. There were a million shows last night including Hatebreed (a favorite heavy band of mine) and The Dandy Warhols (a bucket list band that I promise I will catch next time) but I knew where I needed to be. I needed to be at The 7th Street Entry reliving my youth surrounded by people doing the same.

The night started off with Family of Geniuses and I was instantly catapulted into another time of my life. I may be lost in a world of heavier music these days but back in the day I was all about the neon colors and music that makes you want to dance. Think Cobra Starship and, well, Hellogoodbye (before they got old… but more on that later). Family Of Geniuses perfectly encapsulated that quirky and fun vibe that I used to thrive on. Although a clear taste of nostalgia, there was something very current and modern about this band’s look and sound. Kind of a mish-mash of everything, there was no noticeable common thread between the members which was a great advertisement for how all over the place their music was. Although always fun and upbeat, it was easy to pick out elements of everything from funk to dream-pop. The energetic and electric nature of their set had it ending long before I was ready for it to end. It may have been a Sunday night but it was nothing short of a Friday night vibe dance party by the time Family of Geniuses was done.

Keeping with the high energy but taking a more classic approach to rock n’ roll music, Hala was up next. Their almost old school style juxtaposed the chaos of Family of Geniuses in the most perfect way. It was still music that made you want to move and groove but there was a sense of calm and sensitivity that came with Hala’s set. Vocalist Ian Ruhala has a voice that could sing your to sleep with ease but also make you want to move. Mix that charming voice with the well thought out instrumentation behind him and you are left with a band that is clearly full of older souls that truly respect and understand the art of music. A little Bruce Springsteen mixed with the more modern sound of many of the indie rock bands hitting the airwaves today, this soft spoken band may have been a complete 180 from what Family of Geniuses had started the night off with but that switch was welcome and somehow perfect.

Speaking about perfect– closing out the night was the only and only Hellogoodbye. It has been years and years since I last saw Hellogoodbye. Hell, I was still living at my dad’s house and in high school which puts the date to at least eleven years ago (daaaang, I’m old). Even though it’s been forever since I’ve been able to catch this infectious band live, their songs have remained a constant on my daily playlist since the first day I heard them. Their upbeat songs remind me of a simpler time where I spent hours on end flipping through magazines, clipping out any pictures of any man in black eyeliner, and stapling said clippings to my wall (sorry dad). There is something so freeing about their music and something that makes any anxiety of depression I may be feeling somehow melt away without a second thought. It’s crazy that a band’s music can do something as powerful as that but what’s more crazy is the way a band can continue doing that for years on end. Before I go any further, I’d just like to thank Hellogoodbye for being a constant in my ever changing life. Seriously.

Hellogoodbye’s set was far too short for my liking but, I get it. It wouldn’t be feasible for them to play for at least eight hours straight so I’ll take what I can get. Their set spanned the entirety of their four album, multiple EPs, and many other random singles and what not. As great as it was to hear their new music which showed the undeniable growth that this band, like their audience, has gone through, the most magical part of the night was when they kicked into “Here (In Your Arms)”. One of their more popular songs, the crowd instantly erupted into a sing-a-long that had so much heart and energy put into it that it left me almost shell-shocked. Although the vibe was fun loving and energetic throughout the night and the rest of the set, it was during this song where I feel like people truly felt that wave of nostalgia crash over them and let it take them over in the most perfect way.

The nearly sold out Sunday night show was filled with many amazing moments. From laughing when Hellogoodbye vocalist Forrest Kline explained that they used to throw out disco balls instead of balloons but quickly discovered that disco balls cut up hands really good so they put the kabosh on that to the moment when Sarah (sorry if I spelled that wrong!), an audience member, came up on stage to explain that Hellogoodbye’s music was one of the reasons she made it through a terrifying life experience, there was seriously too much love in the room for me to even begin to describe. Sadly, all good things must come to an end and after a small encore, it was over and done with and myself along with the rest of the nostalgia seekers, were dumped onto the streets of Minneapolis already craving the next night of pure nostalgia.

Living in the past is never a good thing but visiting the past by way of the bands that you worshiped back in the day is the perfect way to kick off what is sure to be a long and tiring week. What an amazing night.

Line Up:

Family of Geniuses

Hala

Hellogoodbye

Venue: 7th Street Entry

Sausage Fest Meter- 3 out of 10

Average Age of the Crowd- 29

Crowd Surfers- 0

Sing-a-long-Ability- 11 out of 10

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- 9.6 out of 10

Show on Deck- Snow Tha Product/ Castro Escobar/ Jandro/ James Elizabeth

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