I am notorious for dragging my friends to shows that are completely out of their comfort zone. Whether it’s taking one of my indie-loving friends to a black metal show or taking one of my metal friends to an indie-pop show, I feel like if you put yourself in a box you miss out on a lot of cool and amazing things so I strive to be that friend that is all over the place when it comes to concerts. It was only a matter of time before my friends started doing this same thing to me. That’s how I wound up at an indie-folk/ country-esque show at First Avenue on Wednesday night and although it was completely out of my normal comfort zone, it ended up being one hell of a night.
Getting things started off right was Futurebirds from Georgia. Inching a bit closer to the top-40 country genre rather than indie/alt-country than I had prepared myself for, Futurebirds had a super polished sound and an energy that was every bit as infectious as it was fun. Although their southern twang definitely isn’t my normal cup of tea, the harmonies this group produced when on stage definitely gave me goosebumps more than once. There was a sense of perfection and precision that was felt with every note that this group played and they were somehow able to pull that vibe off without feeling stuffy or over-rehearsed. I wasn’t the only one getting that vibe from the band. The sold out crowd was treating Futurebirds like the headliner when it came to the energy throughout the room and the response between songs. A captivated audience plus the flawless sound created a love for this band within me that I never thought I could feel for a band that is so close to the top-40 country world.
Futurebirds’ set was great and I was clearly a fan but I think what really sold me on this band was the accessibility. After their set, I watched the band members help tear down the stage and then quickly shuffle over to the merch table where they were swarmed by fans which were surely both new and old. It has to be overwhelming for bandmembers. I mean, you just got done playing and moving all your gear. You’re probably sweaty and downright exhausted and then you have to meet fans that want you at your best. I’ve seen this ruin some bands and am no longer surprised when bands leave the stage and disappear into green rooms and tour buses. I get it. It has to be exhausting so that’s what made watching Futurebirds interact with their fans such an obsession for me. I didn’t see a single audience member leave a conversation with one of Futurebirds’ band members (or even their merch table for that matter) without a smile on their face. I wish all bands new the power that this small acts of personal connection can have on a band. Futurebirds’ music isn’t quite my jam but this band absolutely is and I can’t wait to see them again.
Although Futurebirds were great, that wasn’t the reason that First Avenue was completely sold out. The reason for the packed house was the one and only Caamp. My friend/ fellow blogger has been talking this band up lately and, being me, I had yet to really dig into their music so I was excited to see what had brought so many people out on a chilly Wednesday night. As soon as the band took the stage, it made sense. The Ohio bred band had the entire audience in the palm of their hands within the first couple of beats. Their free-flowing vibe was electrifying and, within no time, I found myself tapping my feet along to the beat with a sense of passion that I had never felt for a band I knew nothing about before. It took me quite some time to catch onto the fact that Caamp is only a trio which says a lot about the power this band has when it comes to their flawless sound.
The amount of fame this band has gained over the past couple of years is stunning. My friend was telling me about how she saw them just a couple of years ago at The 7th Street Entry (the smaller club situated right below/ to the side of First Avenue’s mainroom) in the company of no more than fifty people. It was a bit shocking to think about that as she and I weaved through the audience to find another friend. Although this realization definitely put this band’s new found fame into perspective, it was members of Trampled By Turtles joining the band on stage that really just solidified it. Sure, Trampled By Turtles are considered a Minnesota band but they have definitely shot into a level of stardom that takes them out of the “local band” running. You could feel the sense of admiration that Caamp has for Trampled the second the musicians combined on stage and that feeling created a high point for the night. The party atmosphere that had been laid out previously was only highlighted with the surprise appearance of Trampled and reigned supreme even after the guest musicians had left the stage.
I’m not quite sure if my friend’s end game was to get back to me for all of the metal and deathcore shows I’ve dragged her to over the years but, if it was, it didn’t work. Last night was definitely not a show I would have chosen on my own but it ended up being a great night and I now have two more bands to add to my list of “bands I have to see next time they come to town”.
Venue: First Avenue
Sausage Fest Meter- 4 out of 10
Smell-O-Meter – There was a slight hint of marijuana in the air
Average Age of the Crowd- 24
Crowd Surfers- 0
Danceability- 5.2 out of 10
Stage Divers- None
Broken Bones- None
Spotted Flying Through The Air- Nothing
Fights- None Witnessed
Pukers- None Witnessed
Passed Out Drunkards- 2 Witnessed
Idiots Taken Out By Security- None Witnessed
How Many Times I’ve Seen These Bands Before-
Celebrity Sightings- None
Overall Score- 7.4 out of 10
Show on Deck- Greyson Chance
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