I wasn’t supposed to have any shows this week. I had kind of settled into the idea if I’m being quite honest. A mixture of exhaustion from the holiday hustle and bustle and a shift in my love life that has my head in the clouds majority of the time these days had me okay with the fact that my show schedule is light right now but when a friend invited me out to a show on Monday, I jumped on it. Sure, there were a million other things I wanted to be doing but shows have and always will come first regardless of what’s going on in my life so I hopped in my car and made my way to The 7th Street Entry.

I got inside just in time to say hello to my friend, catch up a bit, and hear a few tracks from opening act DJ NanoByte. I was instantly in love with everything about the night. Not only was DJ NanoByte’s mix of music pumping through the speakers amazing, but the overall feeling in the intimate venue made my heart so full. I was not the only one catching up with a friend and, before long, I was being introduced to the band members left and right. Oddly enough, I knew some of the people playing which instantly added to the comfort level of the night. Although Minneapolis is a giant city, the music scene is fairly small and it was nice to get a reminder of that. It was also nice to get back to my roots of covering a local show. Sure, getting to see giant bands is amazing but my bread and butter will always be the local scene and I think I was due for a reminder of that. Conversations continued as DJ NanoByte treated the audience to everything from Prince to Childish Gambino beats. Although the crowd was still just starting to form, there were a handful of people who took to the open floor space and started bopping and dancing around. That’s when I knew it was going to be a good night.

After DJ NanoByte cleared the stage and before Trading Faces took it over, a local comedian took the stage to really set the tone for the night. I instantly recognized this guy as a person who my friend and I drunkenly met at a bar in Uptown where he went on and on about his family in the UP (that’s Upper Peninsula for those non-locals) which, again, just reminded me about how truly small this city is when it comes down to it. Although not all of his jokes landed, he absolutely got the audience laughing multiple times throughout the night. He kept reminding people that he was kind of an added bonus to the night so nobody actually spent money to see him. That being said, I feel like he definitely added something to the night and it helped make the transitions between acts fly by. Sadly there were no jokes about the UP and I don’t know if this guy is an actual comedian or just a funny guy but, regardless, the night wouldn’t have been the same without him.

Trading Faces was the first of the two bands to take the stage. They wasted no time jumping into their energetic and intriguing set. Their sound was a bit all over the place but it went all the right places all the while having this odd southern influence that I couldn’t quite put my finger on. Was it the guitar work? The vocals? I honestly couldn’t tell you but, throughout their set, I was getting this southern twang from their music and I wasn’t mad about it. Although I absolutely loved their original music, it was their cover of The Beatles’ “Nowhere Man” that gave me the chills. Don’t worry, they absolutely put their own spin on the track but I feel like it was during that cover where you really saw the vocal power of this five-piece band take the spotlight it so deserved. From flawless vocal harmonies to an intriguing blend of electric and acoustic guitar sounds, I felt like I was on the edge of my seat throughout their forty-five minute set just trying to put my finger on who to compare them to but, I never found the right name and I feel like that was the point. Trading Faces has a sound unlike anyone else and that’s what makes them so exciting and although I was bummed to see them leave the stage, I was excited to see what the other band of the night would bring.

After a few more jokes from funnyman Alan Fashbaugh (AKA that drunk guy from the bar that wouldn’t stop talking about the UP), Black Wine took the stage. Not only did this band share some of the same members as Trading Faces, but we also got to see DJ NanoByte take the stage again but this time, in the form of a vocalist rather than a DJ. This had me intrigued and, again, just solidified that feeling of community and love throughout the venue that I got when I walked into the venue. Much like Trading Faces, Black Wine wasted no time jumping into their set that felt like it was over in the blink of an eye. As soon as they jumped into their first track, I was in love. Their sound, much like that of Trading Faces, is completely impossible to put your finger on. There were moments of pure rock music, moments of rap breakdowns, eve some glimpses of a blues influence– their sound was seriously all over the place which had me right in the palm of their hands. Regardless of the influence that was coming from the speakers at any given time during their set, there was an undeniable sense of passion and energy that radiated from the stage at all times which was truly just the icing on the cake when it came to Black Wine’s set.

Prior to the show starting on Monday night, I met Tim who performs in both Black Wine and Trading Faces. It was my first time meeting him but he instantly made me feel welcome and like part of the family. He gave me a little run down about the bands and mentioned that one of them (or it could have been both– it was loud in there) was a bit genreless and hard to peg down. I kind of rolled my eyes in my mind because, well, that’s what everyone says even when their music is not really that unique. Thankfully, Tim was right. Both Black Wine and Trading Faces have a sound that can only be described as their respective band name and I love that. I’m sorry I ever doubted you, Tim!

I wasn’t supposed to be at a show on Monday night and, when driving down there, my head was definitely instantly but the second I walked through the door into The 7th Street Entry, I knew that that was exactly where I needed to be and what I was supposed to be doing.

Line Up:

DJ NanoByte

Trading Faces

Black Wine

Venue: 7th Street Entry

Smell-O-Meter: Nothing

Average Age of the Crowd: 26

Crowd Surfers- None Spotted

Mosh-ability- 3 out of 10

Sausage-Fest Meter- 5 out of 10

Stage Divers- None

Amount of Beer Spilled On Me While Walking Around- $0

Broken Bones- None Noticed

Spotted Flying Through The Air- Nothing

Fights- None Witnessed

Pukers- 0

Idiots Taken Out By Security- 0

How Many Times I’ve Seen These Bands Before (or at least how many times I can remember)-

DJ NanoByte – 0

Trading Faces – 0

Black Wine – 0

Celebrity Sightings- David Rubene (Photographer Extraordinaire)

Overall Score- 7 out of 10

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