I honestly lost count of how many times The Dollyrots’ show had been postponed and rescheduled due to the pandemic but none of that matters. The show finally happened on Friday night and it was absolutely everything I had been anxiously waiting for and more.

Space Monkey Mafia was the first band to grace the stage at the lovely James Ballentine “Uptown” VFW Post 246 and, man, did they get the show started off right. Blasting onto the stage and right into their set, this band gave the quickly growing audience the perfect soundtrack to dance to. With the horns blaring and the vocals soaring over it all in a perfect way, Space Monkey Mafia’s ska-fueled music really set the tone for the rest of the night. Even if you had walked in during the middle of their set, your dancing shoes were automatically on and there was a smile on your face. This 7-piece is just so fun to watch live. Every member appears to be in their own little world with the different movements happening on stage but it’s clear that every member is having a great time and doing what they truly love. It didn’t matter if they were playing an original or a cover, every song came with their signature sense of fun along with a sense of professionalism. The Twin Cities has a bunch of amazing local bands but sometimes you see one and you just know that they are so much more than just the local scene and that’s exactly the feeling I get every time I am lucky enough to catch Space Monkey Mafia live.

Much like Space Monkey Mafia’s set, I knew I was going to get pure perfection from the next band to take the stage, The Von Tramps. That being said, the anticipation as they set up the stage was killing me and I was hit with a wave of excitement as they jumped into their set. Although not the headliners of the night, I felt like The Von Tramps definitely got treated like the kings and queens they are. Celebrating the release of their brand new album ‘Go’ (which they had gotten back from the printer just in time for this show), the night may have not been just about The Von Tramps but they definitely came close to stealing the show.

I honestly don’t even know where to begin with this band. I was blown away the first time I saw them and have been trying to catch them every time they perform locally since then. I had taken two good friends with me to this show who had never seen The Von Tramps and just watching their reaction as the band powered through their nearly hour-long set was just the icing on the cake. Not only is The Von Tramps’ music absolutely flawless and creative with their distinct blend of California sun, ska tendencies, and an overall powerful pop-punk vibe, but their live show is something that just can not be matched. From vocalist Jenna Enemy’s undeniable powerful stage presence to the trumpet player (who may be new?? Maybe? I had never seen her before but I was in love) who literally could not stay still and had this endless amount of energy that I truly envied all the while keeping an infectious smile on her face. What I’m saying is that my words will never do The Von Tramps’ live show and energy justice so get off your butt and go see this band. I promise you won’t regret it.

Although, if I’m being quite honest, The Von Tramps had completely stolen the show, we still had one more band to grace the stage– the one and only The Dollyrots. I have been a huge fan of this band for years and was super excited that they finally had a chance to perform in the Twin Cities after the many heartbreaking postponements. Although not a local band, there’s something about the reception that The Dollyrots gets up here in the Twin Cities that makes them feel like a local band and, honestly, if I had my way, I would claim them as ours. A hard-working band that has been at it for over twenty years now and has a lengthy discography to prove it, their live show reflects the sweat and tears that this trio has put in over the years in a beautiful way. Although it’s clear to see that all three of the members are having fun when performing, something switches as they stop the banter between each other and perform a song with a sense of perfection while not losing that sense of fun that bring to the stage.

I can’t tell you how many songs The Dollyrots played or anything like that but I can tell you that the smile on my face didn’t leave until I was forced to face the frigid temperatures when walking to my car afterward. A stellar ending to an absolutely amazing night, Friday was one of those shows that was just straight-up fun and absolutely gave me the boost of energy I needed to get through what is sure to be an insane weekend.

Line Up:

Space Monkey Mafia

The Von Tramps

The Dollyrots

Venue: Uptown VFW

Smell-O-Meter: Nothing

Average Age of the Crowd: 38

Crowd Surfers- None

Mosh-ability- 6 out of 10

Sausage-Fest Meter- 6 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)-

Space Monkey Mafia– 3

The Von Tramps – 4

The Dollyrots – 1

Celebrity Sightings – None

Overall Score- 8 out of 10

Show on Deck- TOOL / The Acid Helps

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