I pulled double duty on Monday night. One show a night is just not enough for me anymore and I’m lucky enough to live in a place that has a few venues with multiple rooms in it– First Avenue being one of them. If you’ve never been to the legendary room that is First Avenue, first, make it a point to get there because it’s amazing, second, not only does the building house the legendary First Avenue, it also has the more intimate space called the 7th Street Entry. I’m a huge fan of the entry due to the intimacy that comes with it. Being that these venues are in the same building and separated by only a few stairs and a door, covering both rooms in one night is easy and was exactly how I wanted to spend my Monday night.

The mood in the mainroom was serious and chill with Animal Collective gracing the stage but the feeling in the Entry was much more chaotic and, well, fun. I made it inside just in time to catch the tail end of one of my favorite local act’s set, Space Monkey Mafia. This local ska band is absolutely killer and a must-see if you haven’t already. Although I felt bad that I had missed the majority of their set, I did make it in time to watch lead vocalist and saxophonist Dante leap from the stage into the crowd to take part in a super fun and somewhat chaotic skanking pit happening. There’s something just so genuine and fun about Space Monkey Mafia and I can’t quite put it into words. All I know is that even though I only caught about two or three tracks from them, they had me absolutely excited to see what the rest of this show would bring.

Following Space Monkey Mafia was Public Serpents. Although I had never heard of this band before and knew nothing about them as they took the stage, I was hooked instantly and dreaded the fact that I would have to miss some of their set to go back up to the mainroom for Animal Collective. This band jumped right into their set that was full of an undeniable sense of energy and aggression. My words will never do the energy that they brought to small room justice but the fact that the vocalist’s microphone stand broke within the first song says a lot. Musically, Public Serpents is chaotic in all of the right ways. With elements of far too many genres to list encompassed in each track, they had the busy for a Monday night crowd moving and shoving their way through their quick set. As mentioned, it was hard to pull myself away from their set to go up and check out Animal Collective and, sadly, by the time I had gotten my fill of upstairs, their set was done. I truly hope they come back soon because Public Serpents is a set I just need to experience the whole of sooner rather than later.

Headlining the show at the Entry was a band I have been wanting to see for some time- Escape from the ZOO. Fronted by Jesse Sendejas from Days N’ Daze and his wife Veronica, this band has been on repeat for me lately so being able to catch them live was a dream come true. With band members constantly shifting vocal duties because, as Jesse admitted, none of them are actually vocalists and they never knew what to do with their other hand when holding the microphone, no two songs throughout their set sounded the same or had the same vibe. That’s why I’ve been so drawn to this band lately. Every song comes with a different influence depending on whose song it is in a way. Some songs have a more gypsy punk vibe whereas others have a strong ska influence in them. Regardless of what song was being played on Monday night, there was an undeniable sense of energy that radiated from the stage and audience.

In contrast to the Animal Collective show happening upstairs, the mood in the Entry was chaotic and out of control in a perfect way. Although not sold out, there was a good-sized crowd throughout the night for the Escape From the ZOO show and everyone in attendance could be spotted moving along to the music. Whether it was just people like me hanging to the back nodding their heads to the beats or people up on the floor pushing and shoving their way through the set, there was not a frown in the house and that was just the icing on the cake to this show.

I spent my Monday night bouncing between two completely different shows in the same building. One had a feeling of strict professionalism and an emphasis on the technicality of music and one of them had a more free-flowing feeling with an emphasis on fast and dirty fun. Clearly, I have a favorite between the two shows but each show has a place in my heart.

Line Up:

Space Monkey Mafia

Public Serpents

Escape From the ZOO

Venue: 7th Street Entry

Smell-O-Meter: Nothing

Average Age of the Crowd: 32

Crowd Surfers- None

Mosh-ability- 8 out of 10

Sausage-Fest Meter- 9 out of 10

Stage Divers- None

Amount of Beer Spilled On Me While Walking Around- $3 (but it was my own spillage)

Broken Bones- None Noticed

Spotted Flying Through The Air- Nothing

Fights- None Witnessed

Pukers- 0

Idiots Taken Out By Security- None

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

Space Monkey Mafia – 4

Public Serpents – 0

Escape From the Zoo – 0

Celebrity Sightings – None

Overall Score- 9 out of 10

Show on Deck- Bright Eyes / Christian Lee Hutson

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