Yesterday was my first weekday being fully self-employed and I only had three minor meltdowns. That may seem like a lot but honestly, I’m okay with that number but I still needed a show to remind me that this choice was the right choice for my life path. Thankfully, Touché Amoré was in town on Monday night and that band speaks to my soul in a way no other band really can these days. To say the timing was perfect as many other shows lately would be an understatement and although I was fresh off my final breakdown of the day, I felt energized and excited as I walked into the familiar Amsterdam Bar & Hall in Saint Paul.
The show started much earlier than I’m used to with California-based Scowl taking the stage right at 5:30 PM. I was instantly enamored with this young hardcore band. Vocalist Kat Moss instantly had me in the palm of her hand and I was stuck there throughout their quick opening set. Although they struggled to get the audience really moving, it was clear that they were having an effect on the audience as people trickled in having just gotten off of work or out of school. I got a sense of hunger from this band that I absolutely adored. It was clear that they had everything to prove but yet nothing to lose. There was an undeniable sense of energy from all of the band members but it was the way that Kat stalked the stage with an incredible sense of ferocity that really made the set stick out to me. My eyes are on this band. I expect huge things from them and truly hope they don’t wait too long before making the trek back up to the Twin Cities.
Second up was Militarie Gun. Unlike Scowl, this is a band I had heard of before. They have a super fresh feeling sound and have been on my list to see for a while. They did not disappoint. Much like Scowl, Militarie Gun took the stage with a sense of power and aggression that was perfect for my Monday night. Even though there was a bit of a backhanded comment from vocalist Ian Shelton regarding the polite applause that came from the crowd after the first few songs, there was something energizing about watching Ian as he punched through every word of every song. Stylistically, Militarie Gun is very set in the hardcore vein of things but there were other elements that could be caught throughout their tracks including clear nods to Ian’s history in the powerviolence band Regional Justice Center. Another band to have a close eye on, I truly think Militarie Gun is about to hit their stride and I can’t wait to see what comes from it!
The final opening band on this massive tour package was vein. fm (formerly known as Vein). This bad is not a new name at all and has actually been around since 2013 and has collected many accolades through the years for good reason. I honestly can’t remember for sure but I’m pretty sure I’ve seen these guys before back when they were Vein and remember being totally impressed by their sound and energy. Although the years have gone by, those elements have not changed and they took the stage by storm on Monday night which finally got the audience moving in a way that I expected throughout the night. With a few bodies flying through the open spot on the floor, vein.fm, like the previous two acts, seemed to fly through their set with a sense of savage brutality. Musically, this band was set apart from the rest by Benno Levine, their turntablist. I know it’s a bit of a cop-out but the addition of a turntablist had my feeling some Slipknot vibes in the best way possible. Powerful and intense, when vein.fm’s set was done, I was left wanting so much more but knew that we still had one amazing band left on the bill.
I haven’t seen Touché Amoré since October of 2017 as they, self-admittingly, don’t make their way up to Minnesota often but I still have not stopped talking about that show. I remember it vividly. It was at The Triple Rock (RIP) and I will never forget the moment mid-set where one chord was played and all you heard from the audience was “Oh Shit!” before the band jumped into a certain track and the audience exploded into a mess of bodies and limbs. Honestly, just thinking about that moment gives me chills and although Monday night’s set didn’t have a moment like that or even the same intensity as that show, I had chills throughout their set as they played through tracks that have meant everything to me lately.
Touché Amoré’s set was a bit of a blur for me in the best way possible. After having the day I had had, I needed their tender yet aggressive music in my ears and needed that bass thumping through my soul. Nothing else mattered to me throughout their set other than just feeling their music and passion raging through my soul. There’s something about the way vocalist Jeremy Bolm performs that I truly can not put into words but will keep me coming back time and time again. Although I was in a room surrounded by people, I felt a connection as he performed every single word with an undeniable sense of passion and emotion attached to it. Just like I was feeling every note and word, he was too and it forms this odd sense of connection between you, the music, and the musicians that is something I crave every night that I go to a concert.
Touché Amoré has an extensive discography including six full-lengths and multiple EPs and splits yet somehow they curated their twenty-song set perfectly. My two personal favorites from the set were “Reminders” and “Flowers and You”. Both of those songs have just been hitting my soul so hard lately and seeing them performed live with Touché Amoré’s distinct brand of power and emotion on stage was absolutely everything I could have asked for for my Monday night and more. Although those were my favorites, there wasn’t a single song throughout their set on Monday that didn’t hit me just right and it definitely gave me what I had been looking for when I walked into the show.
Venue: Amsterdam Bar & Hall
Average Age of the Crowd: 19
Crowd Surfers- 3
Mosh-ability- 9 out of 10
Sausage-Fest Meter- 9 out of 10
Stage Divers- 13 Counted but I’m sure I missed some
Amount of Beer Spilled On Me While Walking Around- $0
Broken Bones- None Noticed
Spotted Flying Through The Air- Bodies
Fights- None Witnessed
Idiots Taken Out By Security- None
How Many Times I’ve Seen These Bands Before (or at least how many times I can remember)-
Scowl – 0
Militarie Gun – 0
vein.fm – 0
Touché Amoré – 1
Celebrity Sightings – None
Overall Score- 8.7 out of 10
Show on Deck- Perfume Genius / Hand Habits
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