The Garage in Burnsville is one of those venues that I honestly kind of avoid. It’s not a bad venue at all. In fact, the stage and set-up of the all-ages teen center are quite amazing and professional but a mix of it being all the way across town and the fact that they don’t serve alcohol has always been just a bit of a deterrent. Wow, that makes me sound like an alcoholic. I promise I’m not, I just like to have a drink while I’m standing at shows alone. It helps calm my nerves and get over my crippling anxiety. Regardless, I found myself at The Garage on Friday night for a stacked local show and although I didn’t have a drink in hand, I instantly felt right at home.
Kicking the night off was the amazing and gorgeous Joan of Profile. Fronted by Kaity Joan, I was instantly captivated by the vocals of this group. Katy’s voice is warm and sultry but has an almost southern twang that felt so natural even though we are up in Minnesota. She was truly captivating to watch and had this way of pulling you into her world whether or not you wanted to be in it. She definitely had my attention throughout the quick opening set but so did the drummer, Carter. Although most of the music throughout Joan of Profile’s set was fairly low-key and chill, Carter was finding places to throw in some pretty intense drum fills and some powerful hits. The juxtaposition first came off as a bit weird to me but then I realized this is just part of the special sauce that this band has that is sure to set them apart from other acts in their scene. Don’t get me wrong, all of the members of this band were great but it was Carter and Kaity that really made me fall in love with this group.
Timisarocker has been grinding for years. Hell, I even helped book them a small tour years ago but I had never had a chance to experience their energy live until Friday night and now I’m kicking myself for not catching it sooner. To say that this band rocks would be a huge understatement. Vocalist Tim Dooley instantly had me in the palm of his hand with his downright amazing vocal range and just true talent. Much like Joan of Profile, every member of Timisarocker was amazing but it was hard not to just keep my eyes glued to Tim as he danced and sang his way through the set with a sense of power and fury. Full disclosure, there was next to nobody at this show. It’s the downfall of the venue being so far away from downtown and shows starting at times where you are bound to hit rush hour traffic but that didn’t stop Timisarocker from giving their all. From high kicks to handstands, Tim and the band did not hold back and their energy just enhanced their sound. I wanted Tim’s endless energy almost as bad as I wanted his sparkly sneakers. The only gripe I have with their set was when Tim proclaimed (and made the audience repeat) that Shrek 2 is the best movie ever. I mean, we all know that the first Shrek is the only good one in the series but I’ll let it pass on account of Timisarocker’s set was so damn good.
Headlining the Friday night show and the reason for me being willing to put up with traffic was the final band of the night, Japan Van Damme. I’m not sure how I got connected with these guys but why question a good thing. Their album has been sitting on my desk for months and although I was a little embarrassed to meet them and have to admit that I still have not reviewed the album, I was excited to see what this band was all about live. Continuing with the theme of the night that can only be described as a lack of theme, Japan Van Damme’s sound was completely different than the more indie-based sound of Joan of Profile and the more rockin’ sound of Timisarocker. Their overall vibe would be most easily described as southern rock with a lot of heart and fun but even that doesn’t seem like the best way to describe it. Much like the previous two acts, Japan Van Damme was giving the audience everything they had even though the audience was a bit lacking. I know that it’s not a great thing to write about how nobody is at a show but I think it’s super important to mention how bands act in the situation. I remember seeing Radkey years ago in the Entry surrounded by less than two dozen people but being blown away by their set and naming them the next “band to watch” (and now they have completely blown up!) and that’s the same feeling I got from Japan Van Damme. Their sound is accessible but also unique. Although it’s lacking that sense of aggressive edge that I typically look for, the amount of heart that each member of the band clearly pours into each song was obvious and is what kept me falling deeper and deeper in love with the band with every passing song.
Friday night’s show was quick but it was solid. Things moved fast between sets just proving how much of a well-oiled machine The Garage is and how professional the bands performing were. It was one of those shows that, had it been just a bit closer to the cities, I would have forced a grip of people to come to but, with gas prices how they are, I get it. I’m just thankful that I went a bit out of my comfort zone to check out the show because I ended up with three new favorite local bands.
Venue- The Garage
Smell-O-Meter- Nothing Noted
Average Age of the Crowd- 16
Crowd Surfers- 0
Mosh-ability- 2 out of 10
Sausage-Fest Meter- 4 out of 10
Stage Divers- 0
Amount of Beer Spilled On Me While Walking Around- $0
Broken Bones- None Noticed
Spotted Flying Through The Air- Nothing
Fights- None Noticed
Pukers- None Noticed
Idiots Taken Out By Security- 0
How Many Times I’ve Seen These Bands Before (or at least how many times I can remember)-
Joan of Profile – 0
Timisarocker – 0
Japan Van Damme – 0
Celebrity Sightings – None
Overall Score- 7 out of 10
Show on Deck- Ben Nichols / Todd May
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