I started this blog by covering local shows and local bands. I know I have kind of gotten away from that over the years as more and more opportunities come my way but I truly treasure the nights I get to spend immersed in the local scene which made Wednesday night a lovely evening.
There weren’t many people in the 7th Street Entry as my boyfriend and I made our way inside on Wednesday night but the feeling with just right. There were a lot of hugs and “how are you”-centric conversations happening around us as I fiddled with my camera and he grabbed a round of drinks. Sure, it was pretty empty in the small club as opening act Lazenlow took the stage but as soon as the opener started playing, all conversations seized and all eyes were on the stage.
Lazenlow’s sound is unique. There’s this darkness that comes through in vocalist Gillian Needham’s voice that adds a sense of heaviness to the pop-leaning instrumentation and a bit of a hint of trip-hop. Typically a trio but coming in the form of a duo due to the drummer having a work conflict, Gillian and the guitarist had no problem filling the space with the help of some backing tracks but I would be lying if I said the whole time my mind was trying to figure out what the set would have been like with live drums. If it was already as powerful as it was without them, I could hardly imagine the power that would come with the whole band but I digress. Their set was quick but was full of stellar tracks that were catchy and just overall struck a chord with me including their ode to First Avenue (which they swear was written long before they had a show scheduled in the legendary venue). The First Ave song was super cute and, when mixed with the unique yet flawless sound, was a perfect reminder of just how amazing the local scene is regardless of what scene you find yourself in.
As if reiterating the fact that the local Twin Cities music scene is amazing regardless of what genre you are into, Friend Dog took the stage and instantly swept the quickly growing audience into a world of folksy perfection. Their set felt a bit lighter than that of Lazenlow but it absolutely had the same amount of emotional power with every note and word that passed. There was something super familiar about vocalist Vinnie Donatelle’s entire being but it took me a while to place it. Then, out of nowhere, it clicked- Vinnie is actually part of The Last Revel as well. If you have been living under a bit of a rock, The Last Revel is one of those bands that, although not a household name yet, has a household sound that is sure to take off sooner rather than later so to see him in such an intimate setting with his own music was truly a thrill. There were definitely some similarities between the music of Friend Dog and what I remember about The Last Revel but they definitely aren’t carbon copies of each other. The amount of soul that came through the speakers during the set was staggering and, although a completely different vibe than Lazenlow’s set, it fit just due to the sheer power that came with every song.
Lazenlow and Friend Dog were both amazing but the Wednesday night show was really about local band Flip Rushmore as they were celebrating the release of their new EP ‘Choose Your Villains Wisely’. They took the stage and instantly jumped into their set of infectiously boppy pop-drenched tracks that came with a bit of a garage-rock edge. The performance was perfectly imperfect and although there were times where I found myself overly judging the vocals or a certain guitar note that didn’t sound quite right, I was always pulled back into the reality of the fact that this band is great, fun, and don’t take themselves too seriously. They seemed to be more concerned with the fact that everyone in the audience should be smiling and having a good time rather than hitting all of the right notes and it added an undeniable sense of charm to the night. Don’t get me wrong, the band sounded great, and, for some reason, I was just in a mood to be hypercritical of everything but, when it came down to it, they pulled off an amazing set that absolutely showcased their talent and drive.
Being at the 7th Street Entry on Wednesday night was a good reminder of my roots. I started this blog with a focus on local music but quickly started taking the bigger opportunities because, well, because they were there. I don’t regret covering the larger shows that come to town but seeing the local scene in the spotlight on Wednesday reminded me that I get more of a thrill covering shows like this rather than the giant shows. There’s an appreciation and a sense of raw talent that you get from smaller local shows that just can not be put into words and that’s exactly what I got from Lazenlow, Friend Dog, and Flip Rushmore.
Venue: 7th Street Entry
Smell-O-Meter: Nothing Notable
Average Age of the Crowd: 24
Crowd Surfers- None
Mosh-ability- 4 out of 10
Sausage-Fest Meter- 7 out of 10
Amount of Beer Spilled On Me While Walking Around- $2.12 (it was my own doing)
Broken Bones- None
Spotted Flying Through The Air- Nothing
Randomly Shirtless Men – 0
Passed Out Kids- None
Idiots Taken Out By Security- 0
How Many Times I’ve Seen These Bands Before (or at least how many times I can remember)-
Lazenlow – 0
Friend Dog – 0
Flip Rushmore – 0
Celebrity Sightings – None
Overall Score- 7.5 out of 10
Show on Deck- Zaq Baker / Getting By / Big Salt
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