Opening act Sam Austins explained how he met headliner Dora Jar towards the beginning of his set on Tuesday night. He talked about how he had stumbled upon her on Instagram and slid into her DM’s explaining that he loved how freaky and weird her music was. Honestly, that’s what drew me to the show on Tuesday. Although I had never heard either of their music, I had a feeling from just reading their bio’s that I was going to be in for a true treat of something different and unique.
As mentioned, the first act to take the stage on the snowy Tuesday night show was Michigan-based Sam Austin. Joined on stage by three friends making up his band, he wasted no time giving the modest audience his unique sound. I loved the way that Sam went from having a super aggressive hip-hop based edge to having a more chill R&B vibe within the blink of an eye. Musically, it was all over the place but one thing remained the same throughout his thirty-minute set– his energy. The audience wasn’t huge when Sam took the stage and although it grew throughout his set, it never reached a super high number but that didn’t stop him from giving the audience everything he had. Constantly checking in with them to make sure they were still having a good time, Sam used his almost awkward banter as a way to break the barrier between stage and audience.
Sam’s set wasn’t without its flaws. There were moments where I felt like the vocals were a bit strained and other moments where I felt that he relied on tracks a little bit too much but that didn’t stop me from falling in love with this performer and his overall vibe. It was exciting, it was fresh, it was exactly what I had been expecting when blindly walking into the 7th Street Entry on Tuesday night. I had the feeling that I was not the only one who had showed up at Sam Austins’ set blind by the way the audience seemed a bit reluctant to give into his call and response moments and the endless energy he was providing from the stage at the beginning of the set but, by the end, it was clear that Sam had done his job. As he lept into the audience for the final track, he had the entire crowd bopping around the floor with him and his set concluded with a roar of applause.
Alt-pop songstress Dora Jar was the headliner and only other act on the bill on Tuesday night but her performance made the night more than worth it for the fairly large crowd that had finally showed up as she got set up on stage. As soon as she kicked into her set, I couldn’t help but make the comparisons to the time I saw Billie Eilish in the same room right before she really popped. I realize now that making that comparison is a bit cheesy as I came to find out this morning that Dora Jar had just finished opening for Billie Eilish on her Australian tour but I stand by the thought. There was something quirky and unique about Dora Jar as soon as she took the stage but also something so full of talent and genuine. It was addicting and I was sold within the first song of her set.
Born in New York City but raised in Northern California, Dora’s influences are clearly all over the place. At face-value, it’s an almost bedroom-pop indie-pop vibe with stunning pop songstress vocals but, as you start to dig into her music, it’s so much more than that. There were moments where I felt my body and mind being taken over by lush and serious soundscapes and others where I couldn’t help but laugh at the playful nature of Dora’s songs and the way she presented them. From love songs to anthemic pop bops, it was truly all over the place but I was along for the ride regardless of what world Dora was taking me to.
Much like her music, her performance was all over the place. Her comments between tracks felt random but there was something charming and honest about it. Tuesday night was her first time in Minneapolis yet it felt as if I was watching her perform in front of a crowd that had seen her a million times before. The love that radiated from the audience to the stage felt completely organic and it was easy to see how Dora was feeding off of said energy.
I went into the Tuesday night show blind as I so often do and I was left feeling more than satisfied with my choice to leave the house and deal with the snowy weather and cold. I wanted and expected quirky and interesting and that’s exactly what I got and then some.
Venue: 7th Street Entry
Average Age of the Crowd: 17
Crowd Surfers- 0
Stage Divers- 0
Mosh-ability- 2 out of 10
Sausage-Fest Meter- 1 out of 10
Amount of Beer Spilled On Me While Walking Around- $0– Trick question– It was an all ages show so no alcohol was served
Broken Bones- None
Spotted Flying Through The Air- Nothing
Randomly Shirtless Men – 0
Passed Out Kids- 0
Idiots Taken Out By Security – 0
How Irritated I Was With The Audience – 1 out of 10
How Many Times I’ve Seen These Bands Before (or at least how many times I can remember)-
Sam Austins – 0
Dora Jar– 0
Celebrity Sightings – None
Overall Score- 7.2 out of 10
Show on Deck — AFI / Drab Majesty
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