The past two nights have reminded me why I do this night after night. Instead of spending my time being surrounded by thousands of fans, I was surrounded by closer to one hundred. People’s smiles were warm and genuine. The music was amazing. The local scene up here in the Twin Cities is seriously amazing and if Wednesday night’s review didn’t convey that, hopefully this review of my Thursday night show will.
Although VINJE isn’t based in the Twin Cities anymore, he grew up in Minnesota before making the leap to Nashville living. Much like the music of Brennan Wedl on Wednesday night, you could hear both the midwest and Nashville vibes throughout VINJE’s set. His sound had this dirty southern influence to it but also had a very Midwestern approach to the songwriting and lyrical content. VINJE and his band had the impressively large audience stuck in the palm of their hands as they powered through their set of mostly originals with a few covers thrown in including a flawless rendition of The Doors’ “Riders on the Storm” and a super fun “Take Me Out” (Franz Ferdinand) cover to wrap up the show.
About half way through, VINJE asked the audience to applaud the band. I just figured this was because they were so great (because they absolutely were) but he continued to explain that the three other musicians on the stage only had about a month to learn all of the songs. I was honestly a bit shocked. I would have put money on the fact that this band had been playing together for years if you had asked me. They played so well together and each member clearly brought a different musical influence and personality to the stage in such a perfect way.
Second up was a local favorite of mine- Faith Boblett. I have covered Faith a couple of times but the last time I was able to see this amazing human on stage was back in July of 2021 so I was full of anticipation as she and her band took the stage. Faith’s music is amazing. It’s part pop, part indie, and all heart. Her voice is a powerhouse to say the least and she truly knows how to convey the feeling of the words she is singing. Although I was trying to watch everything that was going on on the stage, all I could hear was Faith’s stunning voice and all I could seem to focus on was her shining personality as she powered through the set. Faith is fun and clearly doesn’t take herself too seriously when on stage with the jokes she pulls between tracks but she still gives you an absolutely flawless performance when push comes to shove. That is one of the many things about Faith that will keep me coming to see her time and time again.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Faith’s band. I thought it was so cute that her dad was on bass with her and added a super cool dynamic to the night but, beyond that, Faith’s band truly supported her and enhanced her sound throughout the night. To close out the set, Faith and her band did a cover of “Highway Star” from Deep Purple. As Faith mentioned before jumping into the song, this was a bit of a curve ball compared to the rest of the songs during the set. “We are going to do something crazy!” She said both in an excited but also nervous manor. Honestly, maybe Faith and the rest of the band should explore the idea of being a classic rock cover band because this was an amazing cover. Other than the collision between the bassist and guitarist that resulted in a small injury, it was flawless and truly showcased the power in her band. The icing on the cake to a gorgeous set.
The two opening acts were clearly amazing but the audience was clearly most excited for headliners Clay Fulton & The Lost Forty. It seemed like their set up was delayed just due to the audience constantly shrieking with every move they made on stage. It was a bit comical but also had me stressed as I watched the clock and realized just how late it was getting. When they finally got all set up and started their set, all of the excitement made sense.
I don’t know what they’re putting in the water in Rochester, MN but I’ll take some of it. Clay Fulton & The Lost Forty seriously felt like a touring act and if I hadn’t known better, I would have bet they were from Nashville. Their music, like VINJE’s, had a dirty southern feel at times but also just a fun party-vibe at others. From heart-warming tracks with vocals that would make you melt to dancier numbers that edged into the funk world– this band could seriously do no wrong. The way Clay Fulton and Carly Hornstine’s vocals blended throughout the set gave me goosebumps that, even as I sit her in the warmth of my house drinking my hot coffee, continue to creep up as I think back on it.
Thursday night was my first time ever hearing of Clay Fulton & The Last Forty but I have the feeling they have been playing together for some time just due to how well-rehearsed their set was. I don’t know what the future holds for this band but I know that I will be watching them and truly expect huge things for this band.
Venue: 7th Street Entry
Smell-O-Meter: Nothing Notable
Average Age of the Crowd: 27
Crowd Surfers- None Spotted
Stage Divers- None
Mosh-ability- 2 out of 10
Sausage-Fest Meter- 3 out of 10
Amount of Beer Spilled On Me While Walking Around- $0
Broken Bones- None but one busted nose has to count for something!
Spotted Flying Through The Air- Nothing
Fights- None Witnessed
Randomly Shirtless Men – 0
Passed Out Kids- 0
Idiots Taken Out By Security – None Spotted
How Irritated I Was With The Audience – 0 out of 10
How Many Times I’ve Seen These Bands Before (or at least how many times I can remember)-
VINJE – 0
Faith Boblett – 4
Clay Fulton & The Lost Forty – 0
Celebrity Sightings – None
Overall Score- 7.5 out of 10
Show on Deck — Ice Cube
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