What do you do when you celebrate 40 years of a band? You throw a party. You get your favorite beer (shout out to Surly), radio station (shout out to the amazing people at KFAI), and other local bands involved and you go hard. That’s exactly what Impaler did on Saturday night and I was so honored to be able to witness the celebration in all of its glory.

DJ Rock the Monkey set the stage perfectly for the night. The DJ was slinging all types of music before the show and between acts. Sadly, I was a bit late to getting to The Turf Club on Saturday night so I missed out the bulk of what DJ Rock the Monkey had played but I loved how I walked in and instantly felt a celebration vibe from what was playing.

Fret Rattles was the first band to take the stage. Their name is one of those names that I’ve seen numerous times but knew nothing about the band. With a high-energy show and a sound that blended old-school punk vibes with a more straight-forward rock n’ roll sound, my eyes were glued to the stage throughout their nearly forty-five minute set. I really cannot understate the amount of energy these four men brought to the stage. I am the type to call things the way I see them so I apologize for how rude this may sound but I was a bit surprised that these four old guys could give me more energy than some of the younger bands I see night in and out. There were leaps from amps, multiple jumps, air kicks– it was super fun to watch. Yeah, I know, age means nothing in music and the fact that we were at a forty-year anniversary party for a band says a lot about the average age on stage but I felt like their performance just really stood out to me for all of the right reasons and I only wish more acts would take a note from these seasoned professionals.

Following Fret Rattles was Dumpster Juice– a band that I always thoroughly love seeing. Although they didn’t come off as professional as Fret Rattles did when it came to their performance, they had me just as captivated. The main reason for my captivation when it comes to Dumpster Juice is Chris Rowland, the vocalist. On Saturday night, his shirt only lasted one song before he whipped it off to make way for his beer gut with the word “Rare” written in sharpie. Why am I telling you this? Well, because it’s a part of the show. That beer gut gets used as a drum during the set which, sure, gimmicky, but is absolutely hilarious to watch. Behind the gimmicks of this band, there is a great sound. Although a bit all over the place stylistically, they come together as a group to form a cohesive sound that is so full of life and energy. I’ll admit, it’s not for everyone as majority of the lyrics seem more shouted than anything else but, if you’re into loud and aggressive music but without the super abrasive dellivery, Dumpster Juice is absolutely worth your attention.

The show was a bit behind the posted set times by the time it came time for Impaler but nobody seemed to mind. The audience was full of friends and family who were just thrilled to have a chance to catch up on top of being able to see such a legendary band. I’m not being dramatic when I say that Impaler is legendary. I remember when I first moved up to the Twin Cities for college and realized that I was on their turf. I was ecstatic the first time I got to catch them live and beyond honored to have met and connected with vocalist Bill Lindsey. Basically, I get a bit starstruck when I think about the fact that I have seen Impaler so many times and the prospect that some of them may even know who I am. I don’t get starstruck often but, as mentioned, Impaler is legendary.

Since 1983, Impaler have been doing their shock rock antics without holding back. On top of that, they’ve been putting out some killer music that takes notes from everything from KISS to Motorhead. Their sound is almost a little tame when compared to their b-movie horror antics on stage but that’s what makes this band so fun. Their music is accessible to anyone who likes something a little heavy yet still understandable and their live show will keep you coming back time and time again.

I’ll be honest, their show on Saturday seemed a bit par for the course when it comes to Impaler. They were up to their usual antics and their normal “scenes” played out on the stage in front of me but it was when Bill made the comment that if the band were to do another anniversary show in another forty years, some of the members would be over one hundred years old. Just think about that, I was watching a band with members old enough to be my parents (sorry guys) yet here they were drinking water out of gasoline cans and eating off of a head on a stake while fake blood drips down their necks. As my cousin put it on my Instagram “people are just so freaking weird” but, to me, it was a showing of the stay power of Impaler.

Although the antics were on par for any other Impaler show, I felt like their song choice was not. Impaler did some deep dives into their long lasting career that includes nearly ten full length albums, a smattering of EPs and demos, along with a million other releases from demos to live albums. This definitely got the audience moving. People had been fairly stagnant throughout the rest of the night but they were not going to miss a chance to celebrate the birthday of Impaler. The pushing and shoving was pretty concentrated to right in front of the stage and was pretty tame and just really added to the excitement that had been felt throughout the night.

Happy 40th Impaler– cheers to 40 more and, don’t worry, there will be plenty of us to help you get your walkers up on stage when the time comes.

Line Up:

DJ Rock the Monkey

Fret Rattles

Dumpster Juice


Venue: The Turf Club

Smell-O-Meter: Nothing Notable

Average Age of the Crowd: 54

Crowd Surfers- None Spotted

Stage Divers- None

Mosh-ability- 5 out of 10

Sausage-Fest Meter- 23 out of 10

Amount of Beer Spilled On Me While Walking Around- $18

Broken Bones- None

Spotted Flying Through The Air- Nothing

Fights- None Witnessed

Pukers- 0

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)-

Fret Rattles – 0

Dumpster Juice – 4

Impaler – 12?– I’ve honestly lost count

Celebrity Sightings – None

Overall Score- 9.2 out of 10

Show on Deck — We Came As Romans / Erra / Brand of Sacrifice

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