I am a creature of habit. I like my spaces that I know and I like to be surrounded by familiar faces. I got neither of those things at the show on Wednesday night but that added a sense of thrill to the show.
Wednesday night was my first time checking out the Underground Music Cafe & Event Space. Situated right by the Twin stadium but on an unassuming street that I had driven by a million times and never blinked an eye at, I was excited as I entered the foreign-to-me venue. There’s something exciting about checking out a new venue. It fills me with optimism because I always go in wondering if this could be a new home away from home for me. I quickly had that answered question as I instantly felt comfortable entering the DIY feeling space. When you first walk in, you get into a foyer that doesn’t have much of anything to write about but, as you go deeper into the venue, you find yourself in a cavernous warehouse space with a small bar, couches, and four pillars within the audience portion of the floor. Why do I feel the need to mention these pillars? Well, all good venues have random pillars and obstacles in the crowd. Okay, that’s not quite true but it did give me throw backs to some of the venues I “lived at” in years gone by. I promise I won’t spend this whole post writing about the space but, for me, that was almost as thrilling as the actual show. I’m a geek, I know, but, before I get into the show itself, I just have to express how excited I am to spend more time in this super cool (and independent– bonus points!) venue.
Kicking the night off with an uber short set was rapper TRiPPJONES. I have to be honest, I was instantly turned off from his set with his abrupt usage of the “R-word”. I have no clue why but this is one word I just can not forgive and I hated how it seemed to ruin the entire set for me. I mean, let’s be honest, even beyond that, TRiPPJONES’ brash rap style just wasn’t for me but I think I would have at least given it a bigger chance had he not dropped the R-bomb right off the bat.
Although I let that one moment ruin TRiPPJONES’ set, I didn’t let it ruin the whole show and definitely was able to shake it off as Zulu took the stage. Zulu is a powerviolence band from Los Angeles. Powerviolence– it sounds violent, right? Well, it kind of is but bear with me here. As soon as this band took the stage, the audience jumped off. Zulu’s aggressive music created the perfect soundscape to go with the flying bodies and limbs I saw from where I was standing. Even though it was aggressive, there was a message behind all of their songs and I loved the way their passion conveyed those messages throughout their time on stage. I really liked Zulu’s set but it was super short– like under twenty minutes short– and I feel like I was still just trying to get my bearings with the unfamiliar space and audience as they powered through.
Following Zulu was supposed to be SCOWL– a band I have seen once before and have been pleading with the concert gods for a second chance to see. Sadly, they unexpectedly dropped off the show. Although I was bummed, this also meant that up next was Jesus Piece– the main reason I had made the decision to buy tickets to this show rather than trying to get hired to write it up (I honestly wasn’t even going to write about this show but I feel like all of these bands deserve more press than they get). I was introduced to Jesus Piece when they opened up for Knocked Loose at Amsterdam Bar & Hall in Saint Paul back in March of 2018. Honestly, this band hasn’t done much since then (they even admitted that in the middle of their set) but that didn’t stop me from thinking back to that show multiple times. It was intense, it was hot, it was messy– it was perfect and they gave me that same energy and then some during their set on Wednesday night.
Hailing from Philadelphia, this band blends a little bit of everything from metalcore to hardcore punk to make their aggressive sound. It has breakdowns, guitar solos, and vocals that will make your skin crawl in all of the right ways but it’s the presentation of this sound that had me sold on this band the first time I saw them and will be the reason I keep coming back. They don’t hold back. Vocalist Aaron Heard has a very menacing presence about him when performing that matches the music and overall vibe perfectly. Okay, maybe menacing is a strong word, but he makes you want to move and shove the person next to you just with the passion that comes through his movements and the microphone. Although Jesus Piece’s set wasn’t super short like Zulu’s, I still felt like I was in a bit of a haze throughout the set and, for fear of having my phone wacked out of my hand by the insane audience, I made the call to not take many notes throughout the night which, I am realizing now, is making this article super hard to write.
Closing out the Wednesday night show was Show Me The Body. This is a band that I’ve seen the name of a million times and have had multiple people tell me that I just “need to see it live” but never took the time to do so. Shame on me. As soon as I saw the banjo. Yes– a hardcore punk band with a sludgy and experimental side that features a banjo. Although I was stoked to see such an intriguing instrument hit the stage, it took me a hot minute to warm up to the sound. It didn’t sound like a banjo to me but I couldn’t tell if that was the point or just the sound system in the space (which, although I love this venue, could maybe use some help). Regardless, the banjo mixed with the experimental sounds in the songs all wrapped up with the intense energy of vocalist Julian Cashwan Pratt had me sold on this band. I may have been at the show to see Jesus Piece on Wednesday (and they undoubtedly killed their set) but I really think I found a new love in Show Me The Body just because of, well, everything. I was clearly one of the only people who hadn’t gotten the message about this band (or, more accurately, ignored the messages I was getting) as the entire audience was popping off throughout the set just adding the excitement and flawlessness of the night.
I live in a pop-punk world when it comes to my daily playlist. I got this blog started primarily because of the local metal scene but I would like to think that the hardcore scene is the reason for my love of live music. There’s just something about hardcore shows and audiences that can not be described with words and just needs to be experienced and I got that from the show on Wednesday. The one note I did take came from Jesus Piece and it was when vocalist Aaron said, “It’s been a beautiful day. You all are beautiful creatures.. now kill each other!” So an outsider, that sounds terrible… to me, it was the cherry on top to my Wednesday night.
Venue: Underground Music Venue
Smell-O-Meter: A little weed; A little BO
Average Age of the Crowd: 24
Crowd Surfers- 2
Stage Divers- Lost count after 15
Mosh-ability- 11 out of 10
Sausage-Fest Meter- 9 out of 10
Amount of Beer Spilled On Me While Walking Around- $0
Broken Bones- None spotted but I wouldn’t be suprised if there were some
Spotted Flying Through The Air- Bodies, Drinks, Hats, Shoes
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 – 2 out of 10
How Many Times I’ve Seen These Bands Before (or at least how many times I can remember)-
TRiPPJONES – 0
Zulu – 0
Jesus Piece – 1
Show Me The Body – 0
Celebrity Sightings – Paddy of Dillinger Four
Overall Score- 9.4 out of 10
Show on Deck — Harbor & Home / Colin Bracewell / Parachutes
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