My Thursday night was spent at The Turf Club reveling in the magic that is the Twin Cities local music scene. It was one of those shows where everything just felt right. Everyone in the audience was clearly having a good time and, although it was a Thursday and there is a pretty epic winter storm looming on us up here, there wasn’t a care or worry in the entire venue. Like I said, once of those perfect kind of shows.
Getting the night started off right was Killed By Kiwis. I had never heard of this local band before but, with a name like Killed By Kiwis, of course I was intrigued. As soon as the band took the stage, I was struck by their almost psychedelic look and wondered if that would be translated into their sound as they got situated on the stage. Although I didn’t get useless facts about kiwis as their bio had told me I would, their set was more than enjoyable. There was a slight hint of a psychedelic sound to match their look but, overall, Killed By Kiwis’ sound was just a great rock n’ roll sound. From songs that had some bite to them in the form of an almost garage punk vibe to other songs where the vocals were in the spotlight with a very pop influence, I loved the identity crisis this band seems to have because it works so well for them.
I took a lot of notes about individual songs throughout Killed By Kiwis’ set but, without song titles to go with them, they are kind of useless. That being said, I loved how I saw an evolution in this band throughout their set. I’m not sure how old song of the songs they played are but I did catch that their final track was a live debut of their newest. This final track brought a sense of angst and energy that was only hinted at previously. It was my favorite song of the set even though the juxtaposition of slight angst and beautiful vocals during their second song was a close runner-up. The fact that I was able to see so much growth in this band in their short opening set on Thursday night truly says everything that needs to be said about this powerhouse of a band.
I last saw the second act, Sass, back in July of 2021. Much like that fateful night, I quickly fell head over heels for this band within their first track on Thursday night. Their sound was much more abrasive than that of Killed By Kiwis but it worked due to the million and twelve influences that could be heard throughout their set. From almost jazz-inspired compositions to punk fueled vocals and a whole bucket of emotion, this is one of those bands that you just have to see live to really understand and, even though, I think you’ll be left with some questions. One of the things that really stood out to me about Sass’ performance on Thursday was how they came across as a band that truly cares about the sound that they are giving their audience. Throughout the set, I found myself just watching the members but I couldn’t watch them as a whole. I had to watch each individual member to really get the full effect. This is because each member was truly into what they were doing and they each had a different flavor that they brought. All of these came together to make the flawless and energetic sound that is Sass which, as a whole, is perfect and I just loved being able to witness the magic come together on a stage just a few feet in front of me.
It’s a bit ironic but the last time I saw headlining act Products was also back in July of 2021. That has nothing to do with this post but thought it was just a bit ironic. Products is one of those bands that is surely going to make the Twin Cities proud when they hit the road which was exactly the reason for the celebration on Thursday night. Products is going on tour in support of their album ‘Pink Puma’ to the east coast so, east coast readers– listen up. Please go see these kids if they come anywhere near you. I promise it’s worth it and you will fall in love with them just as I have over the past few years.
Much like Sass, a signature move about this band is the fact that each member is clearly different. This isn’t just in the musical flair that they bring to the stage but also visually. I don’t typically talk about fashion in these shows because, well, I have no sense of fashion but I feel like setting the stage of this band visually may help describe their set. From an old school punk look from the bassist to a more preppy collegiate style from one of the vocalists, a more artsy vibe from the other guitarist and then a look that doesn’t really fit into one particular scene from the dummer, just looking at this band, you can tell they are a bit all over the place and that describes their music perfectly. Genre-bending is an understatement when it comes to Products and I feel that genre-blending may be a bit better of a description. With some songs that come with an almost folksy vocal style to straight up punk driven anthems to more straight up rock n’ roll vibes from other songs, I didn’t care where Products was taking me throughout their set, I was there for the ride and with a smile on my face.
There were too many fun moments throughout Products’ set for me to list but, my personal favorite was when the band played “Hello, Hi”. This is definitely my favorite Products song and that’s just due to the delivery of the song from vocalist/ guitarist Jo. They just have such a fun and raw vibe about them when presenting this song and it has made it a stand out for me both times that I’ve seen them. There was also the impromptu singing of “Happy Birthday” for their dummer and then the super fun and cute pit that broke out towards the end of the set… I could go on but you weren’t there so all of this is just a bit of gibberish to you, I’m sure. What I’m trying to say is Products is killing it. They killed it on Thursday, they will surely kill it on this upcoming tour, and I am already craving another show from them.
Venue: The Turf Club
Average Age of the Crowd: 26
Crowd Surfers- 0
Mosh-ability- 2 out of 10
Amount of Beer Spilled On Me While Walking Around- $3– It was my own fault
Broken Bones- None spotted
Spotted Flying Through The Air- Nothing
Fights- None Witnessed
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)-
Killed By Kiwis – 0
Sass – 1
Products – 1
Celebrity Sightings – Theyself / Ann of Mostly Minnesota Music
Overall Score- 8.3 out of 10
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