My goal this year is to see as many “new to me” bands as possible. This means giving up going to see bands that I’ve seen multiple times in order to go see something new. It’s been going great and I’ve absolutely been seen seeing some amazing music but I had to give up that goal on Wednesday night. Sure, I’ve seen Michigander half a dozen times already but I’ve been saying it since the first time I saw him way back in April of 2017 when he opened up for Flint Eastwood– I will never turn down a chance to see this amazing human perform live.
Kicking off the sold-out Wednesday night show at The Turf Club was Nashville-based Abby Holliday. I would be lying if I said my anticipation for Michigander and just the kind of day I had had meant that my mind wasn’t completely in the game as Abby played through her opening set but that doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy it. Abby brought more sunshine to Saint Paul than we had already gotten throughout the day on Wednesday. Her music, like her personality, was bright and upbeat with an undeniable sense of passion and heart that remained a constant through every song she and her amazing band performed. Even during some of her more tender and mature tracks, something about her overall presence kept the set from going as dark as some of the words she was saying which was exactly what I wanted for my Wednesday night show. Lyrically, Abby’s songs had a super blogger feeling to them. I felt like I somehow got to know Abby on a very personal level without ever actually meeting the amazing woman.
Abby was clearly amazing but I was beyond excited as the stage was turned over for Michigander. As mentioned, I have seen this man multiple times. I keep coming back for more and I don’t think I’ll ever get sick of seeing him. It’s been amazing to see the momentum he has gained over the years while not being blind to the grind that he has put into his art. From seeing him back on that fateful April day in 2017 when he opened for Flint Eastwood to being one of the few people at his acoustic show at The Icehouse (even though I had my friend convinced it would sell out and she ended up being one of the only people to buy a ticket in advance– she will never let me live that down) all the way to Wednesday night. I feel like I’ve been on this journey with Michigander and I know that’s a bit selfish but it also adds a connection for when I see him.
There’s something so genuine about vocalist Jason Singer. It’s not just the words he’s singing in his songs that are sure to pull at your heartstrings, but it’s also just the way he carries himself. That’s what made m fall in love with him the first time I saw him and is something that he has never lost throughout his journey which can not be said about all acts in his shoes. I’ve seen too many bands and musicians start selling shows and tours out and then completely forget that they are only there because of the fans. Not Jason, he acknowledged the audience multiple times throughout the set and thanked them with his full heart for their support.
Michigander has had some hits lately from “Misery” to “Let Down” but he didn’t just play his hits. The balance of emotions and hits to b-sides throughout his quick set was absolutely flawless. One of my favorite parts of the set was watching the sold-out audience sing along to every song. It wasn’t the type of crowd that was just there to hear the hits– they wanted to hear everything and they were prepared to sing along as if to validate their reasons for being at The Turf Club on Wednesday. This, again, just goes to show the growth of this musician and it made my heart so full to think back to some of those first shows I saw from Michigander where the crowd was light and the crowd participation was even lighter. To go from that to Wednesday night when there were times when I felt like the crowd easily overpowered Jason’s vocals was just one of those “my heart is beyond full” kind of moments.
Wednesday wasn’t a bad day for me. It was actually a great day but I was given some big things to think about and had been stuck in my head all day. That changed the second that Jason and his band jumped into his set. It was as if they were speaking right to me about just being alive and staying true to yourself. I think I needed those words on Wednesday so badly and Michigander playing some of the tracks they did throughout their thirteen-song set was a sign from the concert gods. Dramatic, yes, but, if you’ve been reading my posts for some time, you know that’s my style. That being said, it really just reiterated the connection that Jason has somehow made with thousands if not millions, of strangers (myself included).
Wednesday night’s show was supposed to take place last November but, unfortunately, while filming the video for “Superglue”, Jason slipped and fell breaking his leg in three places. That postponed the show which, obviously, I was bummed about but to say it was worth the wait would be an understatement. I have seen Michigander a half dozen times already and I don’t think I’ll ever stop going to their shows. Long live Michigander!
Venue: The Turf Club
Smell-O-Meter: Nothing Notable
Sausage Fest Meter: 4 out of 10
Average Age of the Crowd: 28
Crowd Surfers: 0
Stage Divers: 0
Mosh-Ability: 1 out of 10
Amount of Beer Spilled On Me: $0
Spotted Flying Through the Air: Nothing
Pukers: None Spotted
Idiots Taken Out By Security: 2
How Irritated I Was With Audience: 1 out of 10
How Many Times I’ve Seen These Bans Before (or at least how many times I can remember):
Abby Holliday – 0
Michigander – 6
Celebrity Sightings: Ann of Mostly MN Music
Overall Score: 8.4 out of 10
Show on Deck: Ryan Traster / NEWSKI / Long Range Hustle
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