The Turf Club in Saint Paul, Minnesota is quickly becoming my favorite venue. Not only do I feel completely at home and comfortable there, but they have been throwing some amazing shows lately. Being a venue owned by First Avenue, it’s a bit surprising that they taking their chances on lower range bands through the week but, being me, I am reaping the benefits and found myself there for the second night in a row on Thursday. I was unfamiliar with the acts but familiar with the surroundings and that’s all I really needed to know that my Thursday was going to be perfect.

Canadian rockers Long Range Hustle got the night started promptly at 8:30 PM. Although this was their first time in Minnesota and the crowd was fairly light for them (and throughout the rest of the night to be quite honest), Long Range Hustle absolutely impressed me and the other people in the crowd. They may have been a brand new band to me and most of those in the audience but that didn’t stop from all conversations happening throughout the club coming to an abrupt end as soon as Long Range Hustle started playing. Having the power as a band to do that says a lot more about their talent than my words could ever but let’s dig into this band a little bit more. Their sound is a bit all over the place. Some songs had a very commercial indie-pop vibe and others a more straight up rock n’ roll sound. The highlight of their set for me were the vocals. With two vocalists switching for certain songs and then absolutely dazzling four part harmonies at time, I just found myself hanging on this band’s every word because of the pure beauty and not so much the words being said like I usually do (although their words were also great, I think, I was just so struck by the powerful beauty behind the vocals that I didn’t pay attention to the words as much as I typically do). I loved that although the audience was a bit on the lighter side, Long Range Hustle gave those who were there their all. For what it’s worth, this band absolutely gained some new fans after their set on Thursday inlcuding myself.

Following Long Range Hustle was NEWSKI. Led by musician Brett Newski, NEWSKI’s sound was a more straight up vibe but still a bit unclassifiable. At the surface, the music is very 90s alternative rock but I feel like saying that means I’m trying to say that the sound was dated. That’s not at all the case. I found NEWSKI’s set to be super refreshing and the perfect ending to a sunny and abnormally warm day in the Twin Cities. There was something bright and charming both about the music and the stage presence of this trio. Right off the bat, I wanted to compare vocal Brett Newski’s tone and timber to that of Billy Joe Armstrong from Green Day. Maybe this is a bit of a left-fielder but I’m going to stick with it. His vocals are just ever so slightly nasally giving the vocals (and only the vocals) an almost pop-punk vibe. Those distinct vocals and their overall style made it clear that NEWSKI has a sound that can only be described as, well, NEWSKI.

Towards the end of the set, the trio did an absolutely amazing cover of Alanis Morissette’s “Hand In My Pocket”. Sure, Brian forgot some of the words but they all hit the chorus perfectly and, for a song that I don’t particularly like, I’d be lying if I said that NEWSKI didn’t have me singing along to the few words I knew. Him forgetting the words was a super charming part of their set and, as I look the band up this morning just to learn more about them, I am realizing that their charm, like their distinct sound, is a constant for this group and Brian Newski in particular. If you have a minute, dig into Brian’s book “It’s Hard To Be A Person: Defeating Anxiety, Surviving the World and Having More Fun.” I can’t say more than that because the copy I literally just bought isn’t in my hands quite yet but I am more than excited to see another side of this amazing musician.

Ryan Traster was the final act on Thursday night. He took the stage with his amazing band and instantly drifted the audience members off to a world with no stress or issues. There was something almost “California” about Ryan’s sound but it wasn’t the typical California surf-punk that I typically am referring to when I mention a California sound. Ryan’s sound was lush and atmospheric without merging into the ambient world. It was somehow calming and zen-like but it kept my attention throughout the set. Ryan’s vocals take this lush atmosphere and bring an almost southern-styled twang to the sound which blended in nicely but was also super unexpected. When I was looking for a show to check out on Thursday, I was caught by Ryan’s description of himself. “Cosmic American Songwriter”. I had no clue what that could mean but, after seeing him perform, I get it. What I’m trying to say is, like the previous two acts, Ryan’s sound was unique and unclassifiable while having familiar qualities to it that had me hooked instantly.

Clearly, I was in love with Ryan’s voice but I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the band behind him on Thursday night. It was honestly a pretty massive band with three guitars going throughout which is more than enough to muddy up anyone’s sound but the way that Ryan had it all laid out was genius. There was never a moment where I felt like one of the musicians on stage was battling another for the spotlight or anything like that. They all worked in tandem in a perfect way. I was somehow able to go from musician to musician, pick out their part, and hear them loud and clear even with everyone else playing at the same time. The respect shown on stage between the musicians was something stunning and it was truly the icing on the cake to a beautiful Thursday night performance.

Line Up:

Long Range Hustle


Ryan Traster

Venue: The Turf Club

Smell-O-Meter: Nothing Notable

Sausage Fest Meter: 6 out of 10

Average Age of the Crowd: 35

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: 0

How Irritated I Was With Audience: 0 out of 10

How Many Times I’ve Seen These Bands Before (or at least how many times I can remember):

Long Range Hustle – 0


Ryan Traster – 0

Celebrity Sightings: Ann of Mostly MN Music

Overall Score: 8 out of 10

Show on Deck: By The Thousands / In Search of Solace / Weeping Wound / Waste / Our Common Collapse / Agony Reigns

Shameless Self Promotion- Join My Patreon Here!

Buy Me a Coffee (Seriously!)


Make a one-time donation

Make a monthly donation

Make a yearly donation

Choose an amount


Or enter a custom amount


Your contribution is appreciated.

Your contribution is appreciated.

Your contribution is appreciated.

DonateDonate monthlyDonate yearly