This week has been one of those nostalgia-perfect kind of weeks. With Finch on Wednesday and Blink 182 on Thursday, honestly, my week was already made but I had one more show to go to on Saturday and, although not as amped up as either of those aforementioned concerts, Saturday night filled me with a sense of emotion and nostalgia that is hard to put into words.

Saturday night at The Turf Club in Saint Paul kicked off with a solo set from Julia of Creeping Charlie. I have been wanting to check out Creeping Charlie for some time now but the stars just have not aligned yet. I don’t care what it takes. After listening to Julia perform for thirty minutes on Saturday, I need to see Creeping Charlie. For me, it was Julia’s vocals that had me completely stuck where I was standing. It’s airy and almost comes across as a whisper but has an undeniable sense of power and passion behind it. Julia came off as sweet and innocent much like her vocals but there was an edge to the performance as well. I couldn’t quite figure out if that edge came from the more grunge-inspired electric guitar that she strummed away at during her performance or just the flawless delivery of her heart-on-her-sleeve lyrics. Regardless, I was eating up every word as she presented them to me. Although I truly did like the energy that the electric guitar gave her set on Saturday, I felt like there were songs throughout the set that were begging for an acoustic guitar. I’m not sure if this was just a one off for Julia as far as solo shows go but I know that if she continues to do them, she will quickly become one of my favorite soloists in town.

I won’t even try to hide it, I was at the show on Saturday night to see one man– Matt Pryor. I truly admire Matt and his DIY spirit and ethics. He has been grinding for years having been the brains behind The Get Up Kids and The New Amsterdams while joining in with a million other bands including Reggie and the Full Effect, Radar State– the list goes on and on and I truly admire that commitment to music. Admittingly, The Get Up Kids are my favorite Matt Pryor project but when I saw he was coming to town in the form of The New Amsterdams, I just couldn’t resist.

Sure, I was a bit bummed that I wasn’t able to sing through the playthrough of The New Amsterdams’ 2003 album ‘Worse For the Wear’ which Matt (joined by a bassist and electric guitarist at times) played through in its entirety but that didn’t stop me from enjoying every single moment of his nearly hour long set. Honestly, Matt could have been up there singing Richard Cheese styled ballads and I would have loved it. There’s just something about his voice. I find a sense of comfort in it but, at the same time, it makes me feel so many emotions all at once that, at times, it can become overwhelming. Maybe it was all of those years fawning over The Get Up Kids’ albums or maybe it was just the time in my life when Matt hit me that had me feeling all the feels. Regardless, I found myself completely lost and captivated throughout his set. As mentioned, Matt wasn’t alone for the entire set. Throughout the album playthrough and the few songs he treated the audience to after, he had an electric guitarist and bassist hop in for a couple of songs. Although I loved the depth that these two added members gave to the sound, there was just something so pure and raw about the songs that were performed solo making those moments my favorite.

Honestly, seeing Matt Pryor live for the first time in a couple of years was more than enough for me to feel satisfied with my Saturday night but we still have one more performance before the night was over– Kevin Devine. Much like Matt Pryor, Kevin has a voice that always instantly reminds me of my childhood. That reminder was stronger than usual as Kevin was also playing through his 2003 release- ‘Make The Clocks Move in Full’. Sure, I didn’t have as strong of an attachment to Kevin as I did with Matt back in the day but that doesn’t mean that I wasn’t flooded with nostalgia and emotion throughout Kevin’s set much like I had been during The New Amsterdams’ set.

I’ve seen Kevin a couple of times before and, although I always love hearing him play, I also love hearing his stories between tracks. We learned a lot about Kevin on Saturday night like how he shaved his beard once and, upon seeing the shaved face, Kevin’s daughter started hysterically crying and resorted to making Kevin a cardboard beard to wear (this is a nod to Kevin’s song “Wolf’s Mouth” which talks about, well, just listen to it). It was stories like that and warnings about things like how you have to tread carefully when on ecstasy that gave Kevin’s set a super accessible feel to it. That’s not to say that the other times I’ve seen Kevin I felt like it wasn’t accessible, he always has that vibe, but it was more intimate, more real, more raw– more what I look for when going to shows.

Sure, the acoustic-based night was a far cry from the other shows I had this week but I kind of liked that. I pretty much lived through my entire angsty teenage years in a matter of a week and ending it with the heartfelt feeling that I got from both Kevin Devine and The New Amsterdams was truly perfect.

Line Up:

Julia of Creeping Charlie

The New Amsterdams

Kevin Devine

Venue: Turf Club

Smell-O-Meter: Nothing Notable

Average Age of the Crowd: 38

Crowd Surfers- None

Stage Divers- None

Mosh-ability- 0 out of 10

Sausage-Fest Meter- 6 out of 10

Amount of Beer Spilled On Me While Walking Around- $0

Broken Bones- None

Spotted Flying Through The Air- Nothing

Fights- None Witnessed

Pukers- 0

Passed Out Kids- 0

Idiots Taken Out By Security – 0

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)-

Julia of Creeping Charlie – 0

The New Amsterdams – 0 (although I’ve seen Matt Pryor in other forms probably two dozen times)

Kevin Devine – 3

Celebrity Sightings – Andy of Whiskey Rock N Roll Club MPLS

Overall Score – 8.2 out of 10

Show on Deck — Escape From The Zoo / Doom Scroll / Space Monkey Mafia

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