I wish I had a witty intro regarding the show on Monday night but I just don’t. It was just another Monday full of work and stressors that set me off meaning I needed to let loose a bit at a show but that’s nothing new. I feel like that’s everyday of my life and, thankfully, I’m in a position where I can go to a show almost every night to decompress from daily life. That being said, something felt special as I walked into The 7th Street Entry on Monday. Maybe it was the anticipation of seeing a style of music that I don’t get to see normally or maybe it was the familiar faces on stage for the opening act– regardless, sure, it was just another show for me but I was thrilled for what the night was going to bring me.

Kicking the night off was a local favorite of mine, Space Monkey Mafia. I’ve written about this band a million times so I promise to not spend this whole article gushing over how amazing this band is but, at the same time, it was Space Monkey Mafia. SMM is a local ska band with a sound and energy that is absolutely worthy of a headlining national tour. I know, bold statement there but this band has such a polished sound and their performances always leave audience members with a smile on their face and, more importantly, some heavy thoughts in their head. SMM doesn’t hide their political views on things. Whether it’s through the lyrics in the songs or some of the comments made my the vocalist between songs, this band let’s you know just how they feel about things and are true social activists with a message to spread. I love that because it seems so serious and out of left field for a band that is playing fun and upbeat bops with blaring horns and beats that make you want to dance around but that’s the magic of Space Monkey Mafia and a reason that I will continue to go see them time and time again.

The night moved super fast and, before I knew it, the upbeat ska offerings of Space Monkey Mafia were replaced by the acoustic punk vibe of Doom Scroll. Yes- you read that right- acoustic punk- folk punk- crust wave- trashgrass – whatever you want to call it, that’s what Doom Scroll is and their performance of their distinct sound was absolutely flawless on Monday night. Although their sound is overall acoustic, there’s something aggressive about the delivery of it. Much like the headliner to come, the vocals of Doom Scroll tend to have a growl of intensity behind them that creates a super cool yet almost abrasive vibe to their sound. From harmonies that shouldn’t work together to the constant washboard sound that, although subtle, really added that special something to their sound, I found myself completely enamored and stuck by Doom Scroll’s performance.

The members of Doom Scroll are all seasoned vets in the scene. Featuring ex-members of bands like We The heathens, The Latter Day Satanists, Days N’ Daze (I could keep going for days on this), I loved that these musicians clearly knew what they were doing on stage. There was an unspoken connection between all of the members of this band that made song transitions smooth and gave you a chance to really hone into every element in their music. It’s a bit hard to explain but, if you were at the show on Monday or have ever seen Doom Scroll before, I think this will make sense in a very odd way.

That whole vibe continued as headliners Escape From the ZOO took the stage. Fronted by Jesse Sendejas (also of Days N’ Daze fame), Escape From the ZOO capped off the night with another set of trashgrash, folk-punk, crust wave sounds. Again, call it whatever you want. I know there are a million names for it and I know that everyone classifies this sound differently but I call it downright fun and that’s all that matters. Much like the previous two bands of the night, Escape From the ZOO had the entire audience on their feet throughout the set. Although there is an undeniable sense of intensity to Jesse’s vocals just like the vocals of Doom Scroll, there’s something so playful about Escape From the ZOO’s overall sound. It’s truly impossible to just stand there while watching them perform live.

The acoustic folk punk scene is a scene that, although I adore, I just do not spend a lot of time in but that’s a mistake and that mistake is on me. Standing there watching Escape From the ZOO somehow made me feel a little bit of everything. Watching them perform was just was powerful as watching my friends in Space Monkey Mafia perform yet I have never met the members of Escape From The ZOO before. It’s this weird thing about this band and this scene in particular where everyone is friends. They have music that speaks to you and seeps into your soul regardless of what kind of mood you’re in. It can either be that shoulder to cry on or that friend to have one too many drinks with. There’s a connection in this scene and style of music that I crave on a daily basis and getting to experience that on Monday night was a stellar way to kick my week off.

Line Up:

Space Monkey Mafia

Doom Scroll

Escape From the ZOO

Venue: 7th Street Entry

Smell-O-Meter: Nothing Notable

Average Age of the Crowd: 35

Crowd Surfers- None

Stage Divers- None

Mosh-ability- 6 out of 10

Sausage-Fest Meter- 6 out of 10

Amount of Beer Spilled On Me While Walking Around- $4.23 (my own fault)

Broken Bones- None

Spotted Flying Through The Air- Nothing

Fights- None Witnessed

Pukers- 0

Passed Out Kids- 1

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)-

Space Monkey Mafia – 6

Doom Scroll – 0

Escape From The ZOO – 1

Celebrity Sightings – Ann of Mostly MN Music

Overall Score – 8.5 out of 10

Show on Deck — Waterparks / HUNNY / Daisy Grenade

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