Another night, another show. People always ask me how I do it or if I get tired from doing this night after night. I’ll admit, after a binge of late shows like I’ve had this week, sure, I’m tied– exhausted actually but it’s shows like the one on Thursday night at The Turf Club that keep me going.

Although I was excited for the entire night in general, I was super excited to finally check out opening act Surly Grrly. My friend who often is by my side at shows and is a connoisseur of the local scene has been telling me about this band for months and knew it would be right up my alley. She was right. As soon as the band took the stage promptly at 8 PM, I was in love. With politically-driven lyrics addressing everything from bigotry to queerness and an attitude that matched the attitude of my soul in a perfect way, I felt myself completely caught throughout Surly Grrly’s set. Musically, Surly Grrly’s sound is very 80s punk with a bit of a modern garage-punk vibe to it. It has everything from catchy hooks to lyrics that make you feel riled up and ready to take on the world. Although their entire seat had me absolutely in love, it was their song “Surly Grrl” that really hit my soul. From the attitude to the lyrics of this track, I felt like they were singing about me and every other female and female identifying friend I have. Obviously I’m not going to give everything about the track away to you– you’ll just have to hear it for yourself. Thursday was my first experience witnessing the magic of Surly Grrly but it surely won’t be the last. Honestly, I think they will be in my list of top local bands of 2023 and that’s after just one performance.

Following Surly Grrly was Butter Boys– a local band who has been taking the scene by storm lately. I recently caught this band when they opened up for birdhole in February. Although it has only been a few short months since then, I realized that they have been hard at work tightening up their sound in all of the right ways. That’s not to say anything was bad about their set in February but I could see a small hint of growth in this band which is something that I look for when it comes to seeing bands multiple times over a short span of time. The thing that I love the most about Butter Boys is definitely the vocals. There’s something very 90s about the delivery of the words but they also come with a very punk sensibility attached to every syllable. When you take that and blend it with the more straight-up indie-rock instrumentation, you are left with a sound that can only be described as being “Butter Boys”. The audience was clearly into what they were doing and everyone seemed to be at least nodding along to the infectious tracks blasting through the speakers.

I had a feeling I knew what I was going to get from Surly Grrly just based on what my friend had told me. I also knew what I was going to get from Butter Boys having recently seen them. I had no clue what to expect from The Silent Treatment but, like when Surly Grrly blasted into their set, it was love at first note when it came to the third band. With a classic 80s punk sound, I loved the fact that The Silent Treatment was just that– a classic 80s punk sound. There was nothing else to it but it was done so flawlessly. Vocalist Claire Luger had such a smooth voice yet it fit so perfectly with the angsty vibe of the set. When matched with the energy of the other players on stage, you were left with a set that both took you back in time to when music was ever-so-slightly more simplistic yet with fresh feeling that kept the set from feeling dated. My boyfriend and I were both left fairly speechless throughout the set which says more than my words could ever say. It’s weird dating when you go to a show nearly every night. My time at shows is also my social time with not only friends, but also the boyfriend meaning, once I get a feel for a band, I tend to carry on whispered conversations about our days and what not but not during The Silent Treatment’s set. I’m not sure how I had gone so long without hearing of The Silent Treatment but they have my ears and heart after their performance on Thursday night and I am already anxiously awaiting a new show announcement from them so I can experience it all over again.

I’m not sure how I’ve gone so long without seeing All The Pretty Horses but I fixed that problem as I watched them close out a perfect night with a flawless set. ATPH has been around since 1993 and, with Venus de Mars at the helm, has released nearly a dozen albums. I know that ATPH is a full band but Venus is what really makes it if I’m being quite honest. She’s as talented as she is beautiful and, when she walks up to a microphone, the audience goes silent. That was seen and (not)heard loud and clear on Thursday night as Venus walked up to the microphone, waited for silence, and then kicked the band’s set off with an acapella vocal intro of “In Heaven” from Peter Ivers (featuring in the 1977 film, Eraserhead). It was a staggering way to kick off a set and a great reminder of just how talented and amazing Venus truly is. Her voice rang through the silence cast over the venue in a serious manner but as soon as the rest of the band came in, the mood shifted from stunned to party.

ATPH’s sound is very 80s glam punk. It’s a bit over the top and very in your face but is also so fun and definitely gets the blood pumping. Much like the sound of The Silent Treatment, ATPH isn’t trying to be anyone other than ATPH which, I know, sounds like common sense, but I feel like these days it’s not. It was a refreshing set and a good reminder of the legends that live in this town. From the moments where Venus was using a sander on metal either on or around her body to make sparks fly to moments where you really saw a sense of vulnerability with her delivery of lyrics, I spent ATPH’s set completely speechless yet again.

My time spent at shows may double as my social hour with friends and the boyfriend but that was not the case on Thursday. All four bands that graced the stage commanded my attention with ease and made it impossible to carry on a conversation in all of the right ways. Sure, I’m stoked to go out to Vegas later today to experience the national talent on Punk Rock Bowling over the weekend but I honestly don’t know that it’ll top the local talent I witnessed on Thursday night.

Line Up:

Surly Grrly

Butter Boys

The Silent Treatment

Venus de Mars

Venue: The Turf Club

Smell-O-Meter: Nothing Notable

Average Age of the Crowd: 38

Crowd Surfers- 0

Stage Divers- 0

Mosh-ability- 3 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)-

Surly Grrly – 0

Butter Boys– 1

The Silent Treatment – 0

All The Pretty Horses – 0

Celebrity Sightings – Ann of Mostly MN Music

Overall Score – 9 out of 10

Show on Deck — Punk Rock Bowling 2023!

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