Friday night was yet another night of unknowns for me. Not only did I sign myself up to work a show at The 7th Street Entry that I knew nothing about, I also signed up to work a show in the First Avenue Mainroom that I knew nothing about. Like they say, go big or go home. I may not be able to hit five hundred shows this year like I had wanted to but I am on track to hit right around three hundred if I pick up the pace. Although it felt like a daunting task to cover two shows in one night, I was ready for it as I walked into the 7th Street Entry for my first pick of the night.
benches is a band from Southern California that formed in 2014 when the members were in 8th grade. It’s hard to find a lot of history on this band online as they are still pretty “small” but just knowing that this band has been around for nearly ten years and was started when the members were so young says a lot about benches.
benches’ sound instantly reminded me of The Strokes (which I started to wonder if this young band was even old enough to know who that is but I digress). It had a very vintage quality to it with this underwater sound in the guitar work that added a super cool layering effect to their overall sound. The instrumentation was great but it was the vocals that really had me hooked. I found vocalist Anson Kelly to be captivating in the strangest way. He had this far away stare that made it seem like he was almost bored with being on stage but, at the same time, brought a sense of intensity and energy to the stage that I wasn’t quite sure what to do with. Somehow, all of these elements came together to create a super solid and flawless sound that, after their thirty-five minute set, I was left wanting so much more of. Friday night was their first time in Minneapolis but, judging on their sound and the reception they got from the all ages crowd, it definitely won’t be their last.
The show at The 7th Street Entry was short with only two bands on the line-up and, before I knew it, the stage was being set for headliners late night drive home. Much like the opener, the members of late night drive home seemed super young but they clearly knew what they were doing up on the small stage.
As the band came out, the first thing I noticed was the odd mask being worn by vocalist Andre Portillo. It was a bag like mask that covered his entire head. On it was a giant star that covered his face with two very small eye holes cut out of it. This added nothing to their show but it definitely caught my attention and made for a cool visual. The mask only lasted a few seconds into the first song but they had me hook line and sinker from there on out.
The sound of late night drive home meshed well with that of benches. It had that retro indie-alt-rock vibe to it but brought more of a pop-punk edge to the night. I took a note that said, “mature and modern pop punk drenched with an emo attitude” and, honestly, I think that’s the best way to describe their overall sound. I was floored by the talent I was seeing on stage especially considering the young ages of the members. Everything in all of their songs was placed so perfectly and there was never a part in their set where I struggled to hear something or understand a line of words.
Although I’ll never fully admit my love for the band Twenty One Pilots, I will say that late night drive home did a stellar cover of their ‘Tear In My Heart” song. Typically I feel like doing covers is a cop out for bands that don’t have enough material to cover a full set of music but, in the case of late night drive home, this cover fit their overall style so perfectly and was executed so well that I will give them a pass. I feel like this cover also helped make the young audience really let loose a little bit. It was clear that there were people in the audience who knew what they were getting into but there was also a handful that clearly had been at the show just due to being brought by a friend or something like that. Them playing this popular yet a bit obscure cover seemed to really get the entire audience involved in the set in a gorgeous way.
Whether you knew what you were getting into on Friday night at The Entry or not, late night drive home had the entire audience enchanted by their sound and it was well warranted. For being a blind show where I knew nothing about the two bands walking in, I left beyond satisfied with two new bands to add to my rabbit holes to go down this weekend and with a sense of optimism about what my next show of the night would bring me.
Venue: 7th Street Entry
Average Age of the Crowd: 17
Crowd Surfers- None
Stage Divers- 0
Mosh-ability- 1 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
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)-
late night drive home– 0
Celebrity Sightings – None
Overall Score – 8 out of 10
Show on Deck — Jerkcurb / King Krule
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