Things were a bit weird for me on Saturday. News of a shooting at a local DIY house venue had me both shocked and devastated (If you don’t want to read this whole article about the show I went to on Saturday, that’s fine but please scroll down to see links where you can donated to those affected by the tragic and senseless event at Nudieland). It was one of those nights where I really just wanted to stay in and take stock on my life in general but I had my best friend from my hometown of Des Moines, Iowa coming up to see a show with me.

At first I felt guilty about this but then I saw a post from a good buddy regarding the tragedy saying that you have to grieve how you have to grieve, feel how you want to feel, do what you need to do and the only thing I really know to do is to go see live music so, after a day of bouncing around town to various events, my buddy and I ended up in the familiar space that is The Turf Club in Saint Paul. Although I found a sense of solace in hanging out with this friend in general, something about walking into The Turf Club and seeing familiar faces just lifted up the huge weight I had been feeling on my shoulders. I knew then that this was the way I heal, the way I deal with things and I was ready for the music and camaraderie to help me get through all of the feelings running through my mind.

Jarad Miles & The Ancient Waves was the one and only local band on the bill on Saturday but they’re really all the show needed. Stylistically, it was a perfect pairing to the headliner without being a carbon copy. Jarad Miles & The Ancient Waves had a super familiar sound but I couldn’t quite put my finger on it until my buddy said “Modest Mouse”. Bingo! This band has a very unique sound but also clear nods to bands like Modest Mouse and, well, Cursive (which will make more sense when I dig into the headliner of the night).

The way the entire band played together was like magic. Every member had a place, much like every note did, yet the quick opening set came off as super organic and free. The structure of the songs they played weren’t super different or avant-garde, in fact, they felt fairly standard but it’s what these members did within those solid beats that had me hooked. It was as if they had me on the edge of my seat just waiting to see what style or vibe they would dig into on the next song.

Saturday night was my first time seeing the name or faces of this band but it won’t be the last. Jarad Miles & the Ancient Waves are based right here in the Twin Cities and I truly can’t wait for the next chance to check them out. They left an impression on me with their set on Saturday and definitely earned a spot on my radar.

Although Jarad Miles & the Ancient Waves were great, my friend and I were there for the headliners- The Good Life. If you’re not familiar with this band name, I honestly wouldn’t be super shocked but they are actually kind of a big deal. The Good Life is the side project of Tim Kasher from Cursive. Yeah– I bet I have your attention now, don’t I. Although I love Cursive, The Good Life is my band and it was a band that my friend (that had driven up for the show) and I really got into when I was wrapping up high school and he was kicking into college. There was something sweet and innocent about them that definitely is a bit different from the norm for me but there’s an edge that comes with it which is right up my alley. I think that’s why I got so hooked to this band so quickly and so dramatically.

Not only was I stoked to see my friend and see this band live again for the first time in years, they were doing an album playthrough of their 2004 album, ‘Album of the Year’. I was a bit surprised when the band started the album and I didn’t hear the familiar opening track “Album of the Year” kick things off. The band had opted to start the song with two one-off tracks as if to give everyone a chance to collect themselves before being plunged into the ‘Album of the Year. Just in case you didn’t take this time to prepare yourself, Tim Kasher prefaced the album playthrough with a warning, “Drink wisely because if you’r prone to depression…” I couldn’t help but laugh. ‘Album of the Year’ is definitely a dark album and I’d be lying if I said I never just sat around and cried to the album but something about the band acknowledging this and the laughs that erupted throughout the audience made it the perfect way to kick off a magical night.

As they started the album, I was hit with a wave of nostalgia, emotion, and peace all at the same time. Every song they played sounded just like it did on the album. Every note ha the same tone as on the recording and even the melodica throughout “Night and Day” was absolutely flawless. I was so lost in my own head throughout the twelves songs of this album that I honestly think I forgot where I was for a minute. It was a weird phenomena but one that was welcomed with how busy my head had been throughout the day.

I feel bad. I didn’t take any notes throughout the show and was in such a haze throughout the day that I had forgotten my camera that was in my trunk the whole time. I feel like I let myself and the bands down but, at some point during The Good Life’s set I realized that these things just go to prove the power of what The Turf Club was treated to on Saturday night. I was more concerned about enjoying the music and the company around me than having to write an article the next day and that was just the cherry on top when it came to the show.

Line Up:

Jarad Miles & The Ancient Waves

The Good Life

Venue:  The Turf Club

Smell-O-Meter: Nothing Notable

Average Age of the Crowd: 37

Crowd Surfers- 0

Stage Divers- 0

Mosh-ability- 0 out of 10

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

Broken Bones- None Noticed

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)-

Jarad Miles & The Ancient Waves- 0

The Good Life– 5

Celebrity Sightings – None

Overall Score – 10 out of 10

Show on Deck — Newgrounds Death Rugby / Weatherday / Bugsy / NATL PARK SRVC