I feel like Thursday was the first day when it really felt like fall up here in the Twin Cities and it had me excited. I don’t live up here for the warm summers. I crave dark and blustery winter days. Yes, I’m aware that this makes me a bit of a freak but I like the coziness cold and dark weather brings and the fact that I got a small taste of that on Thursday had me all kinds of excited. Enhancing the drop in temperature and my desire to be warm and cozy was the sold-out Slow Pulp show at Amsterdam Bar & Hall in Saint Paul. Let’s just say that it fit everything perfectly and although it wasn’t quite my scene, I loved how it fit the night.
Hudson, New York based Babehoven got the night started off right just a hair after 8 PM. Their set was slow, steady, and full of beauty (which would end up being a theme of the night). Vocalist Maya Bon instantly had me captured in the palm of her hand. Although she didn’t talk much between songs or anything like that, I found something about her to be very personable. Maybe it was the tender words she was giving the audience or the atmospheric sounds that were radiating from her bandmates. I honestly can’t quite put my finger on it but something about Babehoven’s set felt very intimate.
Musically, Babehoven is very much situated in the indie-pop scene but I feel like just calling them an indie-pop band sells them short. There’s so much more to this group including lo-fi undertones and an almost 90s inspired grunge vibe to some of the vocal parts. This constant shift in mood and vibe kept the low-key set feeling much more energetic than I imagined it ever could have been. Maya would hit these certain notes throughout the set that instantly gave me chills. It wasn’t that they were the highest notes I’ve ever heard, but it was more the power and passion behind them. Those few moments were just the icing on the cake when it came to Babehoven’s set and although their music felt super understated and not quite as amped up as I prefer, I definitely think I will be seeing more of Babehoven’s name sooner rather than later.
Although Babehoven was stunning, the reason for the sold-out audience was clearly the headlining act, Slow Pulp. The excitement in the air was extreme as the stage was turned over for this indie rock band from Madison, Wisconsin. Although Slow Pulp hails from just a couple of hours away, I feel like they don’t come to the Twin Cities often which just added to the “event” that was Thursday night. People were huddled around the merch table grabbing all that they could while keeping a keen eye on the stage as if to not miss the moment that the band would take the stage. Although I wasn’t as excited to see this band being that I knew very little about them, it was hard to not get lost in it all.
My “head in the clouds” state was quickly cleared as soon as the band took the stage and hit me with their wall of sound. Typically when I say wall of sound, I am referring to a metal band and being literally hit by a wall of sound that makes all of my nose piercings rattle together but, when it came to Slow Pulp, it was a whole different kind of wall of sound. The music was tender and soft yet hit me like a ton of bricks. It was a mix of the emotion that came with the way every note was played and every word was presented. There was a depth to the opening track that caught me a bit off guard and like Babehoven, had me completely captivated right away.
Being that I knew nothing about Slow Pulp when walking into the show on Thursday, I can’t tell you what songs they played or what albums said songs came from but I can tell you that each song came with it’s own personality much like the band members. Don’t get me wrong, overall all of the songs fit perfectly into the indie-rock world but, like Babehoven, some songs seemed to have a bit more of an edge to them while others felt almost like a lullaby. Although I found the music to be a bit slower than I like to go for, it fit my mood perfectly and gave me that cozy feeling that I had been wanting all day.
Thursday night was only the second night of Slow Pulp’s world tour. They will be out until mid-December playing, well, the world. It’s an ambitious tour route that will surely have the band exhausted by the end of it but I hope the members of Slow Pulp have the time of their lives out there. I truly think that by the time they come back, they will be playing some of the biggest venues in the United States and I can’t wait to remind people of that one time I saw them at Amsterdam Bar & Hall before they blew up.
Venue: Amsterdam Bar & Hall
Smell-O-Meter: Nothing Notable
Average Age of the Crowd: 22
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 Noticed
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)-
Slow Pulp – 2
Celebrity Sightings – None
Overall Score –8 out of 10
Show on Deck — Vacations / Last Dinosaurs / Eliza McLamb // Chris Farren / GUPPY / Gay Meat
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