Like so many other nights of my life, I was walking into The Fine Line on Monday not knowing what to expect. I knew that I was in the mood for a party– for a show that would leave me feeling rejuvenated and ready to take on the week but, not knowing anything about the three acts performing, I wasn’t quite sure if that was what I was going to get. As I made my way up to the venue in downtown Minneapolis and saw the line extending all the way down the block and around the corner and noticed the outfits, any fear that the show wouldn’t be a party fell to the side. I knew instantly that this show, although not my typical kind of show, was going to be just what I needed.
The typically hollow stage at The Fine Line had been transformed to look like the front of a sorority. I’ll get more into the meaning of this in a wee bit but I loved how that alone gave the room a different kind of energy. Two giant columns held up the sorority’s name just like it would on the front of the building and there were empty plastic cup scattered around said columns and sign. It was honestly a simple set-up the more that I looked at it but I absolutely adored how it gave the room a whole new kind of energy that I had never felt in there before and, much like I had felt as I walked up to the huge line, I felt a sense of excitement take me over.
First up on the stage was Los Angeles-based RIVALS. I’ll be honest, RIVALS’ dark electro-pop sound wasn’t quite for me. It felt over-produced and just a bit hollow but there was something about their performance that had me hooked and there’s no denying that the packed audience around me was loving every moment of their set. Vocalist Kalie Wolfe showed a sense of raw honesty on stage as she spoke to the crowd between tracks. There was one moment where she talked about almost calling it quite over the pandemic. It was something that I think we all felt but rarely hear talked about so hearing her be so vulnerable and real on stage helped me cope with the fact that their music all had a very produced sound to it. Overall, their energy was on point and their sound was solid. Again, just one of those bands that did everything right but, stylistically, just didn’t do it for me.
Following RIVALS was Ellise. The first thing that struck me was Ellise’s petite size. I know that’s not quite fair and it wasn’t a judgement or anything like that but Ellise was just so cute and tiny in her skintight lacey black dress and bright pink furry Ugg styled boots. As soon as she opened her mouth and started singing, I honestly couldn’t believe the power I was getting from this woman. She may be petite in size but her voice was staggering and beyond impressive. Stylistically, Ellise dangles the line between pop-songstress and pop-punk princess which I actually really liked. Typically more pop-leaning acts just don’t do it for me but there was something so strong and original about Ellise’s overall sound that I could look past the pop tendencies.
Although both openers were solid and definitely brought completely different vibes and sounds to the stage, Monday night was about headliner Scene Queen. In all honesty, I was at this show because of the name “Scene Queen”. Back in Myspace’s heyday (early 2000s), I was, in fact, a scene queen. I was obsessed with the social media platform and had all of the right angles and accessories to make myself a scene queen to the point where I was a train conductor with KiKi Kannibal (okay, slight flex there and if you have no clue what I’m talking about, it’s probably better that way). Long story short, I was at the show to support my people– the Scene Queens.
As Hannah Collins (aka Scene Queen) took the stage, I was a bit confused. She honestly didn’t look like a scene queen in the typical sense of the word with her blonde hair and light pink outfit accented by leather straps. The audience members looked a bit more “scene” than her with their brightly colored hair teased to oblivion and eye make-up that surely took hours to get off but digress. As Scene Queen started her set with her two trusty band members behind her, I got it and was instantly in love with her obnoxious energy and slightly headache-inducing sound.
Okay, that sounds harsh but I don’t mean it like that. Scene Queen’s sound reminded me of Millionaires– a Myspace-era band that apparently only a couple of people could really get into– me being one of them. It was a bit electro-pop, a little pop-punk, and a whole lot of sass. Long story short, it was perfect but definitely a sound that isn’t for everyone and I understand that. What is for everyone was Hannah’s energy on stage. The way she went from bouncing around the stage without a care in the world and acting a bit ditzy to grabbing the microphone with all her might to let out a guttural how– it was seriously strange and seriously right up my alley.
Outside of Scene Queen’s endless amount of energy and infectious ridiculous music was her message and that was the most important part of the evening for me and arguably the rest of the audience. The name of this tour was the Bimbo Beta Pi tour. Bimbo Beta Pi is Scene Queen’s sorority that she started to make sure that everyone felt welcomed (mission accomplished). Hannah was explaining all of this to the audience but also explaining how this whole sorority thing fell a bit flat because her audience either didn’t quite understand what a sorority was or have any desire to be in one. I feel like her admitting to this and just being honest about how this idea may not have been her best added a very personal touch to her set that I absolutely adored. Typically, initiation into the sorority is saved for the VIP attendees but, on Monday night, Hannah welcomed two audience-members on stage to be initiated into the “club” (although she quickly explained that everyone in the room had bought a ticket to be at the show so that meant they were already in the sorority since, really, that’s all that a sorority is– a money grab and weird). It was a silly moment in an already silly set but it was something that felt so real, honest, and genuine.
I may have not known what I was getting into on Monday night but, within just a little bit, I knew that the concert Gods had led me in the right direction. Scene Queen, Ellise, and RIVALS may not be the type of music that is for everyone but their messages of acceptance, being vulnerable, and being strong independent women is for everyone and it made for a super fun and ridiculous, yet meaningful, night.
Venue: Fine Line
Smell-O-Meter: Nothing Notable
Average Age of the Crowd: 19
Crowd Surfers- 0
Stage Divers- 0
Mosh-ability- 4 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)-
Scene Queen – 0
Celebrity Sightings – None
Overall Score – 8.2 out of 10
Show on Deck — Baroness / Chat Pile / Spotlights
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