We Went There: Marijuana Deathsquads, Sophia Eris, Ness Nite and Gully Boys at Andrew Broder’s Turf Club ‘Residency At The End of the World’ Night II
As I’ve written before, benefit shows are cool because even if the music isn’t great, the money goes to a good cause and the night isn’t a huge loss. Luckily over the last three years, Andrew Broder has made it a point to not just raise money for a cool orgs, but pull together some of the shows of the year (in brutal January, no less!) as part of his annual Turf Club residency.
Wednesday the 16th was technically week two of the residency, but week 1 was the very sold out show that featured the Justin Vernon side project Big Red Machine, which was the first Broder/Turf show I’ve missed. So night 2 was my first night of the 2019 version and it started this year’s festivities on an incredibly high note. Highlights included:
— A blistering Gully Boys set. The trio were added to the lineup late, and opened the night on a really high note. Even with guitar player/singer Kathy apparently getting into a car accident earlier in the night (get better!) and having issues with her pedals getting unplugged, the young band proved their buzz is warranted. Even if it was a bit loose, it was the best set I’ve seen from the band, partially because they were the first opener and you could see the crowd’s energy build throughout their 30 minute set of grungy power pop.
— Ness Nite returning to the Twin Cities for a short but vibrant set that reminded me why she is such an exciting young artist. When I saw her name on the lineup I thought it had been a while since I had seen her name on a local bill, which apparently was correct because she mentioned this was her first show back since returning from New York. Playing songs from her outstanding Dream Girl LP and some new songs, it was a brisk reminder of a big talent who is now back in our city.
— Sophia Eris blowing the doors off the club. Coming off a Ness Nite set that was more sensual than electric, Eris played the shortest but highest energy set of the night. Playing a few old songs and some unreleased material, dressed in a bright yellow rainsuit outfit that was as loud as her set, she got the stuffy, older crowd to even dance a bit. Her songs had bass sounds coming out of the Turf sound system that I hadn’t heard before, while her energy (including jumping into the crowd to dance) brought smiles and a buzz to the night.
— A set from a four-drummer version of Marijuana Deathsquads that was hypnotizing and electric, capping off an outstanding night. The Turf was packed and grooving along to the crackling sounds from MDS, with trippy visuals swirling on the screen behind the drummers up on stage. It was, as is always the case when MDS are on their game, a wide-eyed mix of almost overwhelming audio and visual stimulation. Melding smart synth grooves, pummeling beats and frantic, effect-drenched howls, MDS showed their collective power for a set that I wished would have lasted longer than the 40 odd minutes they played.
If you missed out on this awesome night of music and activism, there are two more weeks of Broder’s Residency At The End of the World the last two Wednesdays of January for you to check out. Don’t miss’m!