Live Blog: Violent Femmes at Surly
6:42 – gridlock on streets leading to Surly. Not sure where these people think they are going to park. Guess they missed the “don’t drive” memo.
6:47 – at 34 I usually am on the older end of the age range at shows. Not tonight.
6:53- was going to complain about long beer lines but they moved too fast for me to. Nice work.
7:01 – starting the exact minute of setlist. Don’t say Violent Femmes aren’t punk rock.
7:04- Violet Femmes have been on my “I’ll see them next time they are town” lost for like two decades. Guess in a field behind a brewery is where the line ends.
7:05 – I appreciate how brittle and real their sound is…would be easy to beef up live but they are true to who they are. Judging by confused looks around me, I think lots of people are here for Ben Folds. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
7:09 – acoustic bass and tele can make some heavy sounds.
7:11 – I say this fully self aware that I’m here, but this is the least “cool” crowd I’ve seen ever. This could be a mixer at an accounting conference.
7:12 – after three songs that most people didn’t know, they dive into “blister in the sun.” Lots it woos. People know this one!!
7:15 – I’ve got good news: if you want shakey cell phone videos of the song, you’ll have a couple hundred options.
7:16- i wonder if the people with regular to small sized hands who lift their hands up during the “big hands I know you’re the one” realize we are all judging them?
7:18 – “Kiss off” is also a jam. Giving the people what they want
719 – I did hear a woman say “I hope they don’t just play stuff off their new album” as we walked in. You’re in luck, lady.
7:20 – banjo for “Country Death Song.” This makes me wish Meat Puppets were next instead of Ben Folds.
7:27- not totally clear how this sold out. Is Ben Folds massively popular? VF are great, but doesn’t seem like most of the crowd are super tuned-in?
7:32 – “Jesus Walking on Water” segues into bass then violin solo. As always, VF get credit for not giving a shit about what makes sense and just doing them.
7:36 – I had always liked “Gimmie the car,” but seeing it sung by middle aged guy in a fedora is…
7:42- appreciate the loose playing and random yelping. A decent number of confused people in the (huge) crowd, but matched by fanatics singing along to every word. There are some folks near the front living their best life.
7:49 – sun setting. I’ve said this before, but on a nice night, this is a hard “venue” to beat to see a show in the summer in the Twin Cities.
7:51 – did the guy in the swimsuit and Hawaiian button up shirt come directly from a water park, or was this outfit planned for the concert? So many questions…
7:56 – horn sections join them for “black girls.
8:00 – drum solo on the portable grill that until now has served as the “hi hat” for the stand up drum kit.
8:04 – “Gone Daddy Gone” cheer rivaled “Blister in the Sun.” Maybe chalked up to increased beer intake? Or maybe rivals? Tune in at 10 to find out.
8:05 – guitar and marimba trading solos is where it’s at.
8:08 – coming in hot with “American Music.” Classic.
8:10 – more bands should cover this song.
8:12 – what a jam.
8:13 – watching people who seem humanly unable to clap on beat is fascinating. Like, were you born in the 1 and 3? How does it happen?
8:14 – wrapping their set with “Add it Up” as the sun tucks behind the landscape. Cool set.
8:20 – there is a guy with some binoculars like he is going bird watching.
8:31 – Violent Femmes were all I’d hoped they’d be. Even in the unappealing position of “opening” and playing with the summer sun still out, they played a spirited set that seemed to please the diehards and welcome in those unfamiliar. A wonderful mix of quirky and earnest. The legendary(?) trio highlighted why they are such a beloved band.
8:41 – unlike the 60+ year old guy in a straw hat getting escorted out by security, I am leaving on my own volition. Thanks for the good time, Surly.
8:51 – to anyone who came here for thoughts on the Ben Folds set, my sincere apologies. If it makes you feel better, I don’t like him at all and it would have been almost exclusively me dragging about his performance.
9:00 – coda: if you like a band even a little bit and have the resources to see them at the “Surly Field,” you should do it. It’s a great experience.
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