Live Blog: Best New Bands at First Ave
We’re heading to First Ave to check out the annual Best New Bands show at First Ave. We’ll explore whether these bands are “best” “new” and whether they are actually “bands.” More at 5.
6:58 – Earliest I’ve been to First Ave in a long while.
7:01 – judging by the nearly empty Mainroom others are equally unused to such early endeavors.
7:03 – but damnit, crowd size or not, this hootenanny is starting. Pumping up 50 isn’t easy or super rewarding, but the evening’s host give it the old college try.
7:03 – Loki’s Folly are up first. The sister duo are young enough to be the grandchildren of the riot grrl movement, but are holding their own.
7: 07 – can’t stress enough how young these two are. I read they are both teenagers, I think, but it looks like two 12 year olds playing on the big stage. Pretty cool that they’re so pulled together at an age when I think I still had a Turtles pillowcase.
7:15 – there is power in a distorted SG and some pounding drums.
7:30 – has to take a work call. Super rock and roll, I know.
7:45 – the young radio k djs again make me feel like a geriatric. No one told me getting older was a slow car crash.:-/
7:48 – Big Stand4rd vibe for FRUITPUNCHLOVERBOY.
7:51 – wobbly beats, live guitar and super earnest vocals.
7:54 – I appreciate the jittery post-R&B, auto-tune rap as next as the next person, but never have quite been as enthralled as others. Certainly seems like this group is doing this genre, whatever you call it, well.
7:58 – filling I’m quite a bit. Apparently 7:30 is the time Minnesotans are ok with heading to concerts on a Saturday the winter. #themoreyouknow
7:52 – free crossover to the Entry tonight, so even more local music if you’re here.
8:18 – two connected venues and neither have live music right now. What the hell.
8:28 – excited to see all of OGs Muun Bato. They are a new-ish band, but local fans will not have to search far to find old bands they were in that were really great.
8:33 – I will never tire of bands keeping the spirit if Spaceman 3/Brian Jonestown Massacre alive.
8:36 – feel like their album from last year didn’t get the credit it deserved. (Including from me.) Some first class hazy guitar psych.
8:38 – our first, and maybe last, whistling solo of the night.
8:42 – one thing I truly appreciate every year of best new bands is variety of bands. It doesn’t cover everything (would love to challenge crowd with drone/ambient) but always a mix. First three bands tonight really across the board.
8:50 – really dig their sound. As is expected with their only quasi “newness,” they are commanding the stage and the lights washing over them really brings texture to their sound.
8:52 — popped over to the Entry to see Ringing Bell, an electronic trio featuring Channy from Polica and MAKR (and another guy whose name I don’t know.) Really cool thorny, distorted electro pop.
8:55 – saw them at Icehouse for Crescent Moon is in Big Trouble release show and was impressed….and their live sound seems to have evolved and expanded. Sounds huge.
8:58 – Channy playing effect-laden violin while a table of synths makes waves of noise.
9:06 – have been meaning to check out Under Violet for a while. Lots of artists I really like in this band but never dove into their late 2019 LP. Excited to hear them.
9:11 – this is some total wheelhouse music for me. Deep fried, hazy dream pop.
9:17 – have loved Sara Bischoff (Web of Sunsets & Heavy Deeds) precious work, and this is a beautiful extension of her previous work.
9:19 – the mostly-full Mainroom is awash in a bath of lush melodies and reverb. Sounds great and a crack group of musicians making it happen.
9:24 – the mellow gold of Under Violet is impressing many, but is lost on a few of our most drunk friends here tonight. Including the guy who yelled “play a Price song.” Good one, bro. No one has ever thought of that before.
9:29 – a calm, calculated precision in their sound is impressive and makes me excited to dive further into their album. How did I miss them?!
9:34 – popped over to see the immaculate looped pop of The Nunnery. Love her sound collages.
9:41 – back in Mainroom for Under Violet guitar freakout and the lady by the stage is throwing up devil horns, so I’m pretty sure they are rocking.
9:44 – super loud and talkative crowd. Never understood why you’d come to a concert to have a loud, semi-drunk conversation. Wouldn’t it be cheaper somewhere else with no cover charge?
9:51- outstanding set by Under Violet. I can confirm all of the “best,” “new” and “band” components for them.
9:54 – “Sittin by the dock of the bay” between sets because Otis Redding is always a best new band.
10:03 – not sure I was totally ready for the classic rock channeled through Janis Joplin that is now happening via Mae Simpson. Lots of good energy, and punchy horns.
10:08 – not totally my jam, but some greasy soulful classic rock and dynamite pipes. Crowd loving it.
10:16 – checking in on the StoLyette release show at the Entry. Always enjoyed their knotty art pop and looking forward to hearing their Mach LP soon.
10:21 – five piece band tonight (vocals, bass, keys and duo of electronic drums). Hypnotic crypto-pop as usual from the group.
10:24- I can be cynical, and this night is far from perfect in representing the totality of the diversity of our scene, but between these two shows it’s been a pretty great night of music that has bounced all over the musical spectrum. A good chance to appreciate the good we have here in the Twin Cities.
10:31 – a glance out the window sees a cop, ambulance and fire truck. Something went sideways.
10:42 – here come Green/Blue, another band whose pedigree betrays the “new” label but they definitely are an exciting addition to our scene.
10:46 – guy dramatically pounding White Claw has some rock and roll energy.
10:49- the spirit of the Blind Shake, Soviettes and Birthday Suits lives on in the frantic chaos of Green/Blue. Love the energy and buzzsaw melodies.
10:59 – some skeptics in the crowd but their incessant proto-punk seems to be winning over the crowd. Pure energy.
11:05 – guy in front of me just got a call from “DO NOT CALL,” and he was wavered for a second but did not answer. Good job, dude.
11:14 – Green/Blue done, afrofunk on the soundsystem and I can see Nur-D’s band beyond the curtain wearing Space Jam jerseys. This night ain’t over yet.
11:30 – this is a full-on spectacle. Crowd loving the energy and theatrics of Nur-D. And yes, we have a full component of Space Jam jerseys. Beautiful.
11:34- the earnestness would be offputting if it wasn’t so genuine.
11:37- and this wouldn’t work if he wasn’t a crack MC with a rock-solid band. But he is and they are.
11:42- just a beautiful, powerful energy. Scanning the crowd it is a sea of cheesy grins. Leave your cynicism at the door and let the joy in.
11:47 – I don’t understand the nerd jokes but honestly it doesn’t matter. The crowd is eating out of Nur-D and his band’s hands.
12:10 – missed a few in recent years, but tonight was a good reminder of how great the BNB show can be. Good times, good music. Kudos to all who pulled it together.
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