Archive for the Concert Reviews Category

Sonny Knight at Lyn Lake Street Festival 2014

Posted in Concert Reviews, Culture, Life Perspectives from T.S. Niebeling, Local Love, Media, Mind Inversion Exclusive with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on Thursday, June 12, 2014 by Terry Scott Niebeling

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… Sonny Knight was, and is great. He came across as the kind of guy who comes from bygone era, while effectively staying relevant. His music has life. He utilized three backup singers and a full band, he was doing it right. At the peak of the numbers in the crowd, Sonny rocked the stage like a champion. The best song of the day was “Hey Girl”, naturally, but even less familiar songs moved those in attendance. From behind the performers looking out, one could see raw excitement, and the power which Sonny sustained. His set was charged and intimate, and precisely electric. It was a pleasant and unexpected surprise, having never seen him before.

Sonny played for some time, and then the show was over. The crowd was pleased. I exited the stage at about the same time in hopes of having a one-on-one conversation with the artist. I ran around back as he was being mobbed by fans and snapped at with cameras. He took time for the adoration and with a broad smile he vanished. Sonny was something; to me, he seemed like a classic soul singer from the distant past, yet he was thriving in 2014. I wondered where his time machine was parked. Searching, I found nothing…

For the full story coming soon, check: www.dirtyterry.com

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Red Fang at Mill City Nights

Posted in Concert Reviews, Culture, Life Perspectives from T.S. Niebeling, Local Love, Mind Inversion Exclusive, News, Reviews, The Learned Man's Take with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on Thursday, June 5, 2014 by Terry Scott Niebeling

Red Fang at Mill City Nights was great… Yeah, except for the fact that Mill City Nights doesn’t allow you to take cameras within the venue. Naturally, since I infrequently contribute to a music blog I enjoy catching a show featuring one of my favorite bands, and maybe taking photos. Red Fang is absolutely about the things I love; drinking beer, partying, being broke, living in Portland (well maybe not that), and being hyper-trendy by just being original. I thought for a moment that I could get into Mill City Nights and snap some photos for a write-up; I was wrong. That is why this post has no photo.

Wednesday, June 4th, hours before the show, I sit at work watching the clock and contemplating either (a) selling the extra tickets I purchased, or (b) begging my other friends to join me. When Red Fang announced their show in Minneapolis I scooped up 6 tickets (the limit), because when Alt-J came I couldn’t have purchased enough tickets. I thought Red Fang would sell out in a heartbeat. I was wrong. I had 6 tickets and no takers. 7 pm hits, Dan texted me to let me know he had made it, he was in. I told him no worries, biked home, and put on my rocking pants and downed a rum and coke. Dan, Ryan, and Caroline showed at my house at about 7:45 pm. I was about 5 ribs deep in dinner and 3 beers down and ready to go. Meanwhile my camera battery was charging in the living room. I was prepared to get some epic shots.

8:30 pm we bike to the venue- all 4 of us, about a 1.5 mile jaunt. I bring an extra lock, we lock our bikes to a tree, and this is where the problem begins; firstly, Dan has a 3 inch pocket knife, as do I, that security over zealously locates on his person, and they lose their shit. I sell my 2 extra tickets no problem, at face value, just before I step in line to get groped. Dan’s knife is about as threatening as safety scissors. He puts it by the bikes which are locked to a tree. The security lady finds my knife. I also hide my knife next to the tree. After all of this I get back in line and I reach the security lady again, and it’s, “open the bag…” In my bag is a Sony Alpha 390, and an extra lens. The lady gives me a quizzical look and I am confused. She says, “That can’t come in, you’ll have to put it in a car.” I tell her I biked, she says “too bad”. More security converges on me, they laugh and tell me they can take care of it, but I won’t get it back. I am completely baffled. I am not allowed to take photos? Why can a paying patron at a venue not bring a digital camera within the premise? I must ask… Apparently this is Mill City Nights’ policy, unless you are press. See www.millcitynights.com/frequently-asked-questions

There was really no answer, just “those are the rules…”

I am totally blown away by this claim. I purchased my tickets, I brought in 5 other people who effectively spend money, which amplifies the business Mill City Nights generates, and I am not allowed to bring in my personal camera to document my experience. This is completely fucked. Worst service I have ever had…

Two security guards; the lady and another guy shake their heads and tell me it is impossible to get inside with my camera. Their meat-head manager is standing above them with arms crossed. He is looking on disparagingly- specifically at me, confirming a good find to his subordinates. He laughs in his salmon colored button up shirt, in his fake tan and straight teeth. He shakes his head too, and acknowledges the good work by his cronies.

I literally am confounded. I make suggestions. To everything I say the answer is “Nope.” “We just can’t do it.” The manager tells me I can request a “press pass”, “just go inside and ask for a press pass.” He says. I think: Okay, why can’t I just go inside with my camera? Surely I am not going to leave it out here with these unhelpful individuals, and my camera is not dangerous, or anything that would cause a problem. This was clearly a power trip in progress. Give some people an inch and they go a mile.

I am holding up the lines, my friends are waiting. I walk inside, I ask for a “press pass” which, of course, I am denied. I am told by the man behind the counter “sorry”. He puts his arms in the air as if that is a good enough excuse. I walk back with Dan to the security guards and their manager.

At this moment I realize there is no way I am bringing my camera in, at least in a functioning capacity. I suspect the “press pass” is for paying members of the media; I wonder what City Pages et al. pay to get the best photos. I think of how they take away competition by putting a price on it, a proper monopoly. It goes to show you who and what runs the city of Minneapolis, at least publication-wise, and I mean advertisements and currency.

Dan tries to reason with all 3, and miraculously they ponder some alternative aside from me biking home to store the camera…

The guards tell me to take my camera out of the bag so they can inspect it. They tell me because I brought an extra lens I cannot bring it inside, certainly. However, they say maybe if I take the battery out and give it to them I can keep the camera, it’s that or give up my baby. I hand over the battery, they assure me that they are not responsible for it being lost or damaged (even with it in their possession). How convenient. The guard takes my battery rendering my camera useless and won’t guarantee its safe keeping- fuckin’ thanks. Mill City Nights at its best; the worst.

The show itself was a different story. The crowd was alive and ready to go. I saw some local punk types and some out-of-towners alike. The opening act was a treat- I forget the name because of the hubbub which took place upon entry. But they played their part well.

Now, we are front and center sipping on PBR’s, naturally, and waiting in anticipation. I look in front of the gate to see some preppy kid with a Canon snapping photos. He is wearing a multi-colored button-up that his mom probably ironed before the show. To my amazement, another cameraman wearing almost identical attire steps in front of the gate as well. They are snapping like their lives depend on it! They are even escorted by security, ha! Presently, I see why I wasn’t allowed to bring my camera. These guys had it covered, they must be important. The first act ends with some drum solo a cappella bit. It was interesting. I was ready for Red Fang.

Exit first band left stage pursued by a bear- in the darkness of the room and the lights of the stage. Sound check for Red Fang goes off without a hitch. I can see every member of Red Fang plain as day. They came to rock. Some guy with dreads asks me about the camera situation, I tell him I am not with any publication- I don’t work for City Pages or Vita.mn. He is more inquisitive. I tell him I am a spy. I am here on a secret mission, almost foiled at the gate. I am sort of famous now at this show- kind of neat. He asks me about the make and model and scoots in front of me to get a better spot. He is completely confused about the camera situation. I don’t think he even cares.

Red Fang starts up. The whole show is a rush of energy. The smell of sweat and vomit creeps into my nose. They play most of my favorite songs from their first 2 records and some new ones. The crowd goes nuts. Red Fang is probably not used to seeing mosh pits, being from Portland and such. They asked the crowd if there is a problem, if we were mad at each other. The crowd settled a bit only up until the last few songs, which of course were the most noteworthy. “Wires” started the last 3 song stretch and everyone went crazy again.There was one mediocre song in the mix and then they brought it home with “Prehistoric Dog”. I was very satisfied with the performance, and the in-set banter. These guys are savvy and clever.

The set was great, both bands rocked the house. There was just enough quality music to leave satisfied. During the show I was scanning the stage watching the versatile artists, each contributing to the wall of sound. My head was sort of sideways waiting for another row of legs and bows to be thrown, but up until the final song it was subdued and comfortable.

The highlight of the night was definitely the douchiness of the staff at Mill City Nights, top-tier lameness. A one-star Yelp review is in store.

I would advise people not to bring a camera, even if they care to capture their experience (one they paid for). The staff members are not kind, not friendly, and strictly in the business to make money. Their rules are oppressive and somewhat demeaning. Not to mention it’s embarrassing to be subjected to adversities because of a camera, in front of others while the security people and manager get a boner. My camera by no means is anything super fancy. It is a point-and-shoot with a decent lens. Whatever the reason for the no-camera-policy, I think it is completely backward. As much as I want to believe it is for a logical reason the signs point to money and local publications influence of material output. I certainly can’t outdo them sans my battery. I suggest avoiding this venue outright if you believe in freedom of press, but if you must go to see a favorite act make sure you don’t bring anything for documentation purposes. Or, as they say, just get a “press pass”, especially if you want to snap some photos for fun on an amateur camera.

This snafu was on par with the T-shirt salesmen at the Converge show needing a break, I had money on hand. He was about to cry to the union. But that was another time, another story.

Concert Review: El-P and Killer Mike at the Fineline MPLS

Posted in Concert Reviews, Local Love, Music News with tags , , , on Sunday, July 8, 2012 by Terry Scott Niebeling

The Fineline as a venue was nothing short of amazing for an intimate hip-hop show, with a very ‘live’ crowd and even more amped performers.  Impressively done, I say.  Go see these acts.

I heard about El-P at the fineline about a month ago and right away I knew I needed tickets.  The Fineline is, in looks, similar inside to First Ave, but a mite smaller.  The best part, I got to see some really great performers for $17.50, however drinks were not cheap.  The show was Amazing, here’s how it went…

Despot:  Was a highlight act of the night, and was the opener?  Surprise, this guy was on point.  Despot came on in great fashion.  His message was upbeat and he came on as very comedic, and crowd oriented.  He even managed to incorporate some aerobic into his set, getting the crowd involved with some Despot (Simon) Says action.  The pace of the show was set early on, and only built from Despot.  Despot’s DJ resembled MF Doom in appearance and did a very good job of keeping the beats solid and crisp.  I had heard of Despot by name, but I had not heard any of his music, not surprisingly because he has yet to release an album, which I now highly anticipate.  Expressing that he might release an album soon, or possibly never, jokingly.  Let’s hope he does.  Despot came across as energetic, lyrically mastered, and was really cool to chat with after the show.  He also sold some pretty “genius” merch, which he designed and touted on stage.  This guy has charisma and a lyricists appeal.

The crowd at this time was great, but intensified nearing the main stage for the main acts.  I found a spot left of center, right where the artists walked on.  This was a great spot.  I highly recommend this location at a show.  Constant high-fives from your favorite artists.  I was not too crowded out, only a little by some other individuals in search of my awesome spot, a few beautiful women in fine attire, and some hip-hop heads talking hip-hop.  Go figure.  I was there to enjoy the show, and did so effortlessly.

At this time an act came on of which I had never heard before (Mr. Mothafuckin’ eXquire) and brought the energy up a notch.  Mr. Mothafuckin’ eXquire came out, one wearing a ski-mask and the other dressed like a G, looking hard and sounding hard.  There beats were banging’.  I think at one time someone’s hat got snatched, thrown on stage and adorned by Mr. Mothafuckin’ eXquire himself.  The crowd got even more amped and the performers fed off this accordingly.  By the time Mr. Mothafuckin’ eXquire got off I was completely and utterly ready to see El-P.  I was ecstatic, and moderately buzzed from some beers.  Killer Mike was up next.

This is right before Killer Mike gets on stage-I think I see El-P standing to my left, right next to Aaron and the crowd is going nuts.  Again, I am close enough to one of my favorite artists to realize how incredible the Minneapolis music scene is.  There is a lot of closeness in the hip-hop world up here.  Grateful for the many supporters and artists in the locale.  Maybe, if you get the chance, come up and take in the surroundings as much as you can.  Even if you miss something you will still get an eyeful.  This city is extensively invested and immersed in the local music scene.  Its a cycle of good acts.  

 Killer Mike is huge and on top of his game.  His message was positive and his music was produced amazingly (his new album mostly by El-P), his lyrics were well put together and made me want to party.  The crowd got super rowdy for his set.  Believe in your dreams and anything can happen, were the main ideas of his send off.  I was inspired.  Killer Mike killed the set and really got everyone warmed up for El-P.

Finally, El-P, what can I say?  I am a huge fan, I love his music, he is a production virtuoso and his lyrics make me wish I could write music of such a caliber.  I at the very least envy his delivery, with confidence and conviction, and approach to mind expanding ideas.  Dude tells it how it is.  This is the first El-P show I have been to and I was not disappointed.  He gave 110% and kept the crowd happy.

El-P is solid on his game, doing what he loves and it shows.  His attitude was business and party, he was a crowd pleaser from word one on the mic.  Slug came on stage brandishing a stuffed animal (Killum*) from the Full Retard video, which was pretty sweet.  Before he did his set he came on stage numerous times and pumped up the crowd, most of the time carrying a bottle of Grey Goose.  A preview of what was to come, you might say.  The crowd was out of control when El-Producto jumped on stage.  He claimed he was doing Cancer4 Cure in its entirety from front to back, and he made it happen.  By the time he did songs from Fantastic Damage I was completely sated.  The show was great, if you didn’t get a ticket and you are an El-P fan you missed a very impressive show.

After the show at Pizza Luce, we noticed we left our credit cards at the bar and had to go back and pick them up.  We got inside and pretty much were able to chat with all of the acts, I even got into a one on one conversation with Tony Bones about hip-hop in Minneapolis, about Prof and other musically inclined people from South (MPLS).  Got to see El-P again, running around with the stuffed animal (Killum*), saw him run down the street towards downtown and then we left.

Hands down this was one of my favorite shows.  For price and venue, it couldn’t have been better.  The crowd (full of a lot of local celebs) was great and all of the artists put on a top tier show with little to zero snags throughout.  Check them out if you can.  If I could have had one more thing I would have asked that Slug do a song with El-P, but the show was excellent sans.  I approve of the Fineline for any show, this was some great stuff.  If you get the chance to catch these acts, do so,  you will not regret it.  Tell your friends.

Photos by Terry Scott

*Thanks Aaron for the correction on the name.  (“El-P(‘s) stuffed animal is the Killum, not a muppet bro.”)

tUne-yArDs do not disappoint at Summerfest

Posted in Concert Reviews, Music News, News, Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , on Monday, July 2, 2012 by Eric Gilardi

The tUne-yArDs’ album, w h o k i l l, was an album that was in my top 5 of 2011. It may have even been my favorite album of last year and I have been in the market to attend one of their shows for the past year and a half. I finally made it happen at Summerfest for my birthday. July 1st, 2012 will go down as one of my better birthdays of recent memory.

Merrill Garbus is an unreal and unusual talent. When you listen to
w h o k i l l you wonder how this will play out at a live performance. It plays out in a perfection that is surreal to the human brain. Merrill loops and recreates the album to the T. Making the live performance a more enjoyable experience than going to get ice cream at the local dairy with your grandparents on a hot summer day. In all honesty, I may just be a prisoner of the moment, but it was one of the best performances I have witnessed in a long, long time. If you are a fan of the album, go out and just witness what Merrill can provide you with at a live show.

Here are some more photos from the performance last night at the Briggs and Stratton Stage on the Summerfest grounds in Milwaukee, WI.

Concert Review: SOJA @ the Cabooze Minneapolis

Posted in Concert Reviews, Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on Monday, February 20, 2012 by Eric Gilardi

The final chapter in the Strength to Survive story is about to be written. It started with a teaser to promote the release of their new album and is ending with this review of their show at the Cabooze in Minneapolis on February 19th, 2012. Just because this book is about to be done doesn’t mean there will be no more books written about SOJA in the future. The relationship built here is as strong as their message and I want to let everyone know; I am not done yet.

When talking to Jacob Hemphill you understand that it isn’t about getting rich and famous but more about gaining popularity in order to spread their message. SOJA’s passion to spread this message really comes to life when in the presence of one of their live performances. This was apparent from the get go when the band opened up with “Mentality” the opening track on their new album. Jacob was very appreciative of the fans and genuinely thanked everyone that came together on that Sunday night numerous times throughout the show.

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Concert Review – Cool Kids, Camp Lo, + F. Stokes plus special guests

Posted in Concert Reviews, Media, Reviews with tags , , , , , , on Monday, August 31, 2009 by Nolan Levenson

Mikey Rocks

Mikey Rocks (Cool Kids), Photo courtesy of me

So last night, I had the pleasure of attending the Cool Kids show in NYC last night at SOBs. The show was EXCELLENT. Easily one of the best hip hop shows I’ve been too. Soo much fun. The Cool Kids absolutely DESTROYED the venue and are awesome guys. I got to meet a bunch of people after the show. Great times all around with some nice surprises including Nice and Smooth and Paper Tiger of Doomtree. Follow me after the jump for some more photos and details.

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Concert Recap: The Crinn, Zebulon Pike, The Body Beneath, Ambassador Gun @ Triple Rock Social Club

Posted in Concert Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on Friday, July 3, 2009 by Ryan Buege

The Crinn(The Crinn)

Zebulon Pike live @ Triple Rock Social Club(Zebulon Pike)

The Body Beneath live @ Triple Rock Social Club(The Body Beneath)

Ambassador Gun live @ Triple Rock Social Club(Ambassador Gun)

Our exclusive photo coverage of the The Crinn’s must see return show and their equally awesome local support continues after the jump. Enjoy! Continue reading