Dinosaur in Trouble: proudly serving Twin Cities music geeks

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Couple of Shows

As spring approaches, the music scene is finally starting to wake up around here. Went to a couple of shows last night.

The first show was at The Whole in Coffman Union. Monarques and The Owls opened up for The New Amsterdams. It was great to see Monarques back in action. I hadn’t seen them since they opened for The Postal Service in 2003 (that might have been their first show). They seem to have a wealth of new material. New to me, at least. Sounded promising.

The Owls - no, not the Tim Kinsella project, and not Melodious Owl (although, I once saw The Owls and Melodious Owl play a show together) – were just fine. A relative of Brian Tighe was having his 13th birthday party. So there were a bunch of little kids sitting campfire style around the stage. Seemed very appropriate for an Owls show.

And then The New Amsterdams. I don’t know what to think about them. I sorta like the idea of countrified emo (Bright Eyes have their moments), but I still need some more convincing about The New Amsterdams. To be honest, I never really followed The Get Up Kids, so I wouldn’t even be able to make an educated comparison. I had to leave a little early because I was very hungry, and I wanted to get over to the Turf Club.

After a couple of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, I made my way over to the Turf. The sign outside the door said the show was sold out. That would have been the second time in two weeks that I’ve been turned away from the Turf Club. These high-profile local shows have been getting harder and harder to get into. I wonder if it has anything to do with the new alternative MPR station, 89.3 The Current. That reminds me, I should get Low tickets before it’s too late. Luckily, since I got there kind of late, they were letting people in again.

As I walked in the door, Friends Like These were playing “Karen.” Crazy, I always walk in on them while they’re playing that song. I was a little tired when I got there, but Friends Like These immediately woke me up. Gosh, those guys rock! The rockin’ was cut a little short due to a blown-out amp. Fortunately, they made it through most of their set before it happened (last week, I saw Chariots make it through about three songs before they had to quit due to a broken amp).

Kid Dakota headlined. Wow. I’ve seen Kid Dakota many times, but never with Christopher McGuire behind the drums. And that’s all it was – just Darren Jackson and Christopher McGuire – no Erik Appelwick and no Zak Sally. Granted, Kid Dakota has always had amazing drummers, but Chris is in a league of his own – if not for technique, then for sheer entertainment value. I couldn’t keep my eyes off him the entire show. For anyone who hasn’t seen him, he is the “human” version of the Muppet, Animal. Maybe Kid Dakota realized that they needed to compete against the energetic live shows of the Olympic Hopefuls. Indeed, I have never seen such depressing music played with such unbridled energy.


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