Sometimes I wish high school me could see snippets of adult me, like last night hobnobbing with The Suburbs in the Clown Lounge before their song out show – getting a sneak listen to their newest songs. It would have made high school me much cooler.
The set up was a private party in the Clown Lounge for supporters of The Suburbs’ latest fundraising effort, which turned into a record party with free Summit beer and roomful of faces from long ago. (And to help you connect names with faces, Cyn Collins was there with her new book Complicated Fun, a history of the music scene in the Twin Cities from 1974-1984 featuring more than a few folks in attendance.) After and hour or so of reminiscing – we all went upstairs to the sold out show.
The band was tight. They reminded me of The Suburbs I saw back in the high school mixer days. Unadulterated dance music – with barely a pause between songs. They started off strong with Cows. In fact I was amazed at how the show was really hit and hit with a couple new songs snuck in for good measure and the new songs fit in seamlessly.
The new was great. Hey Muse starts like a Stone Roses song. It’s more psychedelic than their usual repertoire but the psychedelics are an additive, it still has the strong dance beat and the energy of a full band – which makes sense as they have a full band of new and old faces on amazing musicians. It harkens back to some of the beats of the 90s but it feels new too. Chan Polling’s voice is unmistakable and comforting. Lost you on the Dancefloor Is a song that calls out for an old school MTV video – nor Real World or Teen Mom style – but the videos like A-ha or Safety Dance used to do. Polling voice is emotive. They make good use of Janey Winterbauer on backup. The song tells a story. The beat is mellow. There’s a catchy refrain. It brings back the best of the 80s.
The old was like a favorite sweater that fits again! Music for Boys, Waiting, Spring Came – again hit after hit. Love is the Law brought down the house – a symbol of how things have changed since the 80s, used a few years ago to celebrate the hard-fought freedom for anyone to marry. The night was capped off with a bonus double encore of Baby Heartbeat.
And to bring it full circle I came home and told my high school daughter that I’d seen The Suburbs. “The guys who sing Turn the Radio on?” she asked. “Cool!” The time machine is working, The Suburbs are still cool in the high schools.