Friday night First Avenue turned into a time machine. The Suburbs on stage and happy crowd bursting the seams. There may have been a more pounds and more wrinkles than 1986 but there were also fewer curfews and fake IDs. Yup the crowd that has been enjoying the band for decades was in their rightful place at the foot of the stage.
But the crowd was open to new songs – and the band started with Lovers off their latest release Hey Muse! People were happy enough for the new. Followed up with Hobnobbin from In Combo, released in 1980. But it was the third song – Waiting that really got the join jumping.
The band too is a mix of original and new flavors, including founding members keyboardist and singer Chan Poling and drummer Hugo Klaers. Saxophonists Max Ray (who played with The Wallets back in the day) joined the band years ago. And there were some newer folks including Stevie Brantseg and Jeremy Ylvisaker on guitars, Steve Price on bass, Janey Winterbauer on backup vocals, Rochelle Becker on Bari Sax and Stephen Kung on horns and keys.
A great blend of Minnesota musicians!
Show highlights include the tried and true favorites: Life is Like and Love is the Law – the de facto anthem for marriage equality. But toes were tapping for some of the newer songs too – Hey Muse! and Turn the Radio On.
Opening for The Suburbs was Ryan and Pony. I just caught the tail end of their set but it was fun and upbeat. Just a little bit hippie in a good way!