I always enjoy a great week of awesome live Minnesota music. But I really love when I notice that all of the music I’ve seen has been female-forward! And each band has been very different from the next. You can get a taste of all of the courses in the video below. Or read on for quick takes.
My week of great music started at the Seventh Street Entry with Bruise Violet and RiGBY (sadly I missed the first band – In Lieu). A night of punk, which speaks to the music I loved most as a kid. Bruise Violet, while young, is an established band. They are tight. The music speaks to the dilemmas of growing up – like Answer Your Goddamn Phone. The showmanship is impressive and they et the crowd dancing. RiGBY was a new band to me. The energy is high and the playing is fast. I really enjoyed the voices of both singers and love a band where members can share limelight.
The following night was a night of Feelings at the Icehouse with Rachel Kurtz, Said Kelley, Fredrick the First, Waltzing on Waves, Elizabeth Moen, and Nate Hanson (sadly again I missed the first band – darn work!). Rachel Kurtz is a powerhouse. Her voice can fill large Lutheran churches and her heart is bigger yet. She tackles topics that are important – like the awesome anthem for gay kids and how much we love them. She can also bring you to your knees with a Patsy Cline cover. The love on the stage felt like a summer camp reunion with folks already mentioned Mikaela Jensen, Laura Hugo and more. Said Kelley (Kelley Larson, one half of Maybe Nebraska) got up and sang original songs. She should do that more. Her blend of touching and humorous music is what we need more of today. Fredrick the First was another new band for me. Whoa. There are some fabulous musicians up on that stage and so danceable – not necessarily female led, but I’ll stick with female forward. Starting my night was Waltzing on Waves. Jen always impresses me – sometimes in several languages. She’s a serious person with a lot to sing.
I won’t say much about my next night, since she’s not from Minnesota but it included Alice Phoebe Lou, a quiet and kind, uplifting voice at the Turf Club.
It’s great to see Minnesota stages getting to a place where women fill the stages. We’re beyond the days of the one token woman on the set list. And we’re even beyond special nights for women. It’s happen (with effort) organically and let me tell you – they are filling the rooms!