Sweet Tunes Thursday: 2-Day Dance Party Recap – life+running

Sweet Tunes Thursday: 2-Day Dance Party Recap

First, I’m going to take back what I said last week about First Ave. being too big for me. I must have a faulty memory for places because I remember it being about 3x as big as it actually is.

And now I’m wishing I could hop in a time machine and see Prince and Morris Day there back in the 80s …

Gang of Four

I didn’t know what to expect from them as their lead guitarist (Andy Gill) is the only remaining original member, and they have a new album out. I was pleasantly surprised that they played my favorites (most of Entertainment!) and only a couple of songs I didn’t know, including some of their new stuff.

I enjoyed their stage presence. Everybody did vocals at some point. The singer was energetic. Their guitarist played a lot of etherial stuff. They seemed to take themselves a bit too seriously, but they’re Brits, so I liked that.

They played a short set, but that was okay because I knew The Faint would play a long set.

Between Sets

It’s silly but I have to mention that between sets First Avenue was projecting music videos from Bowie, NIN, Devo, Gary Numan, The Cure, and a bunch more of my favorites. I don’t know who chose those particular videos, but it felt like I personally DJed the evening.

The Faint

Never have I been disappointed by The Faint. I’ve been to a lot of shows — quite a few dancey shows (CHVRCHES, Kesha, etc.) — and nobody gets the room going like The Faint. Only these guys and Prince himself can get my husband dancing (okay, and Justin Timberlake if we’ve been drinking).

I’m an introvert, so going to shows takes a lot out of me and I don’t usually want to do it again for a while. Something about The Faint makes me want to do it again every night until I physically pass out.

One thing I noticed was that they had a different keyboardist than usual. Not sure if they changed lineups or what happened. It was barely noticeable except to me because I’m a nerd and because their original keyboardist is related to a friend of mine. I spent a lot of the show trying to figure out if maybe he’d just grown out his hair. Nope. New guy. Curious to find out what’s up with that.

Setwise they played all of my favorites (which isn’t hard because I like them all): “Desparate Guys“, “Dropkick the Punks“, “Posed To Death“, “Victim Convenience“, “Evil Voices“, and — of course — “Paranoiattack” and “Glass Danse” (always been the encore, with good reason). Their new songs were totally jam-worthy and I like them as much as I liked Doom Abuse upon listening the first time. It took me a while to get into Fasciination when it came out, but Doom Abuse and these three new tracks hooked me. Probably because they seem to be influenced by a lot of the bands that I love (at least that’s what they tweeted as a response when I asked in 2014).

They played a lengthy set — more than two hours, and I (along with most of the crowd) danced the whole time. Light show is STILL the best around. Seeing The Faint is the closest I’ll ever get to being at a rave.

Crystal Castles

I write this knowing that seeing The Faint the night before probably tainted my view of this show. That being said, Crystal Castles sounded good but could use some work on their stage presence.

I didn’t realize that they had a live drummer — I thought it was a drum machine, so props to them for that.

I danced the whole time, and so did the rest of the crowd (mostly early 20-somethings — I felt OLD there). The show was at The Varsity Theater, which is in the heart of Dinkeytown (U of M campustown). No surprise there.

What I didn’t like about the show was the lack of interaction with the audience. I don’t need a band to do a whole lot, but at the least the band should acknowledge the audience. Maybe this is what young audiences want now? Either way, I didn’t like the fact that they didn’t say a word to the audience.

Also, the strobe lights.

The sound was good, and it was fun to be immersed in some of my favorite songs, but it wasn’t what I was hoping for. I think I was hoping for two nights of the energy I had from The Faint.

I did meet some cool people at the show, so there’s that. 🙂


Do you like live shows? What bands have you seen live? 


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