Category Archives: Reviews

Review: The Most Interesting Show In The World with host ANDREW WK

By Carl Carpenter -

Mexican Beer brand Dos Equis, produced by the Cuauhtémoc-Moctezuma Brewery based in Monterrey, brought its “Most Interesting Show In The World Tour” to Minneapolis last night. The show took place on the West Bank at The Cabooze. It was headlined by Andrew W.K., whose 2001 debut I Get Wet was an international hit, and went number 1 in America. W.K. curated the night’s events, which included a variety of strange, circus-like feats.

He took the stage at 9:30, announcing the countdown of a man who was attempting to break the world record by holding his breathe for 14 minutes. I was standing next to a U of Minnesota medical student at the time, and he informed me that after 5 minutes of submersion, brain damage occurs, and that people usually die between 9 and 12 minutes. Upon closer inspection, many in the area claimed to be able to see a thin tube extending up from the bottom of the tank. The other acts were less refutable. An Italian man balanced a head-stand on top of a basketball. There was a burlesque dancer, and also an eerily masked figure who shot confetti out of a bubble similar to the one Wayne Coyne uses to walk on crowds when the Flaming Lips play a festival. The bubble performance was soundtracked by a live version of techno classic “Sandstorm.”

Andrew W.K. finally began his set at around 10:30. He started by announcing he had recorded most of his debut album in Minneapolis. He started with one of his big singles, “She Is Beautiful.” He received the best crowd response when he played his other Billboard hits like, “Party Hard” and “I Get Wet.” W.K., who is undoubtedly a big draw, may have received a stronger reaction on his lesser known numbers if the event had not been so corporately oriented. The free beer and promotion connected to the Dos Equis “Most Interesting Show In The World” ad campaign drew an assortment of demographics not typically seen at a W.K. show. There were few people head banging, and the crowd was largely motionless besides during his major radio-play recieving numbers.

To add to the corporate feel of the show, there were big screen TVs on each end of the venue, presumably so they could fill the place to an extreme end where not everyone would be able to see the show. There were also Dos Equis girls in bunny suits walking around asking people to take a quick three question survey, the idea being to get you email address. Upon successful survey completion, she would then hand out a Dos Equis key-chain. Other outlets there to take advantage of this consumer crowd included KARE 11. One of their photographers was walking around asking, “Can I take your picture for KARE 11 news.” Once the photo was taken he then divulged, “This will be posted on the metromix website. You should head there to check it out!” Ultimately, the creative marketing at the show turned out to be as interesting as the performance.

Gorillaz In Minneapolis, 10/17/2010

While they may have started out as somewhat tongue in cheek cartoon band almost 12 years ago, Gorillaz put on an incredible live show that proved every bit of the groups larger than life status. It was everything you have ever come to expect of a big arena show and then some. With a huge lit up GORILLAZ logo that changed various colors throughout the night and an enormous video screen (50′?) directly above, it definitely gave the 5,000+ concertgoers eyes a visual workout throughout the entire show.


The show began just as their latest album ‘Plastic Beach’ opens, with an orchestral intro followed by ‘Welcome To The World of the Plastic Beach’ which featured the song’s video synched on the screen. While it would have been awesome to see Snoop Dogg do his part in person, seeing a giant video of him only added to the shows enormous production. The Hypnotic Brass Ensemble however were in the house and their energy set the night off to a great start.

The first major highlight of the night was ‘Stylo’ which featured Bootie Brown (of The Pharcyde) filling in for Mos Def’s role and the legendary singer Bobby Womack, whose cool swagger surpassed even that of Gorillaz co-founder and leader Damon Albarn. Speaking of Albarn, I only got to see Blur once, but he seems even more fitting and comfortable in his role as conductor, frontman, and cheerleader of this impressive group of musicians. The two members of The Clash (Paul Simonon holding it down on bass, and Mick Jones on guitar) were both decked out in captains hats, which seemed like a fitting yet subtle attempt for them to stand out amongst the rest of the band, or at the very least a visual indication for the youngsters in the crowd, of which there were many.

As great as the music was performed, the MVP of the night for me was definitely Jamie Hewlett, whose 2D cartoons, 3D animations, and sketches were shown on the giant video screen above the band for the entire show. I’m not even a huge comic book nerd, but I felt like a 10 year old kid again watching his work. It was easily one of the most impressive displays of video work i’ve seen at an arena show since Nine Inch Nails at the very same venue in 2001. With all of the visual stimulation going on, you’d think it might overshadow the actual music that was being played, but it added to the experience greatly and the show wouldn’t have been nearly the same experience without it.

Not surprisingly, the concerts biggest highlight came during the encore when they played arguably their two biggest singles, Feel Good, Inc. and Clint Eastwood  back to back. It was downright chilling hearing De La Soul’s David Jolicoeur’s maniacal laugh open up ‘Feel Good, Inc.’ live, which he would do a handful of more times throughout the song (seriously, I would just walk around doing that laugh in peoples faces ALL the time if I was him). Clint Eastwood was a treat to hear live, as like many in the audience i’m sure, it was my first introduction to Gorillaz in 2001.

I’ll admit I definitely scoffed at the ticket prices when the show was announced, but after the show last night and seeing all 30+ artists onstage at some point throughout the night along with amazing videos and lighting, it’s no wonder why the tickets were what they were, as none of that stuff comes cheap. I will say if you’re even remotely a fan of Gorillaz or interested in seeing this show to try and find away to see them on this tour, as it’s definitely one of the more special arena shows I’ve seen in a long long time.

Set list:

Orchestral Intro
Welcome to the World of the Plastic Beach (feat. the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble & Snoop Dogg via video screen)
19-2000 (feat. Rosie Wilson)
Last Living Souls
O Green World
Stylo (feat. Bobby Womack & Boobie Brown)
On Melancholy Hill
Rhinestone Eyes
Superfast Jellyfish (feat. De La Soul)
Kids With Guns
Tomorrow Comes Today
Broken (feat. The Hypnotic Brass Ensemble)
Dirty Harry (feat. Bootie Brown)
El Manana
DARE (feat. Rosie Wilson)
White Flag (feat. Bashy & Kano)
Glitter Freeze
Plastic Beach

Encore:

Cloud of Unknowing (feat. Bobby Womack)
Feel Good Inc. (feat. De La Soul)
Clint Eastwood (feat. Bashy & Kano)
Don’t Get Lost in Heaven
Demon Days (feat. Bobby Womack)

Lookbook/Bight Club/Zoo Animal/Slapping Purses @ First Avenue 6/18/2010

For the first time Lookbook headlined the main room at First Avenue for a great homecoming show after a three week tour. I caught Bight Club and Lookbook but missed Slapping Purses and Zoo Animal as I needed to eat an inside out burger over at First Ave’s new restaurant The Depot. Bight Club is definitely a local act to watch, they’re playing The Hexagon next month as well as some other gigs. The energy Lookbook brought to the stage was the highest I’ve ever seen it, no doubt they were charged up about headlining the main room. See my pics below.

The New Standards Holiday Show at The Fitzgerald Theatre

The New Standards played their annual holiday show at The Fitzgerald Theater on Saturday, December 5th. Guests included Gary Louris of The Jayhawks, Jeremy Messersmith, Adam Levy, Janey Winterbauer, Prudence Johnson, Kristen Mooney, Eric Heywood, Dan Wilson, and quite a few others. Jazz interpretations of pop hits ran the spectrum: Hey Yeah by Outkast (dated but still entertaining), Do You Realize? by the Flaming Lips, Toxic by Britney Spears (a real highlight), I Want You To Want Me by Cheap Trick. These songs were interspersed with traditional holiday songs. My highlight of the night was “Pure Imagination” from Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory. The song made me feel like a child at Christmas, and that’s not an easy emotion to capture.

Janey Winterbauer & Gary Louris

The Fitzgerald

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The New Standards and Friends – Pure Imagination from Chase Turner on Vimeo.

Slapping Purses / EYES / Tender Meat @ 331 Club

FREE – 10PM – 21+ – TONIGHT, Friday, November 6, 2009

Review of Mainroom show & Photo courtesy, NoiseDamage.com

Changing the pace quite a bit, one-man electronic band Slapping Purses gave the crowd something they couldn’t have expected to have sandwiched between a pair of rap acts – electronic noise reminiscent of u-Ziq with a bit of Venetian Snares thrown in for good measure. ‘Purses stood with his wicker suitcase and custom-made rhinestone skull microphone at center stage kicking some rhythms and glitched-up melodies that few in the mainroom could’ve fathomed. What set this set apart was the addition of a live drummer, it brought alot of energy to what might’ve been an empty stage. Strange looks wandered around the room when the set started but it didn’t take long for the incredibly heavy beats and noise to infect the crowd. By the end of the set, nearly three and a half hours after the main room doors opened, everyone was chomping at the bit for P.O.S. to take the stage. When he did, he opened up with this: “Can you build your own microphone? I don’t think so. Give it up for Slapping Purses.”

'Heavy Duty' by Justin Flower

A less than capacity crowd at a show that cost a lot of money to get
into, 20 bucks for a line-up of mostly local bands, it’s Saturday
night at Intermedia Arts, for Clapperclaw. There are people milling
about the parking lot drinking mini-glasses of micro-brewed beer,
average age seems to be 26. More over 40’s than under-21’s. I shell
out the 4 dollars for a Budweiser tallboy and meet friends in front of
the stage, a weird two-person experimental theatre piece is underway,
in about five minutes it should be done, Free Energy, the headlining
band, after that.
Paul Sprangers looks like he’s from out of town, he’s tall, very
skinny, has straight long hair, and a style rarely seen around these
parts, a cross between Mick Jagger and a Camden junky. He’s the lead
singer of Free Energy, and one of the founders of now-defunct
Minneapolis outfit, Hockey Night. Shortly after nine p.m., Sprangers
is joined on-stage by his four band mates, in a flood of lights,
grabbing the mic stand with Steve Tyler flair, Sprangers kicks off
their set. Free Energy’s music has a very 70’s glam rock feel,
listening to individual songs its easy to hear influences from Bachman
Turner Overdrive to Billy Joel to Queen. In “Free Energy,” the title
track from the band, guitarist Scott Wells drives the melody with a
sound similar to Slash’s in “Sweet Child of Mine.” Single “Something
in Common,” starts off with drums and bass similar to Queen’s “another
one bites the dust.” I spoke to Paul, Scott, and the bands Drummer,
Nick, who is also involved with St. Paul band Superhopper. Sipping on
free Bud light in a purple and gold can, Paul told me why Philly is
better than New York and about the people in Philly, apparently when
you’re in a band in Philly you make sure everyone knows about. “There
people like to self-promote, you know,” Paul told me, “Here everyone
you meet is in a band and there’s this kind of Midwest humbleness
about music here.”
Free Energy are on tour again this fall and will return to the Twin
Cities to play at the 7th street entry Nov. 7th. – Justin Flower