One Girl, Two Cities

Three nights of live music = the perfect weekend

I am a live music addict and I’m not afraid to admit it. Live music is why I happily live without cable.

1. I need the money to spend on concert tickets.

2. Why stay in and watch TV when you can go experience something so amazing?

On Friday, Megan and I made a last minute decision to see GRRRL PRTY at Icehouse. I knew they had a residency there for a couple months, and this was their final show of the residency. I am now kicking myself for not going sooner. GRRRL PRTY consists of three phenomenal female hip hop rappers: Sophia Eris, Manchita and Lizzo, and they’re backed up by DJ Shannon Blowtorch. The energy and talent of these women astounds me. Dessa hosted the evening, and several guests took to the stage by the end of the show. Caroline Smith joined for a couple songs; she obviously felt a little out of place but she’s got some sass hidden under the sweet-looking exterior. GRRRL PRTY ended with a Wegula remix and had Dessa join them along with several others, including Phillip Morris and Sean Anonymous. I am still in awe thinking about it. These are confident, sexy women and they deserve your attention.

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I had been anticipating Saturday’s show since its announcement on December 4th. Sean Anonymous headlined for the first time at First Ave for his seventh annual birthday show and it was killer. Enemy Planes took to the stage first; they’re more of an experimental group, utilizing computers onstage, very interesting to watch. They were followed by deM atlaS who has what I would call an aggressive stage presence (he walked onstage carrying a baseball bat…) but he worked the crowd and had everyone sing along with “Wat About” as he closed his set. He’s incredibly animated and it’s fun seeing young talent like this just as they’re starting to go places. Next up was Toki Wright and Big Cats, along with Lydia Liza from Bomba de Luz. Lydia has quite the sophisticated voice for a young woman, and her stage presence complemented Toki Wright’s quite well. When Toki is on stage, you can’t help but smile; he has such wonderful energy.

And of course, the reason for the show, Sean Anonymous and DJ Name performed and they were backed up by Lizzo, DJ Snuggles and Dreamcrusher. What I love about Sean is that you can tell he loves to be onstage and work the crowd; he even jumped into the crowd at one point which pumped everyone up even more. I lost count of how many others joined him on stage, but of course my favorites were Tony Phantom and Phillip Morris because that meant I got to hear my favorite song, Bucket of Snakes, from the Wide Eyes & Phillip Morris EP. Lizzo led us in singing “Happy birthday” to Sean during the set and then they jumped right back into the high-energy performance. I feel like I’m still on a high from it all.

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Sunday night I headed to 7th Street Entry at First Ave for a very different show. Young punk rock band Let Yourself Go opened; they have a Blink 182 vibe and fantastic energy. They were a great choice for the opener because they play to the crowd which took a little attention off the fact that they’re still fine tuning things. They’re obviously working on the balance with having what appears to be two lead singers and they include a number of covers in their repertoire, but the harmonies sounded great and their energy is infectious. The band I was there to see, American Scarecrows, was second and I love their modern rock sound. Lead singer Seth Davin has a strong stage presence and if you’re a fan of rock music, make sure to check them out. They have a great mix of soulful and fervent songs which keeps me interested since it doesn’t all sound the same. California band The Manchester Social Club took the night back to the punk rock genre. I noticed right away that their drummer is female which I love since you don’t see that every day. Just when I was feeling like they were a bit mellow for me, they kicked it into gear and really got the crowd going. The only criticism I would have is that I wished someone in the band was a backup singer because I think they would really benefit from some added harmony here and there. TMSC ended the evening on a high note with a great rendition of “Ring of Fire” which wrapped up my weekend of live music with a great big bow. If every weekend was like this one, I would be a happy, happy girl.

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