Now, Now's record release party, Triple Rock, 3/02/12
|Photo By Erik Hess|
Triple Rock Social Club, Minneapolis
March 3, 2012
View a slideshow from the concert here.
After years (and thousands of miles) in the making, Now, Now finally got to share their new songs with a Twin Cities audience at their record release show for Threads at the Triple Rock on Saturday night. And while the 70-minute performance certainly featured plenty of nervous energy typical of the start of any tour, the trio's stirring new material and charming personalities overcame the minor glitches and slight opening night jitters to make the evening a rousing success.
After the band settled some nagging sound issues that delayed the start of the set momentarily, the performance began in the same way that Threads does, with the brooding, atmospheric tones of "The Pull" gradually giving way to the slow-burning rock of "Prehistoric." Frontwoman Cacie Dalager switched deftly from guitar to keyboards (and even a bit of xylophone) on the wistful "Separate Rooms," which still found the band getting settled in a bit. But they really hit their stride on the churning urgency of "Oh. Hi." which found Jess Abbott getting the large crowd to clap along to the track's insistent rhythm.
The momentum was derailed just a bit when Abbott's mic quit working, and a cord had to be swapped out. Dalager quickly tried to turn the delay into story-time, but it was quite obvious that the band would rather play songs than talk. After the brief holdup while the mic issue was fixed, Cacie again took to her keyboard for a slightly apprehensive version of "School Friends," that never really coalesced. Things got back on track with a forceful, soaring rendition of "Wolf," which featured an absolutely massive chorus and the dynamic drumming of Bradley Hale, whose forceful rhythms kept the band on point throughout the night.
|Photos By Erik Hess|
Before "Thread," Dalager mistakenly put her guitar down, before quickly realizing she actually needed it for the song, a slight sign of nerves combined with this being the first show of their tour. But the mercurial song truly took off on the strength of a catchy hook and the lilting harmonies of Dalager and Abbott. After a spirited take on "Lucie, Too" it seemed that the band finally settled into their surroundings, and Dalager warmly exclaimed, "This is a fun show, a really fun show. I love everyone. I want us all to go swimming after the show and I don't even like swimming." That growing level of comfort and confidence really helped imbue the rest of the set with an assertive boldness which helped the songs take on an added resonance.
That burgeoning self-assuredness led Now, Now to dig into their back catalog for the first time, with enthusiastic renditions of "Sleep Through Summer" from their debut LP, Cars, as well as "Roommates" from the Neighbors EP. And the dark, electronic-tinged elegance of their new B-side "Shifting" showed off a different, saturnine side of the band that was a welcome experimental departure from their typically catchy sound. The main set drew to a close with an impassioned take on the closing track on Threads, "Magnet," which swelled to a dramatic finish that saw the band off impressively.
After a lengthy ovation drew the trio back out, Dalager stated that "we're gonna do some old ones," which made sense since they played nearly all of their new record already. The irresistible beat of "Neighbors" started the encore off strongly, and the band only built on that energy by closing out the night with a lively version of "Everyone You Know," from their In The City EP, which ended the set triumphantly. And with one last "thank you" to the crowd, they were off, as the familiar strains of Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'" rang out of the PA. It was quite fitting in a way, as Now, Now are truly a band on the rise who we should all keep believing in.
Personal Bias: I've written a recent City Pages feature piece on the band, but haven't seen them live in years, and was curious how their sound has evolved. I was quite impressed, and think that after touring for a while, these new songs are only going to sound that much more polished and striking.
The Crowd: Full of longtime fans, friends, and plenty of family there to offer support.
Overheard In The Crowd: Cacie's sister (who was also working the merch stand) emphatically singing along to "Everyone You Know." It was a great moment.
Random Notebook Dump: Now, Now's t-shirt designs were really cool. I regret not buying one.
But I Do
Sleep Through Summer
Neighbors (Encore)Everyone You Know (Encore)
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