Kevin Steinman's farewell show at Bryant Lake Bowl, 7/23/12

Categories: Last Night
Kevin_Steinman_Youa_Vang.jpg
Photo by Youa Vang
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Kevin Steinman with his band, Andy Thompson, Justin Hartke, Matt Novachis and special guests Chris Koza, Jeremy Messersmith, Brianna Lane, Luke Anderson, Linnea Mohn, Ben Kyle, Rogue Valley
Bryant Lake Bowl, Minneapolis
Monday, July 23, 2012


For Kevin Steinman's last night in Minneapolis, it was an evening of bittersweet goodbyes, but mostly it was a night of thank yous. The singer was joined by many local musicians that have been a part of his music career in one way or another, leading him to claim, "There's so much amazing talent in this town." After Monday evening, we will be missing one big talent when Kevin and his wife, Ina, move to Norway. 
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Photo by Youa Vang
Opening with the aptly titled "Love Always Wins," Kevin shares, "It's gonna be a special night; it's going to be about love." As evidenced in his musical writing, Steinman is heavily influenced by poets characterized by romance, often spinning tales within the pieces. Joined by Chris Koza on "The Way," the two musician's voices are rather similar, but blend beautifully with Koza singing the harmonies to allow Steinman's voice to take the spotlight. Bringing Brianna Lane and his mini-orchestra to the stage, "Strait of Georgia" opens with Kevin's bright acoustic guitar and tells of unrequited love -- a song that Kevin wrote while in Norway.
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Photo by Youa Vang
Part of Kevin's talent lies in his charm glimpsed in between songs. The singer likened the evening to when Tom Sawyer makes an appearance at his own funeral, inclining him to say, "Thank you for showing up at my bizarre funeral." The gratitude towards his fellow musicians by Steinman was overflowing, especially when he invited Luke Anderson for "I Look For You" and Ben Kyle on "What Was I Thinking Of." Joining Kevin onstage for "Wish," Linnea Mohn's softly sweet vocals lent a haunting quality to the song, a piece based on a quest for love. Following her part, Linnea shared, "I'm gonna miss you and Ina, and I am not alone in that," prompting her to introduce special guest Jeremy Messersmith for a delicate acoustic version, accompanied by Andy Thompson on the piano, of The Replacement's "Skyway," which he claims is, "One song that makes me homesick for Minnesota, whenever I am on the road... or at home."
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Photo by Youa Vang

A highlight of the evening -- among many -- was the band's cover of Norwegian band A-ha's "Take on Me," bringing a lighter note to an evening lest it be too emotional. Left to himself on the piano, Kevin introduced the Norwegian piece "Dag Vil Eg Ro" saying it was fitting that it was about changes and the unknown -- something that he and Ina will soon be embracing. Bringing his orchestra back to stage, Steinman segued his next piece "I Do," with an acknowledgement to Ina, saying, "I would be so lost without her. This is for her and always will be."
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Photo by Youa Vang
As a surprise to her husband, Ina arranged for Rogue Valley to perform "Onward and Over," a song narrating the changes that come with time; the most appropriate lyrics for the evening by Chris with "Former and future; it all will merge, I'm not letting you go, I'm not ready to go, Onward and over the seasons turn, I'm not letting you go, I'm not ready to go." Before his last song and encore of Nick Lowe's "Cruel to be Kind," Kevin gave one last thank you to his parents, for which he claims he would not be here without them, and are, "Coming to terms with his moving to Norway. They raised me in the arts, so I hope they're not surprised that is what I am pursuing. They also raised me to be a globetrotter." That they did.

The world may be a big place, but for one night, it centered in Minneapolis for Kevin Steinman.

Critic's bias: In prose and song, Kevin Steinman is one talented man. I knew this the first time I heard "Strait of Georgia."



The crowd: Longtime fans along with friends and family of Kevin.

Setlist

Love Always Wins
The Way
Strait of Georgia
Just in Time
I Look For You
Understanding Eyes
What Was I Thinking Of
Wish
Take on Me
Dag Vil Eg Ro
I Do
Foreign Friend
Nothing Like the Sun
Moonlight Navigator

Encore
Cruel to be Kind


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