Best New Bands of 2013 at First Avenue, 1/30/14
|Photo by Erik Hess|
|Black Diet at First Avenue's Best New Bands of 2013|
With Frankie Teardrop, GRRRL PRTY, Allan Kingdom, BBGUN, Black Diet, Fury Things, and Southwire
First Avenue, Minneapolis
Thursday, January 30, 2014
It's difficult enough to assemble seven artists for any show, let alone seven good artists. First Avenue's yearly Best New Bands concert managed to do so without any artistic repetition. These acts with varying amounts of newness still clinging to them provided a cross-section of the Twin Cities (and Duluth) scene at the moment. Hip hop, soul, gospel, post-punk, and alt-Americana could coexist under the banner of driven live performance, and for a crowd that was hungry for it all.
See Also: Slideshow: Best New Bands of 2013 at First Avenue, 1/30/14
Starting with Southwire, our representatives from the 218, the night proved that bringing personality to the stage was just as important as the songs. The group's self-titled debut intermingles Jerree Small's folk-spiced gospel voice and Ben Larson's rich low range impressively, but to see their faces grinding out the notes and feeling of the work is yet another pleasure. The despondent beauty of "Gone Astray" and the uplifting majesty of "Brother" showed mastery on both emotional poles of their all-too-brief set.
|Photo by Reed Fischer|
|Photo by Erik Hess|
Anyone with upcoming nuptials to plan should get Black Diet on their shortlist immediately. Sure, "wedding band" isn't the sexiest way to describe a really tight rock 'n' soul act, but something as upbeat and steeped in the classic Stax sound as this group is hard to come by -- especially when you want elegance injected in some dance groves. Plus, they did a blistering cover of LCD Soundsystem's "All My Friends" -- with a guest violinist -- that would've left everyone happy had the night ended suddenly right then. Melisma-prone lead singer Jonathan Tolliver knew how to move both his body and his voice in tantalizing ways that built on-stage chemistry backing vocalist Mugsy, and roused the rest of his band to action. Bassist Garrison Dakota Grouse was ready with enough over-the-top heroics and posturing to play to the back row.
|Photos by Erik Hess|