|Photo By Tony Nelson|
First Avenue, Minneapolis
July 17, 2014
In April of 2010, an artist going by the name Tune-Yards presented an exuberant, frenzied set of loops and vaguely tribal-sounding percussive elements for those either informed enough or bored enough to wander into The Cave that particular evening. This "student-run nightclub," as described by the Carleton College website, hid in the shadows of a coffee shop on its Northfield, MN campus. Merrill Garbus stood upon its tiny stage, layering seemingly incidental scraps of beats and melodies into songs. She whispered to us comfortingly, then unleashed a torrent of shrill wails.
Piling five-deep into a ride back to Minneapolis, our Garbus-fueled state of sonic inebriation refused to lessen its grip. We were her hostages still.
Last night, Tune-Yards sold out First Avenue. A tepid sea of admirers stirred before Garbus. "Lord, Jesus, where did y'all come from?," she asked from the stage, in disbelief at its mass. Her question met an approving roar. "There's sold out," she continued, "and then there's sold out."