First Ave


First Avenue, on a cold, foggy Minneapolis night

So, a couple weeks ago I noticed a tweet by the University of Minnesota’s “fortnightly” student magazine, The Wake, which I enjoyed reading since I was a student at the U (at some point in the not too distant past- not too distant, really!) The tweet advertised a chance to win tickets to see a show at First Avenue, the 7th Street Entry specifically, for a few bands on tour from New York. Didn’t really think much of it at the time, just “hey, free swag- retweet!” Traditionally, I’ve been pretty hopeless when it comes to music knowledge, so I take any opportunity to enrich my appreciation with some audio adventure.

 Turns out I got the tickets, and a cool new vinyl release too,  if only because just one other person retweeted. So my sister and I headed downtown last Thursday to see the show at the venerable First Ave. On the docket were the bands Bollywood, Team Spirit, and the headliners, Skaters. We arrived a bit early, I grabbed a beer and we made claim to a couple of stools with a good view of the stage.

The 7th Street Entry, which I had not visited before, is a much smaller venue than the rest of First Avenue, much more intimate one could say. The dim, musty cave-like charm of the rest of the club is continued, though. The turnout was pretty good, at least for a snowy Thursday night in late March and the three bands played to a pretty packed       house, with the typical enthusiastic Minnesotan dancing  (i.e., mainly standing around with a few head noddings).

 Bollywood, a local Minneapolis art-rock band, was the opener, and they had an interesting style, with an array of monitors on stage broadcasting ‘80s and ‘90s TV shows to distract me. Skaters, hailing from New York and working off their debut album, Manhattan, headlined the show and were also a pretty fun rock band, that felt kind of retro in style. My favorite of the night was definitely Team Spirit, also of New York, who had a really fun, energetic stage presence that really got the crowd going. Plus, they had a Minnesotan! In all, a great night on the town and I offer my thanks to the Wake for providing a cool Thursday night.


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