4onthefloor Fills Uptown VFW and Rock & Rolls Their Way to Helping Others

4onthefloor 20180504 web 06
4onthefloor 20180504 web 06

4onthefloor is no stranger to the Twin Cities, but somehow this was my first time seeing them. I was grateful and excited for this opportunity to see a well known, local band. They delivered excellently with an exciting, drums-driven show with much-promised dancing, howling, and fun.

Sabby White female trumpet player
Photo by Kathleen Ambre

But first, Sabby White took the stage. Sabby White is a regular cover band from Minneapolis. They put on a great show. I did, in fact, say they were great! An impressive seven people, including Matty from 4onthefloor, came on stage to play a variety of songs, all working together to make fantastic sounding music. Think what you will about cover bands; they played a nice variety of well-known hits with their own interpretation. People flooded the floor and loved it. They danced and danced and didn’t stop dancing until the band had finished.

Sabby White singing into micophone
Photo by Kathleen Ambre

Sabby White has an exciting amount of talented people on stage doing various things. The saxophone and trumpet kept things interesting and upbeat. They had a great drummer and keys player. To my surprise, most of them even took turns singing, each of them bringing their own nice sound. It is pretty fascinating to see the different vocals of each. Some songs were definitely a different feel from original music and I appreciate that. If I’m looking for a fun outing with a group of friends, I would consider grabbing everyone for one of their shows.

Matty playing guitar
Photo by Kathleen Ambre

The show got more boisterous as 4onthefloor got ready to come on. They all set up 4 in a row, true to their name. They came on around 10pm and wasted no time. Belting out the song “King of the Jungle” with low, growling guitar and bass and strong, lion-like vocals. The crowd immediately sang along and swayed like they were vines hanging from trees. Almost everyone had a drink in their hands, since Fulton gave $1 for every Fulton beer they sold to the organization Still Kickin.

Nick from 4onthefloor
Photo by Kathleen Ambre

The second song picked up a bit and from thereon the crowd was in high spirits. In front, fans passed extra Fulton beers out to others. Random people danced with me and with others who they didn’t seem to know. We laughed and smiled together, all of us bonded at the moment by celebrating life and, in particular, band member Matty’s newfound health. Matty put together this concert when he realized how badly people need help and support when diagnosed with cancer, as he recently was. Matty is now, after treatment, thankfully cancer free, and wanted to help others through the organization Still Kickin with talent in music displayed in playing in both bands. You can read more about this in an interview with Matty and read more about Still Kickin here.

Lead singer Gabe Douglas singing into microphone while playing guitar
Photo by Kathleen Ambre

The band also wanted to make sure that they sent out a foot-stomping message that this concert was about fun and living life, while helping others live theirs with support, so they may keep kickin’ too. Each song seemed to be sung with a commandeering confidence and hope coming out of stories and experiences. It set a very appropriate tone for this kind of fundraiser concert.

Photo by Kathleen Ambre

Lead singer Gabe Douglas had this vibe of being confident, sturdy, and friendly. Perhaps this is random judgment, but it was what I experienced while he was on the stage, and afterward. His passion seemed unlike others- it’s sturdy, not fleeting. It’s purposeful, not in vain. He wants people to have fun and feel joy. He has a fantastic booming voice that adds so much to this talented band. While singing his story in songs, he moves his hands in animated ways. It was enchanting. It’s like he was in his musical world but in tune with the crowd, bringing us along with him.

Jake from 4onthefloor drumming on stage
Photo by Kathleen Ambre

As the show went on, I really admired the drummer Jack Quam’s talent and energy. The stage setup seemed much more engaging with every band member in the front, instead of some in the back. We could see each instrument being played clearly. The drummer headbanged through most of the songs, aiding in moving each one through slow and fast beats of the 4/4 time they keep. The power of the drums was a fantastic part of every song.

Nick from 4onthefloor singing with Gabe Douglas
Photo by Kathleen Ambre

Nick Costa also plays guitar and really captured my attention as well. He was headbanging with long hair and moving nearly all the time. The guitar work was exciting. I even moved over to watch more intently, which luckily coincided with many guitar solos. Then, suddenly, he sang! Oh, that was a pleasant surprise. Like when one buys a donut from the bakery and you know it’s going to be a good, but then you realize it’s fresh, sugar crispy on the outside and so soft on the inside. The song was just that delicious.

Matty sings along with 4onthefloor
Photo by Kathleen Ambre

Matty, the bassist, looked like a friendly, happy guy, having as much fun, if not more, than the crowd.  We even got treated to a bonus mini bass solo. Everyone up on stage seemed to be having a blast, and that also made this a great live show.

Gabe from 4onthefloor playing on the floor during a guitar solo
Photo by Kathleen Ambre

Another noteworthy bonus was the epic call and response guitar solos between the two guitarists! They started off slow and quiet and it grew, not too wild, until they were all laying on the ground, and Jake was draped over his drums. Slowly, they quietly, quietly played back and forth until everyone “woke up” and they jumped up playing enthusiastically and rocking out again.

Photo by Kathleen Ambre

They ended with “All My Friends”, the catchy song from the Kare 11 Superbowl commercials. Gabe sang “All Matt’s friends coming out tonight” instead of the original lyric, and everyone grinned and sang louder. It was an awesome song to end on and the crowd went crazy singing and dancing.

Gabe Douglas playing guitar
Photo by Kathleen Ambre
Renee Jones
Author: Renee Jones

Written by Renee Jones

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