Last updated on February 18th, 2022 at 09:17 pm
I have never been to a show at the Amsterdam Bar and Hall in Saint Paul, Minnesota before. I figured from my many encounters of viewing the building on the outside that it would be small and intimate; I was not wrong. I arrived about 30 minutes after the doors opened at 7pm to ensure that I was guaranteed a good viewing spot. The number of people on the inside at that time was disheartening, but I anticipated the crowd would pick up as I was just a little early.
At exactly 8pm, the night started off with an artist I had never heard of named MILCK. She came out on stage alone, accompanied only by her 2 keyboards and a microphone. She started off with a heavy bass line that I could feel through the bottoms of my feet and a voice that was spectacular. I knew right away that I would be adding her music to my library once I left the Amsterdam.
During the middle of her set, MILCK sang her own version of the song “Ooh Child (Things Are Gonna Get Easier)” by The Five Stairsteps. Her rendition was stripped down and beautiful, and it was meant to be a tribute to the children standing up to recent gun violence in Parkland, Florida. To keep the tribute aspect going, MILCK sang her song titled “Quiet,” which turns out to be the anthem for the recent women’s marches that have been sweeping the Nation. She shared her own experience with abuse, which was the inspiration for the heartfelt song.
Listening to MILCK open the night was a real treat, and afterward, I had the pleasure of shaking her hand to let her know how talented she is. MILCK only played for about 30 minutes, which let me mingle with the crowd for a solid 30 minutes before headliner Amy Shark was set to take the stage.
Due to some minor technical difficulties that caused a delay, Amy Shark graced the stage at about 9:15. She knew the crowd had been waiting, and she took her time showing her appreciation before jumping into her opening song. When she finally started playing, the wait was worth it.
Amy performed a beautiful set that could swing your emotions so fast alcohol was required. In one moment you were full of energy, and then she would perform a heartbreaking song where drinking could help ease the pain. Amy even gave a warning beforehand that “If you have a drink, now would be a good time to drink it.”
Before she performed each song, Amy would provide a back story on why the song was written, and what inspired her to write it. Based on the evidence, it is a fair assumption she had a lot of heartbreak growing up, and writing these songs was a way to ease the pain. I like to compare the results to an emotional journey with Taylor Swift, but with actual enjoyable music to listen to.
It isn’t news that Amy Shark is a new artist. She currently has an EP released with about 6 songs, so I expected the night to be short. My expectations fell short when she performed a new song, and a cover of her favorite Eminem song, “Superman.” I really enjoyed her rendition of “Superman,” and I would even be satisfied if she recorded it!
The night was one that I will never forget. I’m so glad that my first experience at the Amsterdam Bar and Hall was to see Amy Shark perform. The venue and the performers provide a perfect mix of intimacy and emotion that will not be forgotten.