Tail-feathers shaken, eggs no doubt broken at Claude Vonstroke’s Rev show

Claude Vonstroke at Rev by Music in Minnesota
Photo by Ben Allen Photos

A lucky and limited number of fans packed the Rev for Claude Vonstroke, and I’d wager that none of them were disappointed.

Claude Vonstroke is a man of many monikers. He also goes by Papa Bird, Papa Vonstroke, CVS, and even his given name, Barclay Crenshaw. In much the same way, he is not limited to a single genre. He shifts from house to ghetto bass to tech house to minimal with regularity and ease.

Photo by Ben Allen Photos

His setlist last night reflected this willingness to explore different music areas and his talent in combining them into a cohesive piece of work. He moved from the steady 4/4 of house to a throbbing, dissonant bassline seemingly without effort. If a DJ’s talent is measured in the number of “OHHHH!!!” reactions from their crowd, then last night’s show would indicate that Claude is heading to the hall of fame.

The crowd in Rev diverged a bit from the typical electronic music show crowd dominated by twenty-somethings, featuring a wider swath of ages, though it was still overwhelmingly caucasian. But then, we live in Minnesota, which is naturally that way (though Minneapolis is not). As somebody who is outside the typical age demographic, it was nice to be surrounded by those closer to my age. It felt a little less like “take your parent to an EDM show,” which was refreshing.

Claude Vonstroke is a very busy man. In addition to producing his own music and touring, he’s also the head of the wildly successful Dirtybird label. He also pours his efforts into working on the east and west coast versions of the Dirtybird Campout festivals, as well as a summer series of one-day Dirtybird BBQ shows. Oh, and he also produces hip-hop under his legal name, Barclay Crenshaw.

Photo by Ben Allen Photos

If you were a big fan of summer camp as a kid, then you should really look into Dirtybird Campout. It’s three days of ridiculous fun with canoe races, potato sack races, arts and crafts, and many other camp activities, all with members of the Dirtybird label and festival performers participating as well. The festival takes place on the west coast in October, at the Modesto Reservoir in California.

As popular and busy as he gets, Claude Vonstroke manages to be approachable and available to his fans. He stepped out into the crowd before his set to shake hands and talk with a bunch of attendees. He sported an incredible black satin jacket with ‘Minneapolis Freaks’ in white letters across the back, the text arranged around Dirtybird’s cracked egg logo. After the show he stuck around for more pictures and handshaking, maintaining his trademark friendly, smiling demeanor throughout.

Photo by Ben Allen Photos

Claude is touring ahead of the release of his third full length album, Freaks and Beaks, due out February 21. You can find out information about his upcoming release, Campout, and so much more at See you out there, you cluckers.

Written by Ben Allen

I tell the story of the energy transfer between people who play music and that music's listeners. I photograph and write about festivals and concerts, which I've attended for three decades. I'm also the tall guy you probably got stuck behind at a show. First concert: Nirvana at Roy Wilkins Auditorium, Dec 1993. Yes, I am old. Tall and old.


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