Last updated on August 27th, 2023 at 09:28 pm
Playing their first show since January, Gramma’s Boyfriend hit the Surly crowd with a mix of their rock and personality in a set that came out swinging and only grew with energy.
Surly’s Summer of Sound is a series of free concerts by local musicians curated by Lazerbeak. There are also Thursday shows with more “acoustic, mellow vibes.” They take place in the Beer Garden and are free.
Sunday’s concert was the first for the band and lead singer Haley since the birth of her child Asa eight weeks ago. It was also Asa’s first concert, marking her anticipated debut in the local music scene.
Gramma’s Boyfriend is described as a mix of “Blondie, Devo, and Suburban Lawns meet Dead Kennedys.” The local supergroup consists of Haley, Jeremy Ylvisaker (Cloak Ox, Alpha Consumer, Andrew Bird), Mark Erickson (Cloak Ox), Luke Anderson (Rogue Valley), Jacob Hanson (Actual Wolf, Haley Bonar, All Tomorrow’s Petty), and Max Ylvisaker (who was not performing at this show).
The group came right out with favorites like “I Forgot,” “Donkey Donkey,” and “Down in a Bucket,” all songs that grab you with catchy, rhythmic, fist-pumping guitar. And Haley’s vocals are at times commanding and aggressive and other times sweet and melodic. You want to smile, to sway… and to bang your head.
And as the show went on, Haley’s enthusiasm and energy noticeably grew. By the time closing tracks “We R Ctrl” and “Shuger Crush” came around, she was visibly more active on stage. And her bandmates fed on that energy as well, backing songs with shredding guitar and thumping percussion.
And that’s what makes Gramma’s Boyfriend so enjoyable to see. Their song “Senor Suitcase” compels the listeners with “everybody have fun sometimes,” and at their shows, you absolutely will. Next up is their big Halloween show at the Hook and Ladder. Here’s hoping the costumes come out for that one!
Shout out to co-headliners King Pari, who started the day with their mix of chill electro-funk that got the crowd grooving. Standout tracks were “Sunshine” and “Mary,” which have over 2,000,000 and 1,000,000 plays on Spotify, respectively.
Let’s give thanks and congratulations to Surly Brewing for continuing to showcase local and national acts. They had an impressive lineup this season, and you can still catch a few free and ticketed concerts. The remaining shows in this summer’s series include Beer Garden appearances for St. Paul’s School of Rock, Lady Midnight with Annie and the Bang Bang, and Mary Bue, along with Festival Field concerts with Ween and Train.