Last updated on July 15th, 2018 at 11:00 am
You may have heard of a bluesy, foot-stomping, howling Minnesota band called The 4onthefloor. Even so, you may not know member Gabriel Douglas by name. That’s okay! You’ve got 2 more weeks to catch up. I won’t tell!
Gabriel has taken over each Tuesday night in July at Icehouse in Minneapolis to celebrate the release of his new album, Unfurling An American Beard, which was released last week. It’s always exciting to see a residency at Icehouse because they have such a spontaneous energy that regular shows typically don’t capture. In contrast to his music with 4onthefloor, his solo work shows a more introspective side, but he still had plenty of energy to share.
The night started with Gabriel’s rich vocals and stripped-down guitar. It felt very intimate; like we were in his living room as he played new songs for us. He chatted with the crowd between songs, sharing stories about the volleyball game he had just won, his opinion on all Third Eye Blind albums, and how happy he is to be doing what he loves. He seemed to feel at home on stage (years of live performances will do that). His performance of “Holding Patterns” midway through the set seemed to spark the set into something bigger. It was simple at first and started to build into a dreamy jam that filled the space with rich sounds from his loop pedal, guitar, and booming voice. It seems almost effortless for him to make his voice carry through the entire venue.
As with many Icehouse residencies, a special guest appeared. This week it was Gabriel’s buddy Nick Costa. He shared the stage for several songs with the St. Paul-based musician, before inviting him to play some solo work. The audience seemed to appreciate his way with words as his lyrics told vivid and relatable stories about life and relationships. Nick played songs from his upcoming album, and from the album that will be coming after that. I can’t help but assume that Nick is a busy guy on the Twin Cities scene, and I think the audience would agree that we could use more performances from him!
Gabriel jumped back onstage for a few more songs with Nick before taking back over. He covered a few songs, including one from Duluth’s own Low, and (you guessed it) Third Eye Blind. It was a stunning version of their song “I Want You.” While it was clear that they were both improvising their setlist and trying new material, it was easy to see that they were enjoying every minute. He ended his glistening set with “People Leave / People Go”. Then the people did have to go, but only until next Tuesday!
Gabriel Douglas continues his residency at Icehouse on 7/17 and 7/24.