And what a great party it was! This was my first time seeing Jeremy Messersmith OR opener Monica LaPlante, and I was hugely impressed with both of their energy and performances. Both acts are incredibly well known in the local music community, and I felt incredibly fortunate to be able to see them both on this special night. The evening’s performance was a celebration for Messersmith’s record release of Late Stage Capitalism. It was an opportunity for both artists to shine and play their best and newest material, knowing there would be a solid turn out.
Monica LaPlante took the stage first and kicked off the night with her natural, bad ass, angsty punk rock sound. She played favorites off of her 2016 release Noir: “Hope You’re Alone,” “Cant’ Stop” and more. This was her first show with the band’s new guitarist, whose name slips my mind but I can assure you of his high level of shredding abilities. She introduced him to the crowd, everyone applauded, and then she looked at him and asked, “Are you ready?” He assured LaPlante that he was, indeed, ready— perhaps born ready to play on that stage. Then they kicked off into the rest of their high energy set.
After LaPlante’s band left the stage, we all wanted more but were also excited for Messersmith’s set. First Avenue’s patrons made their way to the bar to get a taste of the new collaboration between the venue and Surly Brewing, a beer called ‘1+.’
Then everyone settled back in and was greeted by a dapper Mr. Messersmith, dressed in a white suit top and a bad ass white bow tie. In fact, the entire band was dressed to impress for the special occasion. Not everyone puts out a new album every day, so when one does put one out, there’s never a better opportunity to host a party in your home town’s most popular live music venue.
Throughout the day, Messersmith had been giving his fans glimpses into the performance via several different social media outlets. I had caught a look at the awesome stage decorations on his Instagram story. Once the band took the stage it was hard not to notice the giant golden balloons reading “LATE STAGE CAPITALISM” hanging over the crowd. What kind of party doesn’t have balloons? My thoughts exactly, Jeremy. Thank you for not letting us down!
The band started off with “Happy,” a song off of the new release. It wonderfully set the hopping-up-and-down tone for the rest of the songs to come. They played plenty of his well-known hits, including “It’s Only Dancing” off of the 2014 release Heart Murmurs.
I quickly learned what a humble performer Messersmith is when he began to chide himself on his lack of musicianship in comparison to the rest of his band. He stated that he was the worst musician on stage. Messersmith also engaged the audience in a number of other ways, including opening up about the recent death of his much-beloved cat, and introducing us to his partner via FaceTime call (she was at home with a broken ankle and could not attend the show).
After the call was over, Messersmith admitted the bit was a little cheesy. That’s alright though, from time to time we all have to make some sacrifices for our loved ones. Having had some ankle issues of my own, I wish her a speedy recovery.
Throughout the evening, Messersmith had some special guests on stage. John Mark Nelson as well as The Laurels String Quartet both made appearances, which made the show incredibly fun. It was great to see so many alternating musicians and friends join him on stage for the big night.
Overall, Messersmith and his incredibly talented band put on a great show. Although there tend to be frequent opportunities to see him live, I would jump at the next chance to experience the fresh new 60’s pop sound found on Late Stage Capitalism.
Congratulations on the new album and thank you for the awesome night!