Thursday night brought flannel, Doc Martens, Brixton hats, and The Oh Hellos to the newly renovated Varsity Theater in Minneapolis. Out in support of their most recent release, Eurus, the brother & sister duo was joined by openers Lowland Hum, for a night full of folk and indie rock tunes.
I arrived at my first show at the new Varsity Theater about twenty minutes after the openers took the stage. Coming straight from work, I had very little time to do my journalistic duty of preparing myself for the show I was about to see; but nonetheless, I was excited to finally check out the newly renovated Varsity Theater.
If you have been sleeping under a rock for the past two years, you may not know that the famed Varsity Theater located in Dinkytown had been closed. After falling into some legal trouble (I’ll let you do your own research on that…), the former owner was forced to sell the venue, with concert promotion company Live Nation eventually assuming ownership and renovating the historic club. The venue had its grand reopening in February, with a handful of shows taking place in the following weeks.
Now, almost a month into their new life, the Varsity Theater is flourishing. With over twenty shows lined up through June, including shows from Indigo Girls, 5 Seconds of Summer, and Sum 41, they are quicking reclaiming their spot as one of the top concert venues in the Twin Cities; and it’s easy to see why.
Immediately upon entering the club, you realize that it is unlike any other venue currently offered in the area. With a circle bar offering up cocktails and beers alike, and incredible amounts of seating (places to sit… at a concert venue!! What???) it’s not only a place to see live music but a place to kick back and relax while doing it.
The balcony offers pleasant views of the stage but is set back far enough that a casual conversation over a beer with your friend is totally do-able, and if you know anything about the venue’s history, the bathrooms are still totally kickass. Before I even found a spot to enjoy the show, I was already sold on Varsity being the premier place for live music in the cities right now.
Unfortunately, while I was walking around admiring the club, I ended up missing almost the entirety of Lowland Hum’s performance. However, I’m sure it was totally awesome and you guys should go see them at your earliest convenience! (If Lauren or Daniel are reading this, hit us up next time you’re in town and we’ll be sure to come out and give you the coverage you deserve! ❤)
Around 9:15, The Oh Hellos made their way out on stage and started plucking the opening notes to the title-track from their most recent release, Eurus. Joined by an ensemble of backing musicians all jamming away on various instruments, it was easy for a layman (me) to forget that there are only two full-time members of the band.
Maggie and Tyler Heath are siblings who were born and raised in Southern Texas and started playing and recording music in the cluttered childhood bedrooms in 2011. After recording and releasing various projects in the following years, including their full-length debut Through The Deep, Dark Valley, the duo was ready to take their music to the stage. Enlisting help from friends both old and new, they gathered together an ensemble of touring musicians the size of a circus, tumblers and all, and hit the road; a process that still holds true over five years later.
Performing for well over an hour, the band was less of a random piecing together of touring musicians and more of a well-oiled machine. With a setlist comprised of familiar hits and brand new material, it was a delight to watch this cast of characters strum away with smiles on their faces. The night was especially enjoyable for those in the crowd when one of the members introduced a few dance moves to the crowd, such as the “Calling The Waiter” and “Helping Your Friend Park Their Car.”
Overall, I couldn’t think of a more pleasant pairing of band and venue other than The Oh Hellos and the Varsity Theater. I, along with everyone else in the crowd last night, patiently awaits the next time this band will grace this stage.
The Oh Hellos Setlist – Minneapolis, MN
- Convocation of Fauns
- On The Mountain Tall
- Like The Dawn
- The Valley
- This Will End
- The Truth Is A Cave
- New River
- There Beneath
- Eat You Alive
- O Sleeper
- Soldier, Poet, King
- Valley (Reprise)