Icehouse MPLS was surprisingly packed on a frigid January Sunday. Sarah Krueger and her band started the evening strong and steady. With her noticeably vibrant and strong vocals, Sarah commanded the attention of all those in the building.
She played both old and new songs throughout her set and kept a mellow overtone all the while. What struck me in each song was Sarah’s best instrument- her voice. Toward the end of the set, her band left the stage and Sarah played alone. This was my favorite part as it included my favorite song, “July.”
There was a stark contrast between the lyrics of this song, revolving around summer days spent swimming in Lake Superior on the Duluth shorelines, and the twinkle lights on tree branches rustling in cadence with the snow just outside. “All I see is blue” were catching lyrics, and for a moment I was able to lose track of the winter storm enveloping Minneapolis.
The second set of the night began with a self-proclaimed indie-folk artist based out of the Twin Cities. Anna Stine brought a sense of home and warmth to Icehouse MPLS. With her band, she managed to get the crowd singing along and feeling a little less glacially acclimated in the sub-zero temps.
Anna began with a soft, echoey tune that led into a more lively, foot-tapping number. She followed with songs like “There I’ll Go” and “Porch Swing” to name a few. What I loved most about Anna was her very true and poignant lyrics such as “I forget about all the grief I felt” and “It’s gonna be alright. I’m gonna be alright.” These felt particularly earnest and raw, which did not go unnoticed.
Stine showed her indie and folk vibes, and also threw in a little rock. There was plenty of jamming throughout the set by Anna and her band, always keeping interludes at just the right length as to avoid losing the interest of potentially distracted audience members (guilty as charged!).
Toward the end of her set, she played the title track off her newly released debut album, “Company of Now.” This song’s chilling ending, with its unsuspecting notes and fade out, was my favorite part of the evening- perfectly haunting, perfectly dreamy.
In the hours since the show, I’ve already been listening to Anna’s debut album, and I hope you do too, especially if you’re looking for some sweet indie-folk to warm you up. Stay warm out there.