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On the Radar: Gowns Makes Top Three in the Mill City Rock Off

Last updated on February 17th, 2020 at 01:29 pm

On Sunday night, nine Minnesota bands stopped at The Pourhouse Downtown to showcase their unique sounds and compete in round one of the Mill City Rock Off. The winning three bands of the evening get to move on to perform later in February. Gowns, who will be moving on to the next round, really left an impression on spectators and had the crowd cheering and dancing along throughout their set.

Brian Wagner of Gowns
Brian Wagner of Gowns

Gowns is a Minneapolis-based anthem alt-rock band full of style, spirit, and talent. Right as Gowns hit the stage, many listeners swooned. Each member was dressed up and showing off their good looks and energetic personalities. Between songs, it was easy to hear the people throughout the venue commenting on how stylish this crew was!

John Bair of Gowns
John Bair of Gowns

Style aside, Gowns also showed off their musical talent and ability during their set. Each member displayed a mature sense of musicality and technique, while still coming together as a band. They created a sound where each instrument meshed well with the others but also left room for their individuality to shine.

Gowns at The Pourhouse

Vocalist John Bair sang, played keys, and even pulled out a saxophone during the set. He had an incredible energy which connected with the crowd in a special way. On their Instagram page, the band talks about how John’s “songwriting and poetry blend stories of love, sorrow, politics, and reckless youth that are inspiring and heartbreaking.” His voice also shares a similar sound with bands like The Killers, Two Door Cinema Club and Catfish and the Bottlemen.

Eric Wagner of Gowns

This band is certainly picking up speed in the Minnesota music scene and is one to look out for in the future. This 5-piece band already has two shows coming up, one of which is a Debut EP Release show at The Skyway Theater on February 28th. At their last show, Bair commented that, though he hasn’t known their two newest members, Brian and Eric Wagner, for long, he recognizes their talent and commitment. I’m really excited to see where this band and its members go in the future and where their new music takes them.

Evan Willie of Gowns

Gowns gave a truly energizing performance and the chemistry between these friends is undeniable. Guitarist Evan Willie was constantly smiling back at Bair throughout the performance, visibly having fun playing music and sharing his skill. Even though he was sick, Gowns’ drummer Zach Reiff gave a killer performance and held a positive attitude throughout the evening.

Zach Reiff of Gowns

If you’re looking for some local Minnesota music that showcases a unique sound, electric energy, and an alt-rock vibe, Gowns is your go-to to brighten up any winter blues and carry you into spring.


Written by Lauren Zimitsch

Twin-Cities based photographer focusing on color, experience, and storytelling. Find me on Instagram at @kylo_lau_ren and let me know what you think!


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