A crowd gathered at the 7th Street Entry in Minneapolis Wednesday night. This isn’t normally news, but when it’s colder outside than the top of Mt. Everest, it becomes pretty noteworthy!
Singer Abby Jeanne is a Milwaukee native who has spent the last few years touring the world. She’s opened for No Name, Ishdarr, and has even shared the stage with members of David Bowie’s band during Midwestern stops of the Celebrating David Bowie tour in 2018.
She’s in town on the heels of a triumphant hometown show, where she celebrated the release of her latest album Music Box Dancer. This new release fits her own description of her style perfectly: “Rock N’ Roll with a dreamers soul.”
Her music takes the listener on a journey to somewhere sunny and carefree with handclaps and poppy instrumentation, only to fall into contemplative lulls. Before you realized that the mood has shifted, she has already picked you back up. This aspect lends itself to artists with a similar sound like Amy Winehouse or Adele, but with a Janis Joplin attitude. Unlike them, though, she’s more energetic and extroverted on and off stage.
She had support from The Shackletons. This trio is the brainchild of three local brothers who love rock n’ roll as much as they love the blues. They’ve been featured in showcases and live shows all around town since they broke into the local scene in 2016.
Their set was absolutely sweltering! Colin, Cameron, and Evan Campbell switched between jumping to the beat of fast-paced punk-inspired songs to playing soulful blues jams at the turn of a dime. They even threw in a few covers of The Replacements and Robert Johnson.
They played for about 40 minutes, and the audience was shouting for more between every song. Abby even danced with fans in the middle of the floor and cheered them on as they played.
If you could craft a perfect song to play to prideful Minnesotans when it’s been -30 degrees, it would be “Minnesota Girls.” They ended their set with that track, alongside a singalong to John Denver’s “Take Me Home Country Road.”
“It’s now 30 below, and I can’t feel my toes, damn it’s great to be home.”
Abby Jeanne and her four-piece band got right down to business after The Shackletons finished their set. After all, the stage was hot and the crowd was ready.
She emerged from backstage moving her body to the music and swaying to the first song, “Cosmic Beings.” Everyone was captured as soon as she opened her mouth to sing. Her soulful and raspy voice rang so strongly through The Entry. The handclaps and shout-along vocals helped to set the perfect tone for those that dared to brave the cold.
“Flimsy Fidelity” gave off strong Mark Ronson/Amy Winehouse vibes. It was easy to imagine where songwriting like this can take an artist. The beat felt almost reggae inspired, but the vocals were so tight and upbeat that it took the song somewhere unexpected.
In typical Minnesotan fashion, many of the crowd members hung out in the back at first, but Jeanne got them moving forward with her charming stage banter between songs. Before “Be In The Sun,” she talked about having people in her life who are suffering through addiction. This song is about striking the balance between empathy and taking care of yourself in those relationships.
Things picked up from there as Jeanne picked up the mood with Court Dates from her Rebel Love album. This was followed by her new single, “Pleasures Pain,” which almost gives off a surf-rock vibe thanks to the stylings of guitarist Nick Perow.
She took the time to thank The Shackletons. The cover songs they performed created an inspiring cover from Jeanne herself – a jaw-dropping cover of Jefferson Airplane’s “Somebody To Love.” This was a highlight in the set for a lot of the audience. She channeled her inner Grace Slick as she rushed around the stage waving her hands while belting and growling out the lyrics.
Abby Jeanne’s strong lyrical stories carried us through her painful past experiences and showed us the beauty that can come from them. While many had to miss out because of weather, I would guess that she’ll be back in town soon.
Her next journey begins soon as she moves out to California to further pursue her music. Watch out for this girl. She’s got something special. You’ll believe it as soon as you hear the first note!
Be In The Sun
Muse In Vein
Somebody To Love
This Is You