The War On Drugs Spend Two Nights at Palace Theater

The War on Drugs Palace Theater St. Paul
Photography by Dylan Novacek

Last updated on February 19th, 2022 at 01:52 pm

The War on Drugs performed a two-night run at the Palace Theater in St. Paul. Supporting their critically acclaimed album I Don’t Live Here Anymore, the Grammy Award winning rock band performed for nearly three hours straight.

The War on Drugs Palace Theater St. Paul
Photography by Dylan Novacek

Wearing their influences like a badge of honor, their sound felt heavily inspired by the likes of Bruce Springsteen and Bob Dylan, the latter being honored with a cover song. Their impressive soundscapes reminded me a lot of The Grateful Dead, as each song ended with a buildup of incredible lights and sound.

The War on Drugs at the Palace Theater by Dylan Novacek
Photography by Dylan Novacek

I’ll admit, I wasn’t very aware of the group before seeing them live. The first time I heard of them was during my freshmen year of college when they visited First Avenue in 2014.

Just a couple of bros
Dylan and Luke at The War on Drugs

Despite this performance being my first real exposure to the group, I was completely captivated. I went to this show with my high school best friend Luke, who in a lot of ways taught me how to love music.

Throughout The War on Drugs’ powerful set, Luke swayed and raised his hands in the air like he was worshipping at one of those big arena churches. As I looked around me, the audience felt like a community with groups of friends huddled in a circle and beers being raised in high in the air.

The crowd at The War on Drugs
Photography by Dylan Novacek

Due to the pandemic, photographers weren’t allowed in the photo pit. Despite having done this job for years, I’ve been without a proper zoom lens for longer than I care to admit. Making the best of a rough situation, I told myself: “Life is short. Take crappy photos.”

Palace Theater Minnesota War on Drugs
Photography by Dylan Novacek

To me, this concert was a lesson in living in the moment. At other shows, I find myself hyper fixated on time; surprised that moments with my favorite bands end in a quick 60-90 minutes.

For fans of The War on Drugs, they got more than their money’s worth. As the night trailed on, there was no sign of fatigue from the crowd as they were enthralled by their memorable sound, loving every second of the show.

War on Drugs live
Photography by Dylan Novacek

As I write this, I’ll own the fact that I am extremely tired. Regardless of that fact, I don’t regret spending my Wednesday night at Palace Theater with The War on Drugs.

If you get an opportunity to experience live music like this then jump on it. It’s always worth it.

War on Drugs live Live Drugs
Photography by Dylan Novacek

Click here to view their setlist.

Written by Dylan Novacek

Photographer, graphic designer, and multimedia storyteller from St. Paul. Most likely listening to CHVRCHES, Of Monsters and Men or Fall Out Boy. Once featured in the New York Times for using the bathroom during Avengers: Endgame.


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