Since the pause of live music, there have been valiant efforts to have live-streaming fill that gap. Some artists have recorded individual parts to combine with their bandmates, others have gone solo. Even virtual festivals have popped up. No matter the attempt, we all repeat the same words: it’s not the same.
There are now some valid new ways to enjoy live music in the Twin Cities. The Icehouse has AstroTurf’ed their patio and social distanced tables to add live music outside. Last night, Turn Turn Turn filled the seats and in a lite crowd of masked folks, bringing back a sense of normalcy.
Running the show through an iPad, and brilliantly saving patio space for patrons, the only virtual element was the mixing console. The sound system mirrored that intention with slim post speakers, giving everyone a clear line of view to the stage. Kicking off the evening with “Cold Hard Truth,” Adam Levy, Savannah Smith, and Barb Brynstad dove into their trio of harmonies.
The tender song “Fourteen” and the hopeful “Wide Open Place” were next. Taking turns singing the lead, the trio effortlessly blended together in the choruses. “Papercut” followed, which feels like a blend of Sheryl Crow’s summery pop sheen and the Beatles clever lyrics. There’s a throwback vibe with many of Turn Turn Turn’s songs.
That reminder of the past pulls you in and makes you feel closer to something, which is especially important during the pandemic. By the end of the bittersweet “Missed You More Than Air,” the gap between all of the tables was gone. Ending their first set was “The Garden.” Channeling The Wonder Years, it has a Joe Cocker (via the Beatles, of course) “With a Little Help From My Friends” vibe. Turn Turn Turn endearingly draws a familiar feeling into their songs, connecting to parts of your past while also providing a modern spin.
The second set was filled with some solid covers. These included the Beatles “I’ve Just Seen A Face,” The Rolling Stones “Wild Horses,” and The Everly Brothers “Love Hurts.” The crowd highlight was Barb’s singing of Fleetwood Mac’s “Say You Love Me.” Having three strong vocalists gives Turn Turn Turn the ability to be diverse in their song selection. One of their strengths is knowing which song fits which member of the trio’s voice.
Finishing the night was their new single and music video, “Can’t Go Back.” The catchy and energizing track is a fantastic reminder that we can’t go back to how life was before COVID. As much as we all want to squeeze into music venues, that path will look dramatically different moving forward.
As the show ended, the audience milled around and checked out the merch, holding up tee shirts and having their vinyl records signed. People cautiously approached the band, asking questions, sharing praise, and having a person interaction. Live music is a transaction. We all get something internally from seeing musicians perform. Last night showed that we’re turning in the right direction.