The trek from Minneapolis to Burnsville is never my first choice, but The Garage is an inspiring space for young music fans. As I walked up to the queue I was greeted by a few familiar faces who were in attendance last time Vesperteen rolled through town, and quietly observed the excited chatter amongst the dedicated fans.
Indie-poppers, Whosah, opened the night with their 2017 single, “Make a Move,” with frontman Spencer Grimes electrifying the room from the get-go. The early crowd was primarily composed of girls proudly wearing Vesperteen shirts so it’s fair to assume they weren’t too familiar with Whosah’s music. They still had the room singing along as they covered Smash Mouth’s iconic “All Star” before closing their set with original tunes “Better Than Us” and “Ghost Town,” which has gained a fair amount traction after being played on local radio. Whosah will be supporting The Brevet at the Entry on May 1st. Find tickets for that show here.
Making his return to the Garage after headlining back in August of 2017, Colin Rigsby, better known as Vesperteen, kept the momentum going as he dove straight in to his electro-pop track, “What We Could Have Been.” Despite having a broken foot, Rigsby still managed to impressively drum, sing, and command the stage better than most fully able-bodied performers.
His enthusiastic fans were beaming throughout his entire set featuring newer songs “Insane,” “It Will Never Be Enough,” and “Blue” as well as a lively cover of Gnarls Barkley’s 2006 hit, “Crazy.” Rigsby’s vocals put an alternative spin on the soulful classic and concertgoers ate it up- even if the song was released around the time some of them were born.
Rigsby closed his set with the anthemic “Shatter in the Night” which flaunted his veteran drum skills that will never cease to impress me. I’ve been lucky enough to catch Colin perform a handful of times and his ability to sing while drumming is unparalleled. Vesperteen has a hometown show in Columbus on April 28th and will be performing at Bunbury and Common Ground festivals. Find tickets here and make sure to catch him next time he’s in town- you won’t regret it.
Headliners, Vinyl Theatre, happen to be the first band I ever photographed with a photo pass back in 2014. They opened for twenty one pilots in a small room in Ames, Iowa and my photos turned out terribly. I was excited to see them again and compare how we’ve grown as artists over the years.
The trio composed of Keegan Calmes (vocals/guitar), Chris Senner (keys), and Nick Cesarz (drums) cleared the cluttered stage to make room for Senner’s light-up piano and Calmes’ on-stage gesticulation. Their alt-pop vibes meshed well with Vesperteen as they opened with their 2017 single, “Me, Myself, and I.”
Calmes’ bright vocals lit up the room as they primarily shifted between their latest LP, Origami, and their 2014 album, Electrogram. They played through their latest single, “Feel It All,” a minor-key jam, before Senner jumped out from behind his piano to rap over Eminem’s “Lose Yourself.” Their energy and showmanship were just as dynamic as I remember, but delivered with more confidence.
Since it was this was their last stop on tour, Vesperteen joined Vinyl Theatre on stage for “The Island,” but apparently failed to inform Calmes of the stunt which took him by surprise. A few flubs and laughs later, Rigsby and his gang went back offstage as VT wound their set down. They closed the night with “Breaking Up My Bones,” a poppy song I hadn’t heard since 2014 but naturally remembered all of the words.
It was a joy to see these three bands together and hope to see all of them sooner or later. Vinyl Theatre have a select few dates across the country within the next month. Find tickets here and listen to Origami here.