One More Time: A Tribute to Daft Punk @ Mill City Nights

When I initially saw this listed as an event I laughed, I mean come on, an electronic cover band?! On a certain level there's a bit of irony here, since most DJs are technically playing other peoples music. 

 Then I watched the preview video for the show and was sold. Big surprise, right?

I saw Daft Punk at Coachella in 2006, so I know how awesome they are live. And I know what this "tribute" was going after. That was my all time best show I ever saw. I read some where that Daft Punk is the most requested band for Coachella, so it make sense that somebody is touring around trying to capitalize on that.  

The show opened the exact same way they did on the 2006 tour, with Robot Rock.  Great song, and great way to open a show.  

I'm not sure what all to say about the show other than yeah, it was a bunch of Daft Punk songs and remixes, so it's good music, if that's what you're into.  

They had the poor mans version of the pyramid which wasn't all that bad.  Being 2013 they also had the luxury of adding Tron soundtrack songs into the mix.  Overall, it was a good show.  If you like Daft Punk, then you would have definitely enjoyed yourself. 
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Family of the Year @ The 7th St Entry

I attend a good amount of concerts by myself.  This is due to my taste in music not aligning with most, if not all, my friends.  Those shows that would typically appeal to my friends, are further whittled away by being on a school night. Conversely, I believe this is why I rarely get invited to go to a show.  So when an invite does come through I definitely keep an open mind about the band.  It really doesn't take much for me to have some interest in a band.  As long as they aren't country, folk, or alt-country/folk, and are upbeat, chances are I'll enjoy them.

This was the case with Family of the Year.  I took a quick listen and well, they didn't suck, so I said "yep, I'll go" and grabbed a ticket.  Not only did they not suck, but they were a lot of fun to watch.  Most of their songs were full of energy and rockin', but they also had a lot of variety.  They didn't stick with the same formula for every song, so each song had the ability to stand out on it's own and was distinctive.  They also had a great banter with each other and the audience.  

The show at the Entry was sold out which apparently was their only (ever) sold out show in the US.  That's pretty awesome that a small band from LA can sell out a show here in Minneapolis.  

My only disappointment was with how short the set was.  Even with a good amount of talk between each song the set was about 50 minutes, which include the encore.  Otherwise it a a great show at the Entry with some great friends!

I also have to note I was impressed that they responded to me on Twitter when I asked when they were planning on going on.  It's always fun to get a response from a band over Twitter.

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Prince @ Dakota Jazz Club

I'm not much of a Prince fan, which isn't to say I don't like him, because I do. I mean, I saw him at Coachella 2008 and stayed and watched most of his set. I enjoy his music, but if he went on tour, I probably wouldn't go see him. However, when an opportunity comes along to see someone on the level of Prince play at a 300 seat club, I can't pass that up. So when 6 shows were announced at the Dakota Jazz Club for Prince, ranging in price from $70 to $250, I figured I'd check it out. Since the wife wasn't interested I enlisted my buddy who's the biggest Prince fan I know.

It was only a matter of a couple hours between the shows announcement and tickets going on sale. There were the typical ticket server crashes that I've dealt with before, which were eventually resolved. I think due to those issues it made it very easy to grab my 2 tickets to the very first show of the 6, once they were finally available.

32 hours later, we were at the club. Normally I would have taken a nauseating amount of pictures and video, but there was a strict no cell phone policy. In fact it stated that if you're caught even using your phone, you'll get booted, no exceptions.

Our expectations were pretty low, not only because this was the cheapest show and it was dubbed a 'drummer audition', but also it was Prince. Not someone that's known for being punctual or even showing up. The show started right on time though, and sure enough, it was just a drummer. BUT, roughly 10 minutes in, Price comes walking out! Ok, we didn't waste our money, he at least showed up. He sits down at a set of keyboards and starts playing along. Mind you, we're behind him, like, 10 feet behind him. I keep looking at my buddy in disbelief, this was just insane.

There was a 6 piece horn section that makes it's way out New Orleans style and marches around the joint. There was a guy on bass, and a woman on piano (I think, I couldn't tell what was over there). And of course the drummer and Prince.

Prince never sang, but he did play a lot of keyboard and guitar. It was just amazing to watch him and the other musicians play with each other. It seemed all free form jamming, although, I wouldn't know otherwise, but it sounded awesome. Tons of energy, enough energy in fact that at one point Prince instructed people to get up and dance, and they did.

The fact we were so close made it even more surreal every time Price would turn around in our direction and smirk or smile as the crowd bobbed along to the music. It was like he was looking right at us!!!

This was probably one of the coolest live music experiences I've ever had. New York gets Van Halen, Paris gets the Rolling Stones, and Minneapolis has Prince!

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First Avenue's Best New Bands of 2012 @ First Avenue

Last years best new bands show was a such a great experience that I couldn't miss this years. This time around it was on a Friday, which brought in a a lot more people than last year, and made it a lot more attractive to attend. Again, this was the First Ave Member get together, one that allowed us to pick up our new cards and our gift (this year was a scarf). We also had the upper stage-right bar sectioned off for us members. We didn't get the 50% off drinks like last year, but that's probably a good thing.

I was able to get a listen of all the bands playing and definitely had my favorites. Unfortunately, a couple that I wanted to see actually played earlier than we arrived. No worry though, the other 2 I wanted to see were on later.

Wiping Out Thousands, which sound and perform a lot like Crystal Castles were amazing. I'll need to check them out live again at one of their proper shows for sure. They brought a lot of energy to what had otherwise been a lot of folk-y sounds for the night. If you want me to stop reading a music review of a band description, just insert the work 'folk' or 'alt-country' in the first sentence. Needless to say, up to that point I really didn't care who was playing.

The final group was The Chalice which was a trio of ladies that rapped and sang. Sort of a TLC type group. Again, these guys had a lot of energy and definitely got people moving.

Although I liked less of the bands this year compared to last year, I still had a great time, and discovered some groups that I'll have to catch live on their own.

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