…And the cops still haven’t showed up – after over a year of operation and hosting dozens of bands traveling through the Twin Cities the house venue has decided to disband. The tenants put together a line up with several bands for the closing show to ensure they did not end on a soft note, like a punk house with a DIY ethic should.
I had apparently pulled up to the house just in time, Punk Standard Time (where shows typically start almost two hours after scheduled), to see almost a hundred folks sprawling out from the back deck door winding down the steps and out to the lawn. However, for a change the schedule started a bit early and Fuck Detector (Fargo, ND, ex-Gumbi) as well as Serenghetto had already played; not a single complaint was heard about their performances.
Making way through the between-sets crowd outside I found that there was an exorbitant amount of food brought by and for anyone to share. The range of this potluck was wide enough to satisfy any food diet in practice with plenty on the backburners for later with meats still marinating, vegetable medleys, chips n’ dips, and a pile of a day expired boxed food most likely rescued from the local chain store or market. The kicker was the rhubarb pie humorously served in a pan in the shape of a Christian cross for one of the housemates’ birthday. The care in preparing the pie and the taste as it was served à la mode surpassed any notion of how to argue the implications of an inverted cross pie.
Into the living room space where the family Christmas tree had exploded, splattering the lights across the room’s interior and blowing out all the other furnishings and decorations out of there opened it up as the stage. A nice change to the typical basement dwellings, taken advantage of only seconds into Wild Child’s set by someone who leapt over the railing of the raised level into the tall room to crowd surf. Wild Child was a well-received local band that filled the room with a crowd that ebbed and flowed.
Probing the house further between sets would reveal that majority of the rooms were pretty bare, but served as getaways for groups to convene in. There were either two lines many people were waiting in, the one to use the only bathroom in the house or the one to get drinks at the bar. The bar was again in tradition staffed by Zach, one of the residents, who maintains pleasant conversation and his good-natured company was something to take back with you as the evening went on.
Getting into character was Chickadee Mountain Martyrs next. The band has been rightfully getting more attention as of late and for good reason. The lead singer/guitarist put his gear in place while dressed in black robe, dark sunglasses and a razor sleeve that draped from the arm he strummed his guitar with. Together with two separate drum kits, one of them a stand-up kit, and a bassist, they artfully crafted complex compositions without the other times employed horn and string accompaniment. Their experimental sound proved to be captivating and held a genuinely interested open-minded audience.
The night shifted back towards punk rock as Peer Precious, Mike Wilson of Duluth’s lyrically and rhythmically masterminded three-man band, prepped the bunch with their pop-punk music. People did their best to acclimate to the 80˚+ muggy atmosphere created by their own body heat as Shellshag (Brooklyn, NY) took over. The power duo, surrounded on all sides, weaved beautiful harmonious lyrics amid the heavy drumming and shake of bells tied to the standing drummer’s waist. The tower the drummer had sculpted out of each drum piece and stands reached far over everyone’s heads marking the end of their set.
To wrap up the punk catalog was the locally established Frozen Teens. By this point it was better to have stripped the better part of what clothing you wore so it wouldn’t get drenched with sweat. I, as usual, made the mistake of keeping all my layers on. The thickness of the crowd and the movement the band created tested the camaraderie of the mass as people rolled over onto the ground and the occasional surfer rode the top surface.
The persistent barrage let up and everyone hurried out to cool off. By this time nearly two hundred people were scattered around the property. Hugs and goodbyes were made all around the yard of the house while those who’d traveled and could not make it home that night were welcome to stay at the house for one last night. The Conventicle had its last great show May 29, 2011. The feasting will continue elsewhere!
Fuck Detector – http://www.facebook.com/pages/Fuck-Detector/
Wild Child –
Chickadee Mtn Martyrs – http://www.myspace.com/chickadeemountainmartyrs
Peer Precious – http://www.myspace.com/peerprecious
Shellshag – http://www.myspace.com/shellshag
Frozen Teens – http://www.myspace.com/frozenteens