Pardon me, do you know where they do the country dancing?

Last night I saw Heartless Bastards live at the 400 Bar. I was introduced to them by a co-worker, and then word trickled around our group about the album, “All this Time”, and it really caught on with everyone for some reason.

The album is Heartless Bastards’ second, and ten times better than their first, album. Erika Wennerstrom’s depressing lyrics, raw vocals and fuzzy Les Paul triumph over the rhythm section of the trio. Though Erika proved her talent worth of the focus of the mix on “All This Time”, it was bassist Mike Lamping who really shone brightest at the show. His quiet passion of always playing with his eyes fully shut contrasts perfectly with Erika’s loud,, passionate raspy voice and thunderous guitar.

Normally when I go to a show, I don’t like to hear songs I don’t know. But with Heartless Bastards, despite the heat and sweat of the crowd and my feet panging me to sit down, I got really in to nearly every single song played. There’s something about a powerful trio that makes seeing a live band even more exhilarating. Erika told us that Minneapolis is one of their two favorite cities to play in (the other being Portland), and the crowd lived up to the cause.

The opening bands were A to Jane and The Alphacentauri. I’m not sure who A to Jane know, but for some reason they got a chance to play for about an hour. They were decent enough, but it was 30 minutes too long. The lead singer acted as if he actually were playing soccer, as his shirt indicated, or that he was on crack. He was incredibly agile and jumpy on stage, which was fun, but could not save me from being frustrated at their lengthy set.

The Alphacentari acted like they were the headliners, maybe because their name indicates the kind of stardom they wish to achieve. Led by a Jeff Buckley sound-a-like, the band is like Arcade Fire with synth sound effects. I’m not saying they are as talented as Arcade Fire, it’s just that they have what seem like a a big band and a unique, undefinable sound. They are begging for indie stardom, and they might just get it.

And now for a plea to fellow Twin Cities concert goers: Please do not get piss drunk at shows. You ruin it for everyone around you with your crazy dancing and shouting. Do not push your way to the front even though you just got to the bar 10 minute earlier. I don’t care why you’re late – it’s fucking rude and you’d hate it if someone did that to you. And lastly, do not sing along to every song. Your voice is not as good as the singer’s and this is not karaoke. Thank you.

P.S. The title of this post is taken from a middle-aged man in a Lexus SUV who, while I waited to get on 394, asked me to roll down my window. I did and he proceeded to ask me where “they” do the country dancing. I tried to see if he was drunk. I couldn’t help but laugh out loud – it was 1:30 am, he’s heading out of town, and he’s looking for country dancing in Minneapolis. Furthermore, why would a 20-something girl in a new Honda Civic know? Love it.

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  • Comments (3)
    • auntiesmedley
    • June 2nd, 2007 12:42pm

    Alphacentauri were a poor choice to play with The HB’s. Couldn’t stand them.
    Erika’s vocals were great, and Mike was just as you said- perfect compliment to the band’s leader.
    Re: the drunk dancing fool- was it the huge, bald fat guy in the center of the floor?

    • The Truth Hurts
    • June 2nd, 2007 12:45pm

    You’re right – The Alphacentauri were an odd mix with HB. I feel like I would have liked them in the studio better than live.

    There was a fat guy with closely cropped hair in the middle as well as a jockish guy with a baseball hat who kept wanting them to play “the song that goes will I will I will I will I…” ugh. Sorry if you know those people.

    • Angie
    • June 5th, 2007 8:25pm


    Country Dancing


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