The Stepkids performance at First Ave was like watching a porno: you sometimes didn’t know what you’re watching but you knew you enjoyed it.
Three grown men with long hair dressed in all white, having a slideshow projected on them (as well as the wall behind them) gave us a show that I could only describe as unique and fresh. Falsetto harmonies that reminded me of a mix of Jamiroquai and their own take on rock, The Stepkids provided something different than the crowd at First Ave was expecting.
With the acid rock group in full effect, and overcoming a little bit of technical difficulties (which they regrouped gracefully as if nothing ever happened), you could see the crowd getting into this new up-and-coming group and what they had to offer. When the kick peddle on the drum set breaks and a group has the ability to finish, tell some jokes, get it fixed and roll like it was nothing is very impressive. On top of that, to play music, harmonize and get the crowd into it like The Stepkids did, makes me want to come back and see more. Highly suggested if they are rolling through your town. Entertaining show with great music to back it up.
How do I explain one of the most entertaining shows of the year? Nothing I will write will do this show justice as me and a sold out crowd at First Ave received a show as good as it gets.
Starting the show with a comment about using the same backstage toilet as Prince (yes, us Minnesotians love hearing about us), Mayer Hawthorne connected with the crowd and had us, all of us, eating out of his hand all night.
With a sound coming out of the 1950′s, Mayer Hawthorne made his music look simple, fun and real. I wasn’t alive to see groups like The Four Tops perform, but I can only imagine how much I would have enjoyed it after seeing Mayer Hawthorne at First Ave. Simple dances to fun music, it was like the people at First Ave knew to play those Kool108 ‘oldies’ songs between sets just to get us going.
I would love to see Mayer Hawthorne perform in a bigger venue and it seems as if that is where he is heading. Originally selling out The Fine Line and moving to First Ave, I think his show could be big enough to make a move to a bigger venue. There were 2-3 songs that could have been cut out of the set (to which myself and the people around me seemed to get a little antsy) but I fully understand that he was there to perform the best set he could give. Giving us here in MPLS an almost two-hour set is something that I would not have expected, but rather enjoyed.