Local Current Blog

Review: Dan Croll at the 7th Street Entry, from five angles

Dan Croll. Photo by Jay Gabler/MPR.

On Friday, several of our college contributors and I went to the 7th Street Entry to see Dan Croll. Rather than ask any one of the contributors to write a review, I divided a standard short concert review into five parts (intro, background, the scene, the music, conclusion) and asked a different contributor to write each of the five parts—without seeing the others. Here’s what resulted. – Jay Gabler, digital producer

Dan Croll and his crew carried an aura of energy across the pond to the 7th Street Entry on Friday. Their unremitting stamina rivaled that of a power generator. Croll was even bombarded by a prom proposal from an enthusiastic bearded man. Needless to say, the vivacity of the night left audience members abuzz with a positive charge. (Selena Carlson)

Fresh off his newly released Sweet Disarray album, the Liverpool-based folktronica star, his band, and their openers—New-York-based Panama Wedding—made their way up the West Coast from L.A. to Seattle before playing Denver last Thursday and then hitting up the Twin Cities on Friday. His show at the Entry was his second there in as many years. Croll has since headed to the East Coast for performances in New York, Philadelphia, and Washington D.C. before wrapping up his American tour on May 3 in San Diego. (Benjamin Bartenstein)

The show saw the Entry packed from the apron of the stage to the back door to the bar; the energetic crowd fell somewhere at the intersection of garden party and frat party. Croll and his crew—with their heartfelt, pastel-colored pop tunes and G-rated stage antics—are an indisputably precious bunch. Keyboardist Jacob Berry, during a tuning break, asked shyly, “Do you want to hear a joke about a shark?” and then hesitated, saying that this joke had offended someone during an earlier show. Croll, before playing “Compliment Your Soul,” told the crowd that the song had been used during two different shows as the backdrop to a marriage proposal and an invitation to the prom. From the middle of the floor, a six-and-a-half-foot bro in plaid shorts raised his beer and shouted “Dan, will you go to the prom with me?!” Croll, in his charming Liverpool accent, giggled and accepted. (KT Lindemann)

Sweet Disarray boasts a solid mix of grooves with jangly guitar lines hinting at Graceland and Vampire Weekend, along with fingerpicked tunes in which Croll croons about homesickness. Croll’s rhythmic variety really stood out at the show, which had the audience’s heads bobbing along with the band members’, though some of the subtler changes present on the recorded album were lost in the venue’s boominess. The soundspace did work well for the full four-part harmonies the band joins in on, especially for the last encore song of the evening, “Sweet Disarray,” which ended the night on a more melancholic note than the danceable single “From Nowhere” would have. (Paul Schmitt)

From the jangle of the tambourine to Croll’s bouncing locks to the goofy smiles all around, it was clear everyone on stage was having a good time, and those positive vibes were reflected by the audience. There was no performance art, no wild light show, no crowd-surfing, but the audience felt the artists’ upbeat vibes and enjoyed themselves as well. Maybe next time he comes around, Croll’s positive energy will fill up First Avenue’s Mainroom. (Luke Muyskens)