Local Current Blog

First Avenue Mainroom reopens for joyous GRRRL PRTY show

MPR / Leah Garaas

It was a night of reinvention, and of celebrating new beginnings.

For First Avenue, Friday night was the first time that the cavernous Mainroom was reopened to the public after a portion of the ceiling collapsed 15 days prior and sent three fans to the hospital with minor injuries. In the time since the collapse the remainder of the ceiling had been completely deconstructed and cleaned up, increasing the height of the room by several feet and exposing the building’s support beams, piping, and ventilation system.

For GRRRL PRTY, Friday was the hip-hop trio’s biggest headlining show yet and their first chance to reconvene on stage in quite some time, thanks in part to Lizzo’s hectic touring schedule. Ensuring that their girl party lived up to its name, the headlining rappers Lizzo, Sophia Eris, and Manchita and DJ Shannon Blowtorch invited opening acts Mina Moore, Aby Wolf, and BdotCroc along for the ride, and the entire evening pushed forward with an unstoppable energy.

“Thank you for supporting women. Thank you for supporting First Avenue,” Moore said toward the end of her mini-set, just before ripping through a hair-raising song with backing vocals by Caroline Smith that paid tribute to victims of police brutality and shouted out the Black Lives Matter movement. To call the evening empowering is to undersell it; there was no question that these women owned the stage, and that their messages resonated deeply with their audience.

By the time GRRRL PRTY marched on stage, capped in matching Army helmets, the entire room was theirs. The magic of a GRRRL PRTY show—which, on this night, brought out more women than men and gave us a chance, for once, to see what it feels like to be surrounded at a concert by other girls—is that they don’t really need to break down the fourth wall on stage, because it was never built up to begin with. To further drive that point home, the rappers showered their fans with confetti, cookies, red-painted tampons (which were tossed out as Manchita rapped fiercely about her period, bless her), and even a case of White Castle hamburgers, OSHA be damned.

Photos by Leah Garaas