A series of up-and-coming local artists take their turn to pack themselves onto the tiny stage in the back corner of the bar. Behind them, the red wall is decorated with an electric guitar; the innards of a piano, keys and all; and several beer signs. The performers’ view is a bar filled with a crowd of young adults, eager to enjoy a brew and a night of free music. This was the scene Friday night at the Acadia in Minneapolis.
From Friday night into the early hours of Saturday morning, the Acadia played host to a free, all-ages alternative rock show featuring local Twin Cities artists. The event started at nine and became a five-hour marathon that lasted until two in the morning. A total of six artists played throughout the night, which proved to be an entertaining example of the vast spectrum of music that can fall under the general category of alt-rock.
Damon Medek started the night with a full house that he charmed with his acoustic guitar and Minneapolis-inspired lyrics. From the softer stylings of Medek, the crowded bar was introduced to the upbeat band Cold Pillow. Cold Pillow’s set was all about the music, as the members barely spoke between songs. However, what they lacked in stage banter they more than made up for with their sound. With a unique combination of genres ranging from garage rock to reggae, and their intriguing tempo and style changes, Cold Pillow were a highlight of the night. Lovelines, the third act of the night, offered insistent tempo and aggressive bass. Along with several original songs, they also performed their interpretation of Kelly Clarkson’s “Since U Been Gone” — an aggressive, pop-punk version which was a definite crowd-pleaser.
At nearly midnight, I Turn Submarine took the stage. With influences such as Green Day and Blink-182, the band had what could be considered a more traditional style of alternative rock with an edge of punk. I Turn Submarine had the most enthusiastic crowd, and the band fed off the energy, resulting in an animated performance. By far the most punk-influenced act of the night, however, was Minneapolis band Heart to Gold. Their set was characterized by belligerent vocals and the lead guitarist rubbing his guitar against the amp during several of their songs. Wrapping up the alt-rock extravaganza were the Enigmaknots. Despite the late start at half past one, there was still a fairly sizable crowd that was just as spirited and engaged as when the night began. The Enigmaknots’ set began with a brief reading of an excerpt from the “Deltora Quest,” a collection of children’s fantasy books. It served as a fitting inauguration to the band’s funky, classic-influenced rock.
The night served as a celebration of not only the versatile genre that is alternative rock, but also of local Twin Cities music.
Lillian Speakman is a junior at Hamline University and a DJ for HU Radio.