Local Current Blog

Photos: jeremy messersmith goes solo on the first night of Icehouse residency

jeremy messersmith performs at Icehouse on Jan. 3, 2018. All photos by Darin Kamnetz for MPR.

Welcome to the residency bonanza of January 2018! We made it to the New Year, and with its first month comes a slew of residencies: weekly shows helmed by locals Metasota, jeremy messersmith, Charlie Parr, the Cactus Blossoms, and Andrew Broder. We’ll be posting photos and a brief recap of several of the series’ first nights.

jeremy messersmith titled the first night of his Icehouse residency “One Is The Loneliest Number.” But as he sat on stage, he looked anything but alone. messersmith filled the house with fans — many of them seated at tables in front of the stage, all done with dinner — and joked with them throughout his show.

The conceit of his first night at Icehouse demanded a line-up of solo artists, with folk/blues singer J.S. Ondara and indie/folk Duluthian Rachael Kilgour filling the opening slots. Ondara has a wit not unlike messersmith’s, full of playfulness and some snark. “I’ll forgive you for not knowing any of these songs,” he told the audience, acknowledging that he’s only released one of his originals (“Mother Christmas”). Kilgour was a bit quieter in her music and banter.

For the closing set, messersmith took the stage on his own, unspooling one of his most intimate Twin Cities sets in quite a while. This was the most nervous he’d been to play a show in five years, he told the audience — playing Letterman fazed him less. But he made it through; his performance was like an emotional trampoline, plunging into sad songs before bouncing back with wry humor. He did ask the crowd to yell out requests at one point (and eventually landed on “Steve” from Heart Murmurs). But for the rest of the show, messersmith’s audience stood quiet and still.

The final show of messersmith’s residency is the only one with advance tickets still remaining, but a limited number should be available at the door every night. Here’s the full schedule:

Wednesday, January 3, 2018 ft. J.S. Ondara and Rachael Kilgour
Wednesday, January 10, 2018 ft. Jillian Rae, Gaelynn Lea, and the Laurels String Quartet
Wednesday, January 17, 2018 ft. LOTT and Dosh
Wednesday, January 24, 2018 ft. Sarah White and 4th Curtis

All photos by Darin Kamnetz for MPR.

J.S. Ondara

Rachael Kilgour

jeremy messersmith