Being a musician requires vulnerability — especially today, as fans expect artists to reveal a great deal about their personal lives. Still, musicians choose how much of themselves they bare in their records and onstage. Honesty and vulnerability takes courage, but gives power to others and validates their experiences. That fact was made clear by Camp Cope’s show last night at the 7th St Entry.
Elise Okusami, who writes music under the name Oceanator, opened the night with a solo electric set. The venue was already more than halfway full by the time she took the stage, and the crowd listened quietly to her stripped-down songs. Okusami ended her set with “Inhuman,” a haunting song that details an assault. “You just take everything and you just break everything that you wanted/ And I was something you wanted,” she sang, her voice soft and measured, but rising to a furious cry by the end of the song.
Petal, the indie-rock project of Kiley Lotz, has been on the road with Camp Cope for all the band’s US tour. Petal released a second full-length album, Magic Gone, earlier this month. “Mental health is cool,” Lotz said between songs. She shared that she spent the past year and a half in recovery for depressive and panic disorders. Three pride flags were perched on the top of her keyboard. “I hope this helps today. For whatever,” she said before playing her final song.
Camp Cope opened their set with one of their most well-known songs, “Jet Fuel Can’t Melt Steal Beams,” from their self-titled debut album. The crowd immediately joined in with Georgia Maq and belted the song’s lyrics along with her. For the majority of the night, the audience sang along with Camp Cope, creating a chorus of voices to accompany each verse, chorus, and bridge.
“This song is less of a rocking-out song and more of a thinking song,” Maq said before the band plunged into “The Face of God.” Maq’s voice slices like a blade through each of Camp Cope’s songs; sharp, steady, and exposing fiercely honest lyrics. I was surprised by how soft her speaking voice was. After each song, her eyes would crinkle at the edges, as she smiled said a quiet “thank you” to the audience.
Camp Cope also nodded to Minnesota music history, sharing their excitement at playing on the same stage once graced by the Replacements, Maq’s favorite band.
The Australian trio blazed through their set, and fans lamented when Maq announced that the band only had two songs left. “We don’t have that many songs!” she retorted. Despite their speedy set, they played a variety of material from their discography.
The band ended the night with “The Opener.” Nearly everyone in the audience screamed along the lyrics with Camp Cope. A number of fans reached for their phones to record the song’s climax: “Tell me again how there just aren’t that many girls in the music scene.”
After Camp Cope left the stage, the audience clamored for an encore. Fans cheered for over four minutes in hopes of another song, but to no avail.