(Jason Lent has forsaken the island paradise of Hawaii to follow us around for a few months. I have happily placed the tour diary in his capable hands. It should bring a new perspective to our ramblings.)
A picture perfect afternoon in Minneapolis gave way to a relaxed and fun doubleheader. The club was equal parts jazz club and restaurant in the heart of downtown Target (the retail giant appears to own the entire downtown district). There’s something a little disconcerting about scampi noodles being eaten just feet from Mike’s amp but the club’s staff was magnificent at remaining inconspicuous throughout the performance. In fact, everything about the club appeared to be top notch and focused on making it easy for both band and fans.
The early show had to compete with the oatmeal encrusted mahi and other dinner selections. For $11, you could even try a Cause Cheap Is How I Feel martini, which raised the question of how you’d feel if you bought the can of PBR for $5. The music prevailed and the band’s set was tight and energetic. Jeff’s melodica on “Renmin Park” and Margo’s emotional reading of “Dreaming My Dreams With You” were memorable.
For the second show, I found myself at the table next to Mike’s amp, quite literally. I could have rested my drink on it. Being inside the sound mix changed the way I heard the music with Mike’s amp overpowering the mix. It was a really cool way to hear the instruments interact. The second setlist was anchored by a moment of acoustic beauty with “Something More Besides You.” The music occasionally wanted to do its own thing but the band kept reeling it back in and finished five shows in three days with a lengthy 16 song set of music.
Sure, the rumored cover of a Prince song (I was betting on “Take Me With You”) didn’t happen but the Twins resigned Joe Mauer and Hope won a big game in Washington D.C. 219-212. It’s hard to not smile on days like this.