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June 2022

8.1.22 Shamir

Aug 03, 2022

Shamir and Creeping Charlie brought an electrifying and playful punk-rock presence to Turf Club in St Paul Monday night August 1st. Their performances were magnetic, yet down to earth, as what began as a meager crowd, turned into a lively mosh pit by the opening act’s first talk break. Shamir took the stage after a 50 minute opener by Creeping Charlie, and brought an intoxicating stage presence filled with star-power. The two groups were supportive of and admiring each other, even sharing a glittery pink cowboy hat and both wearing butterflies.
The two bands not only shared camaraderie, but a sound complementary to each other, and a hint of 80s inspiration. In between sets, the audience heard classics including Steppin Out by Joe Jackson, Hang on to Your Love by Sade, More Than This by Roxy Music.

A young band on the final show of their first tour, Creeping Charlie is a local group to keep your eye on. Originally from Wisconsin, and now Twin Cities based, the group showed a relaxed stage presence and growing confidence at the final show of their first tour. Creeping Charlie is fronted by sisters Julia (lead vocals, guitar, songwriter) and Esme (bassist) Eubanks with Harry Miles (guitar) and Jack Malone (drums). Harry, Julia, and Esme took the front of the stage, each donning a Fender guitar and early aughts inspired relaxed fashion including Docs, low rise, jeans, and a pink cowboy hat. The pink, glittery cowboy hat began the night on Julia’s head, before making its way to bassist Esme’s head; so her sister could get into some necessary head-banging rock. Frontman Julia Eubanks showed off her skill on the guitar and is definitely a standout performer to keep your eye on in the Twin Cities music scene. Creeping Charlie was authentic, talented, modest, and looked to be having incredible fun onstage. The crowd was that you would expect of a hometown show for any rising stars, peppered with friends and family who helped add to the banter. They opened the 10 song set with new songs Sinkhole and Philosophy, before bringing out the punk rock with GTFO. Their performance also featured Grey Eyes and Lean Into It from the 2020 EP “Asymmetrical”, a handful of songs off of their latest album “How to Kill Creeping Charlie”, and more unreleased new songs. A personal show highlight for me was the final song Gatekeeper, which ended with Julia on the stage floor, jamming out on her guitar with a tuning synth accessory and Harry hanging his guitar by the amp to manipulate a fuzzy feedback sound.
I couldn’t help but feel a camaraderie with Creeping Charlie when they talked candidly about finding good on stage banter and their experiences from their first tour. This show was my first time writing a show review and representing RadioK at a concert, so I was feeling apprehensive and amateur, but their candor and fun brought a reassuring confidence to the venue.

Lead vocalist Shamir brought more early-aughts inspired fashion with a Destiny’s Child band tee and a glittery purple butterfly, paired with a gold glitter guitar. His sweet and strong voice brought a calm to the serious rock sound and intense focus of the band, supported by Matt on guitar and Rhea on drums. If Creeping Charlie is a young indie rock band coming into their own, Shamir is their seasoned older sibling, oozing with finesse and star power.
Shamir opened with Gay Agenda, the first title off of their 2022 album, Heterosexuality. The rest of their set had an emphasis upon recent songs, but included older hits from the 2017 album Revelations and the 2020 releases Cataclysm and Shamir to name a few. Their set included many songs that feature sincere storytelling of the queer experience, a major theme in Heterosexuality, which was released in February by New york based AntiFragile Music. Shamir split their show into an indie rock and electro-pop first half, with a metal-heavy second half. Matt, Rhea, and Shamir shared lively banter with each other and the crowd, musing upon their hardened east coast roots in Philadelphia, and the unfamiliar niceness they have been met with while touring in the midwest. The performance was filled with significant crowd interaction, which created a sense of community and proximity to the band within the venue. Shamir gently narrated candid banter with confessions of touring fatigue, which led to a wild juxtaposition when followed by all out punk-rock drum solos 30 seconds later. At the end of the punk rock half, Matt and Rhea exited the stage, leaving Shamir solo to sing On My Own, a song heavily influenced by pandemic isolation and the self discovery that independence nurtures. The band members took the stage again for the final song Cold Brew, a mesmerizing dance tune reminiscent of bedroom pop. In Cold Brew, the band loosened up even more as Matt took a seat for a guitar solo, Rhea supported on the tambourine, and all three members shared vocals.

The concert created a joyful atmosphere of community at the Turf Club and was the perfect way to start the month of August. I certainly share Creeping Charlie’s interest in seeing the two bands tour together in the future.

by Kathryn Meenan