Lower Dens at the 7th Street EntryJul 22, 2015
On an unassuming Tuesday evening, after walking past an eerily empty Mainroom, I was instantly consumed by an unusual crowd in the lovely nook of the 7th Street Entry. Still unfamiliar with the 8pm daylight that comes with a weekday evening concert, I was glad to enter the welcoming darkness and vacancy of a venue shortly before an opener takes the stage. Yet, even at the punctual doors time, the 7th Street was buzzing.
Shortly thereafter, the electronic duo Young Ejecta took the stage. Or at least, Leanne Macomber did. Performing solo on both vocals and synth was the Neon Indian keyboardist, clothed in a stunning Ying Yang wolf t-shirt bought on the way into Minnesota.
She had the atmosphere of being that kid that everyone remembers sitting next to on the bus to elementary school and has now grown up to be waaaaaaay cooler than you. Her demeanor was one of complete unabashedness: she moved comfortably around the stage by herself, commanding the crowd with her passionate dance moves and echoing voice. Her entire set was captivating: the steadily growing crowd in front of her swaying to the beat of her synthpop stylings.
Once Young Ejecta had left the stage, the tiny space of the 7th Street Entry seemed to get even more cramped as concert goers packed onto the dancefloor in anticipation of the following act. Still mopping up sweat from a tour supporting their Pitchfork certified record Escape from Evil, Lower Dens took a misleadingly small stage to the sound of huge applause. Badgered by a constant stream of “Thank you” and “You rock” from the crowd, Lower Dens kept cool amid their immense popularity with the audience. They truly were rock stars in the eyes of the crowd, effortlessly cool in their banter between sets and equally collected in their performance. The passion for music was evident in vocalist/guitarist Jana Hunter’s face, belting out every syllable in twisted up emotion. The Baltimore-formed band took the time during their set to comment how much they enjoyed coming to Minneapolis, partly due to the difference in accent between Maryland and Minnesota. Bass player Geoff Grahams stepped onto the mic to illustrate the point, pronouncing “Styrofoam” as something my little snowcapped Minnesotan ears can only describe as “Star-fame.” Yet their charm was equally present in skilled instrumentation, Geoff switching back and forth between fretless and fretted bass to the cheers of the crowd. From “Quo Vadis” to “To Die in L.A.” and even some older tracks, the gang of creamy post-rockers performed with experience well beyond their five years as a unit, guiding this Minneapolis crowd through dance ballad after dance ballad that could make any concert goer forget about work for the following morning.