On Saturday, 130 people clamored from all over the area to the Shoot for the Skies-headlined pop/punk show. Shoot for the Skies, whose interview ran last week in anticipation for the show, brought their signature energy and diverse sound, which ranged from pop to grinding hardcore. Their skill and genre fusing summed up the night well—a night of talented bands who wouldn’t always be at home on the same bill.
The power trio Infinite Signal opened—it was their second show in eight days at THE GARAGE. They have a trademark positive attitude, one that comes out on stage, as well as in their recent interview with THE GARAGE. Maffick kept the Lounge laughing with self-deprecating stage banter, and kept them dancing with guitars buzzing over lyrics skewering Twin Cities suburban life. Another power trio Then Fall have a clearly-crafted sound, created with careful calibration of volume and tone, a difficult accomplishment at live shows, but one that sets any band apart. They’re no frills and they’re coming for you. And thank you to Hutchinson for the cover of Harvey Danger’s “Flagpole Sitta,” one of the great 90’s singles. It was a personal highlight.
Big surprises came from groups Maybe Tomorrow and Ultra Day.
Maybe Tomorrow. I couldn’t find any of their music online. And though Saturday was only their fourth show, Maybe Tomorrow came out with a brutal twin vocal attack, backed by a tight rhythm section held together with spot-on drumming. They pulled from punk and metalcore, which at times sounded like one of my old favorites, the Blood Brothers. But holy mosh gods—Maybe Tomorrow mostly played with heaviness well beyond what even the Blood Brothers managed. And their fans are nuts for them. N-u-t-s.
Another surprise was Ultra Day. Since recording the music they’ve posted online, the band has added another guitarist and matured their sound. With a pop/punk base in the style of Green Day, Ultra Day has brought in metal riffs—often played with a harmony between the two guitars. The metal riffs serve as bridges within songs, as well as between. With this new structure, they can blend songs together into larger arrangements. It totally changes the feel of the live show into something I’m sad more bands don’t try. Too many breaks between songs or songs mired in the same structure make the live experience choppy and monotonous. Variety, I tell you.
Photos by Joe Runge.