Last Friday, THE GARAGE was taken on by the Midwest Conquest (Crown Booking). The tour was headlined by Archers & Illuminators with This is Our Year supporting. Our stop also featured nine locals and had a cover of $8. Two bands really stood out to me, like beacons in the dark.
When a crowd is small, it takes extra efforts from those in attendance to give the band the needed energy to feed on. That was no problem for local act Infinite Me. When there’s a crowd of thirty, but ten are throwing down and everyone is applauding, it fills the room remarkably. The room, in this case, was The Lounge.
Infinite Me is perfect in their simplicity. Two lone flood lights lit the entire room, and the lights were encased in cages that looked like estranged chicken coops. At several points the light shone directly behind bassist Jackie Fleming, illuminating his afro like a metalcore halo. If the crowd died down, even the littlest bit, vocalist Corey Short would leap into the crowd to sing in their faces. When I looked at them, genuinely looked at them, my jaw dropped, feet still tingling from the vibrations of the floor. Corey’s vocals are so refreshingly unexpected that I was sincerely taken aback. Take some time to check out their new EP Reach and thank me later.
“We’re going to do something a little different for you guys,” Archers & Illuminators’ vocalist Sean Ohlman said of their acoustic set to close out the night. Different indeed, not just for Archers & Illuminators as a band, but also on this bill of hardcore bands. The two piece (Ohlman and ex-bassist-turned-guitarist Ben Koehler) performed with simple lights shining down and emotions pouring out. Then like the flip of a light switch, the banter was light and truly hilarious. At one point, Ohlman even managed to get a circle pit going.
Archers & Illuminators is typically a four piece, but with the withdrawal of their guitarist and the absence of the drummer, the band only had two days to learn songs and put together a set for Midwest Conquest. Whether it was due to the reconfiguration or because it’s an effective way to get a reaction, the set featured several well known covers, including “The Kill” by 30 Seconds to Mars. If I had to use one word to describe their set, it would have to be “raw”.
It is easy to see how these two bands put their lives into their music – the emotions were as apparent as reverb. If you’re out of state catch the end of the Midwest Conquest. Minnesota locals, check out Infinite Me at any future show.