Monday, September 10, 2012

Minnesota Music Monday

So, I initially wrote up this post for Labor Day, but I was too busy not laboring (ie. sleeping and resting after a very hectic weekend of moving) to move my fingers any more and complete this post. So here it is, a week later.

Everyone knows that the final day of the Minnesota State Fair marks the beginning of the true end of summer 2012. Both H and I made our annual trek there, tasting the classic food and enjoying the very unique sights and smells of the grounds. What I was most excited for, however, were the sounds of the fair. Most specifically, the sounds of some of Minnesota's greatest musicians on the Minnesota State Fair Grandstand last Friday.

I just about fainted when I heard about Minnesota Music On A Stick--an 89.3 sponsored concert hosting some of Minnesota's finest: Lucy Michelle & The Velvet Lapelles, Jeremy Messersmith, Dessa, The Jayhawks, & Semisonic. I was especially excited for Semisonic, who I've been listening to since middle school, thanks to my older sister who was honestly obsessed with them in her high school years. Actually wait--she's still obsessed. She flew all the way from Washington, D.C. just to come to this concert with me. So yeah, we were pretty pumped.

I could sing the praises of all these bands, but I'm just going to focus mainly on Jeremy Messersmith and Semisonic.

Messersmith came on stage looking adorable in a little cute striped tee, shades and what we call a Hitler Youth haircut. It's apparently a look all the cool hipster musicians are rocking. I had heard his music before, and had remembered liking it. The performance was great--he had a great band as well as a The Laurels String Quartet backing him up on many of the tunes. He is clearly a great songwriter, my two faves were two that are apparently unfindable on the interwebs: "One Night Stand" & "Merch Girl". Here's another great one, sans his Hitler Youth 'do. Love this song and love the videography of this session:

Now, I have to say if the only song you know by Semisonic is "Closing Time", you're doing it wrong. I'm just letting you know. But guess what--it's not too late. Get going! My sis and I debated from the start of the concert as to whether we should hang back and enjoy the show from the distant comfort of a seat or really go full force and get in the crowd of people on the floor. We went all out. We're both kind of in love with Dan Wilson, so the choice became obvious.

By the time Semisonic took the stage it was dark out, and the lights of the State Fair were glowing all around us and the smells of Sweet Martha's cookies, sweet corn, turkey legs, and cow poo was now a regular smell to everyone in the crowd. We managed to wiggle our way to the very front row (we're small and sneaky) and what do ya know, Dan Wilson's mic was right in front of us. Yessss.

I've seen Semisonic perform once before a few years back at First Ave. They were amazing, and my only complaint was that I wanted MORE. More music and definitely more hip shakin' from Dan Wilson. Oh yes, he's a hip shaker.

I really can't pick a favorite song by Semisonic. I was probably the youngest one in the crowd that knew all the words to every song, and I can thank my older sister for turning me onto the band back in middle school. I have vivid memories of family road trips listening to Semisonic. It's probably the one thing the entire family could agree to listening to (10000000x better than the audiobooks my parents always voted for).

Here are some pics I snapped of the concert. By far one of the coolest moments was the encore, when Dan Wilson came out, just him and The Laurels String Quartet and played Adele's "Someone Like You", which he cowrote with the singer.  To top off the night, all the acts came out on stage (sans and sang Prince's "Little Red Corvette". I was kind of hoping for Prince to appear out of the smoke at some point.

Prince, appearing out of the smoke

Although he did not, the night was still an amazing and unforgettable one. Definitely proud to be a Minnesotan.

[ Video clips to come. Uploader is not liking me right now. ]