Tapes ‘N Tapes Turn It On


On Monday night I found myself descending those dark, dreary steps at the Biltmore Cabaret, yet again. I always feel so excited going in there. For some reason it fills me with this eager energy.

On this fateful night, those Minneapolitan indie rockers, Tapes ‘n Tapes, were set to headline. Opening the show was Chain Gang of 1974. Both groups played their hearts out. Putting every once of what they were into performing for a hipster rich flock. By the end of the night, I was wiping sweat from my brow and grinning from ear to ear. What an astounding exhibition.

From the moment they stepped up to the stage, Chain Gang of 1974 were hyped up and ready to rock. The lead singer was fierce at the mic, attacking the lyrics with an unbridled passion. The proof of his effort was obvious from the ever present spittle rocketing from his mouth. This group was powerful and carried this mixture of electro-pop and Smithsesque swagger that left you intoxicated. Definitely a must see act. The great thing is they are returning in a short while to open for The Naked And Famous at Commodore Ballroom. I advise people try to make it out to that show, you will be glad you did.

In between acts, there is a small lull. One of the best thing about intimate venues. They draw the black curtain around the stage, while you can hear the band set up their hardware. The occasional crash followed by some spirited giggling seeps out as they move about.

Soon enough it was time to absorb the band. The curtains are opened and their stands a trio. The lead signer, Josh Grier, quickly let everyone know the reason behind the missing quarter of the band. One of the members had to fly home due to a family emergency. An audible awe came from the crowd, which was quickly followed by Josh letting everyone know they [the band] would make it work. And I assure you, that they did just that.

This group has been on my playlist for the past year. Sometimes they are accompanied by other artists, but most of the time I listen to their entire discography over and over. Seeing them live just solidified my love for them. They are playful and passionate on stage. The singer brings this unique sound with his voice. Live it adds a sort of vintage feel. The group instrument work is solid. They never miss a beat, pardon the pun.

Looking into the audience it was easy to see how the performance was being received. The wide eye gazes of hipsters was priceless. I must admit that throughout most of the show, if anyone had looked at me I to would have appeared the same way. We were all just completely captivated with the group.

All in all this was one heck of a presentation. Tapes ‘n Tapes and Chain Gang of 1974 were a stellar match-up. Although quite different in their sound, their stage presences are quite the same. I would advise that every one out there listen to both of these bands. And if you find yourself in a particular situation where you are able to see either group live, jump on it.

Tapes ‘n Tapes photos © Jamie Taylor

Chain Gang of 1974 photos © Jamie Taylor

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