For those of you who don’t know, Manchester Orchestra is not an orchestra. Look them up on Spotify, Pandora, YouTube, iTunes, or wherever you can. Now, their music won’t be for everybody (but really, what music is?), but my husband and I, and a couple of friends of ours, are big enough fans that we drove down to Minneapolis to see them perform live at the Skyway Theatre on Hennepin Avenue on May 15.
What a show! I haven’t been to a lot of shows but this one was the best. The venue was just the right size, we weren’t packed in like sardines but there weren’t awkwardly large gaps between people either, and the audience members themselves were a very diverse bunch; the age range was anywhere between 18 and 60, there were hipsters, goths, gen-x, gen-y, emo kids, punks, rockers, and boring people like me, all cheering for the same band, the same songs, side by side. It was incredible. Not to mention the band was really entertaining as well. It’s so disappointing to go to a show and find out the band can’t perform live and needs Auto-Tune and an army of recording engineers to make them sound good. This is not the case with Manchester Orchestra. Their sound was spot-on, their energy was positive and exciting. I personally couldn’t take my eyes off the keyboardist, Chris Freeman, who never stopped moving, even when he didn’t have a part to play. Throughout the whole show he was dancing around, headbanging and actually looking excited about what the rest of the band was doing. They all genuinely seemed proud of what each of them were doing individually as well as how it all worked together, which in an industry dominated by ego, was refreshing and made the experience so much more enjoyable.
The best part for this 31-year-old: it was over by 11:30pm 😉