It's been 8 days since our show in Duluth at Tycoons Alehouse with The Boomchucks and Dirty Horse. Typically we try not to let this much time pass before writing up a show recap, but this one was different. It's taken us a little time to process how great of a time we had playing up there for a fully packed, fully bundled up, fully bearded crowd.
The night opened up with The Boomchucks, a 2-piece rocknroll band featuring seasoned Duluth-scene veterans Jamie Ness and Brad Nelson. I'm still finding it hard to come up with the right words to describe how excited we were to get the opportunity to share a bill with these guys. Mostly because I still remember gleaning as much songwriting wisdom and folk guitar knowledge as I could from Jamie ten years ago when I lived in Duluth. He's one of the best songwriters I've ever heard, and the show at Tycoons was just a friendly reminder of that. Let's not forget Brad's drumming either, coming on strong like a goddamn freight train that feels like it's about to derail but never strays off the tracks. Man, BEAR would jump on a bill with The Boomchucks again in a heartbeat. Jamie and Brad, if you read this, let's make it happen.
Then we took the stage. As firm believers of never overstaying a welcome, we typically play 7-song sets. For Duluth, we played 8. I know, stop the press, right? We pulled the veil off a couple new ones we've been working up at the practice space, and also played some other ones that have been getting tighter and tighter each show. It was a loose set from us, but that didn't take away from how much fun it was to sing for so many good, kind Duluth folks. Hell, even our friends from Portage, who were playing up the street at the Red Star, popped over to catch a little bit of our set. Super excited to share the stage with those dudes at the Entry on March 12th.
To close out the night, friend-to-BEAR/electric-guitar-whiz Nate Case and his boozy, noisy, noodly, groovy alt-country-meets-Crazy-Horse band Dirty Horse played. I've watched Nate play with a number of bands, but have never seen this lineup. Goddamn I'm glad I did. Their songs ranged from bar band Hold Steady-esque singalongs to sprawling, Built-to-Spill style guitar solos. When they ended their set ten minutes before bar time, it was a sad moment. BEAR wanted more Horse. Nate, if you're reading this, let's make that happen too. Deal? Deal.
And that's how the show went down. Before packing up the gear and calling it night, we exchanged hugs with some Horses and some 'Chucks, thanked some new friends for making it out, and made our merry way back to Minneapolis to start beefing up our set for March 12 at the 7th St. Entry with Portage and Farewell Circuit. Thanks Duluth, you're so wonderful that it's sometimes hard to come back to a city I was so fond of when I skipped town a few years ago. One giant BEAR embrace to all 90,000 of you, from all four of us non-hibernating BEARs.
-Mike and the rest of the brood