Photos + Review: Against the Current and Chapel at Amsterdam Bar and Hall (St. Paul, MN)

Against the Current (Poughkeepsie, NY), Chapel (Athens, GA)
April 9th, 2019
Amsterdam Bar and Hall in St. Paul

Back in 2016 I gave myself a goal of watching 100 movies I’ve never seen before, and one of those movies I picked to watch was Drive, with Ryan Gosling. It was such a simple movie storywise, yet that allowed it to has such much style that not alot of other movies have had recently. It was such a modern, yet 80’s feeling movie and that really showed with the soundtrack.

It’s been a few years since I’ve seen the movie, but the soundtrack is the biggest thing that has stuck with me since. It was so good, so you can imagine how happy I was when I started listening to Chapel and found out that they have a very similar vibe. Their bio on their Instagram has the as “music that their parents like” and it’s totally true, it sounds like 80’s synth pop added into a pop punkish vibe, something I can get totally behind. What impressed me even more is just how good they were live when I saw them at this show last Tuesday. Though they didn’t play “Fool’s Gold” to my and seemingly at least a few other people in the audience’s disappointment, the whole set was great and filled with way more energy than I was expecting. Even more impressively, it was only a two person group Carter Hardin on vocals and guitar, and Kortney Grinwis on drums. I could not stop watching Kortney for the whole set. The clear amount of enthusiasm and joy she showed while playing drums was so heartwarming. I one day aspire to be as happy as she was while playing.

Against the Current were fantastic. It’s been two long years, almost exactly, since the last time I saw them down in Des Moines opening for State Champs. I was excited before the day of the show, but also a little apprehensive because with their newest album Past Lives, I wasn’t the biggest fan of it. “Voices” is a great track and my favorite from it, but the new album I felt was the band going in a more poppy sounding direction when before they had a great blend of pop and rock. Not that them doing that is necessarily a bad thing, a lot of the other songs on the album are great too, it’s just not my usual cup of tea so my enthusiasm for the band was lessened, especially when wondering how the songs would end up sound in a live setting,

Surprise, but yet not a surprise at the some time, all of the new songs sounded phenominal live. I’ve always made the argument that certain songs are just meant to be heard more in a live setting, and “Almost Forgot” was one of those songs that showed that. The recorded version is fine, but seeing it live with a ton of bass that shook the room as well as the whole audience singing along screaming out the “fucks,” elevates the song to great and makes me fall in love with the band all over again. I also didn’t realize until just now that they played almost the entirety of Past Lives, except for two songs. Pretty cool to be able to say that I’ve seen almost all of that album played live.

I definitely want to see both these bands again whenever they come back up here. Hopefully it wont be another two years, and hopefully we wont have to deal with any more snow again,

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