Minnesotans Roam Free in Wisconsin: Wild Age
I recently had the good fortune of being asked to join a show at Frank's Power Plant in Bay View, Wisconsin. They needed a final act to round out the bill for a touring band, Wild Age. Frank's is a bit of a dive, but they are dedicated to music and keep a bevy of local artists and touring acts on the books at all times. It's a mainstay of the neighborhood and always treats their musicians right.
Wild Age is a 5-piece rock band based out of Minneapolis, Minnesota. On a mini-tour that covered a lot of Wisconsin and hits Chicago, Wild Age came prepared to play the shit out of this show. I have to start by saying that these are some of the nicest, genuine guys you'll meet at a local show, and a band I would play with again in a heartbeat. They arrived early, stuck around for everyone, shared their gear with another band, and took the time to listen to my music prior to the show. It was really refreshing to share a gig with these kind of people. Now...on to the music!
While there aren't enough straight up rock bands in the world, I wouldn't let that genre define the rich music that Wild Age creates. I hear elements of Fleet Foxes, Lord Huron, and The Shins coming through in a wholly new, original way. The songs appear to be straight forward, but they are full of unexpected chord progression twists, intricate guitar and keyboard work (Matt Ahart and Blair Ransom), and backed by a rock solid bass and drum combo (Leng Moua and August Ogren). They create a soundscape of a much larger band, like Arcade Fire for example, but know when to take some layers away and let McCoy Seitz's voice cut through. Backing vocals hitting at all the right times, clear chorus hooks, and a well-crafted set list really showed the professionalism and polish that these guys brought to Frank's.
They have plenty of music available on their website for you to soak in, but be sure to check out their newest recording coming out on October 12th. I believe this was their first expedition in to the fair city of Milwaukee, but I certainly hope it won't be their last.