Uff da! Homegrown 2016 is in full swing, and the first day didn't disappoint. This year’s festival got off to a low-key afternoon start with the first-ever Children’s Music Showcase at the Red Herring Lounge featuring Bloody Marys for the parents downstairs and music, dancing, face painting, and sidewalk chalk for the kids upstairs. The Fidgets, led by Bridget Ideker (who played her second Homegrown slot in Bridget’s Cadillac the same night), made their Homegrown debut, charming the littles with kid-friendly versions of classic rock tunes like The Rolling Stones’ “Under My Thumb,” which morphed into “Under My Bed.”
Tim Kaiser’s sonic noise armada, Big Science, started the night off at Teatro Zuccone, creating a wave of drone complete with homemade violins and actually putting the “phone” in “microphone.” An hour later, Mayor Emily Larsen delivered her first ceremonial proclamation, giving a nod to her predecessor Don Ness, who was in the tightly-packed crowd, and jokingly banning local drummer Ryan “Half-shirt” Nelson (the Social Disaster, the Farsights) from Homegrown before quickly un-banning him.
She ended by taking a jovial selfie with the patrons at Tycoons before turning the stage over to Woodblind. Retro blues act Bridget’s Cadillac was next; always-fashionable front woman, Bridget Ideker, showed off a pink-and-white-polka-dot outfit made just for Homegrown by Fractals bassist Darryn Wallace.
Expect Prince covers to be a recurring theme of this year’s festival; Adam Sippola offered up the fest’s first one, an immaculately looped vocal cover of “When Doves Cry” with the audience providing a repeated refrain in the background.
Later in the night, the newest bands on the block found a home at Pizza Luce, where fresh names like Horse Girls (members of Chase Down Blue) & Illyrik roared through their (first ever!) Homegrown sets.
Fellow newcomers Kitschy Gloomy brought some humorously named jams to the pizzeria, including “Netflix & Chill” and “I’m On A Special Diet and It’s Called Beer.” The much buzzed-about Playdate battled through some initial technical difficulties and had to repeat their first song, but judging by the screams of encouragement from the crowd, no one minded. They wrapped up the night by serving up slices of their devilishly sweet pop stylings. even channeling the Purple One for a sexy cover.
And to think this was just day one! Tonight's highlights include a rare set from Charlie Parr side project Devil’s Flying Machine. Sitting in with Robot Rickshaw tonight is Allan Sparhawk of Low at the Herring, and if you were hoping to see Dad’s Acid (the band), unfortunately they had to drop out. Taking their place is the surfy Brain Bugs (members of Chase Down Blue, Pizzaghost), who close out the Barrel Room.
KUMD's Homegrown Music Festival coverage is made possible by a grant from the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.