Music note: Making babies on the patio with Dance Band


If you haven’t yet been to Patio Nights at the Minnesota Museum of American Art in St. Paul, you are missing out on one of the summer’s hottest concert series. Last Thursday’s concert, with Mel Gibson and the Pants and headliner Dance Band, was no exception.

With a mix of hip hop and electronic rock, Mel Gibson and the Pants started the show. This Minneapolis band’s music is as exotic as their name. Hints of Soul Coughing and rap blended with heavy guitars to create a lush sound that filtered through the early evening air. As the young, diverse crowd swayed to the emo beats, lyrics rolled off the mic in a wave as long as the Mississippi. The group closed with the exceptional song, “Where it Hurts.”

Much anticipated Dance Band took the stage next. This indie funk group has gotten a lot of recent attention with their music video “Babymaker,” and the crowd was filled with both new fans and loyal groupies who knew all the words to every song. Comprised of local Twin Cities musicians, Dance Band has a fun, cosmic sound and an interesting line-up. “Captain Octagon” is on lead vocals, “the Rear Admiral” is the female vocalist, “the Philanderer” is on vocals and bass, “the Chop” is on guitar, “Spacebar” works the computer, and “the Perfect Beat” is on drums. This was the last concert for the Perfect Beat, and the crowd gave him a rousing round of applause.

Captain Octagon is reminiscent of Jack Black, and rhymed like a mad Dr. Seuss in red suspenders and a striped shirt.

This band is truly danceable, with unique lyrics and plenty of crowd appeal. Captain Octagon is reminiscent of Jack Black, and rhymed like a mad Dr. Seuss in red suspenders and a striped shirt.

Dance Band’s lyrics suggest an appealingly geeky obsession with spaceman, aliens, UFO’s, and galaxies. I think Atmosphere had better watch out: Dance Band is looking to take their place as rulers of the Minneapolis music front. Bringing the crowd to a frenzied beat with “Babymaker”, they also shined with “Mississippi,” “Stagger Slide,” and “Pedal Power”—which they dedicated, with a smirk, to the Republican National Convention.

This rooftop concert series overlooking the Mississippi River is a beautiful way to spend a summer night. Get yourself down to St. Paul to check out some great local music.

Melissa Slachetka is a freelance writer and photographer who lives in Minneapolis and contributes regularly to the Daily Planet.

Patio Nights in the Daily Planet:
• Melissa Slachetka on Awesome Snakes
• Jason Ericson on Spaghetti Western String Co. and Kid Dakota