Despite the dreary weather and competition from the State Fair, last Thursday saw a sold-out show for Patio Nights at the Minnesota Museum of American Art featuring two soul-stirring groups: Mighty Fairly and Storyhill.
Mighty Fairly (Mischa Suemnig, Kellie Nitz, Jonathan Earl, and Joe Papke) started out the show with a mellow, folksy sound. There was a slight twang of country in the band’s contemplative, yet humorous indie folk-rock. “Seeing You” is a sweet tune and “Lackluster” is a happy, ironic song with lyrics like “we’ve got lackluster on our minds…fan mail makes me feel cool and one more thing that makes me happy is a stalker who follows me.” Clever lyrics kept the crowd attentive despite the increasing wind and drizzle. Couples huddled together, hoods went up, and the true Midwesterners pulled out black Hefty bags.
The show was moved inside for that evening’s headliner, Storyhill. Storyhill play the kinds of songs that make the girls swoon and the guys want to grab a beer; it makes for a great first date show. Fronted by dreamy singer Johnny Hermanson, this folk-rock duo was as passionate as a soul ballad from a hair band (and yes, there was some long hair going on). The voices of Hermanson and Chris Cunningham swirl around each other so perfectly that the audience is drawn into the world they sing about. One woman screamed out for the song “Inside Emotion” and sat in bliss as the band played her tune. A beautiful sadness of love and longing was carried in each note. Two acoustic guitars and an occasional harmonica were all it took.
The fans couldn’t get enough, and Storyhill obliged with two rousing encores. Afterwards, fans mingled to shake hands and congratulate the duo on a great show.
Last chance at Patio Nights is next Thursday, August 28 with the pop sounds of One for the Team and Now, Now Every Children.
Melissa Slachetka is a freelance writer and photographer who lives in Minneapolis and contributes regularly to the Daily Planet.
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