MUSIC REVIEW | Communist Daughter at the Mill City Museum

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On Wednesday, August 14, Communist Daughter played to a sold-out crowd at the Mill City Museum. I haven’t seen Communist Daughter since last fall so it was nice to hear a blend of old favorites and some new songs in the back drop of a setting that seems ironically opulent.

We arrived a few songs into the first set, just in time to get the low down on the new song about Balboa Bridge in California (a bridge known for suicide leaps in the 1950-60s). While new, the song was all Communist Daughter—or maybe I could even say all Johnny Solomon, who wrote the song. It was pensive and introspective but not moody. And while Solomon called himself a parasitic writer, I enjoy how he draws from history to create the stories of his songs.

From Solomon, who seems to share lots of news from the stage in certain settings, we learned that the band won’t be playing in town for a while, at least not until Solomon and singer Molly Moore are married. We heard about his celebrated sobriety, which seems to be treating him well as he is looking pretty lean.

During the first set the crowd was attentive but seated. I was pleased when the dancing started for the second set. There were a couple of us hardcore dance anywhere types, some of us toting kids so the dance floor filled quickly. And the tempo on stage seemed to step up too; it started with City Lights but quickly progressed to Tumbleweed and onto Northern Lights with a smattering of new songs into the mix. The set ended with “Fortunate Son” capped off by an encore of “Lady is an Arsonist.” Great dancing songs that I always prefer live.

The band sounded great. The new songs we heard sound pleasantly similar to the old songs. We learned a little bit about the band—but not too much. Just enough chatter to make the show feel intimate.

The setting was fantastic. The back courtyard of the Mill City Museum is gorgeous and despite the history has an upscale feel– maybe it’s the tiered balconies rising above the mill ruins. There are tables and chairs set up – with room for dancing. There’s food and drink available. There are two show left in the Mill City Live Series: the Cactus Blossoms play August 21 AND Chastity Brown plays August 28.


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