Even after a long holiday weekend, Minneapolitans still had plenty of energy left over to welcome British band the Heavy to the Fine Line on Monday night. The slick Brits mixed equal parts rock and soul in their performance of hits from their 2008 album Great Vengeance and Furious Fire as well as material from their upcoming release The House That Dirt Built. Though it was their very first time on a Minnesota stage, the Heavy showed as much confidence and swagger as a group who have been on the road for years.
The band was led by falsetto-crooner Kelvin Swaby, who comes off a bit like a slimmer version of Cee-Lo Green, especially in some of the band’s darker, more tortured-sounding material; for example, in “Bruckpocket’s Lament,” the bluesy lead track off Great Vengeance and the evening’s highlight. The slow-burning murder ballad really allowed Swaby to show off his soul man’s pipes, prompting an audience singalong. The song also contains a mournful blues guitar line by Dan Taylor that sounds as if it was lifted from John Lee Hooker’s own arsenal. The group are also complemented by a fantastic drummer in Chris Ellul, as well as by shaggy bass player Spencer Page.
Instead of playing a single long set, the Heavy chose to play two smaller ones with a break in between. Though they had the time to perform a lot of material, the break had the unfortunate effect of stealing the show’s momentum just as they were really finding their groove. Still, songs like “Colleen” and “In the Morning” were clean and well-executed, and some of the new material sounds very promising as well. Though still a young band, the Heavy show all the signs of becoming a force to be reckoned with. Locals Guystorm opened the show with catchy guitar riffs and high-spirited rock antics, drawing their own loyal crowd in addition to the Heavy’s.
Jon Behm (email@example.com) is a Minneapolis-based photographer and writer. While his specialty is music, Jon has a wide variety of interests that tend to take him all over the Twin Cities on a daily basis.
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