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Cake in 15 checks out Cake the band at the Basilica Block Party

11 Jul

By Lauren McCauley

Photos by Jenna Klein

The Basilica Block Party may just be the definition of Minneapolis unique. No, the Church doesn’t just put on a typical fundraiser, they do it by rocking out. Hard. The three-stage outdoor festival surrounds one of the city’s treasures, The Basilica of Saint Mary. For 16 years The Block Party has brought 25,000+ people to listen to favorite bands while supporting the renovation of the Basilica and the Society of St. Vincent de Paul.

Listeners tuning into sponsor station Cities 97 were almost assured that rain would not be a factor as it dropped to a 10% chance and the DJ joked to leave your umbrellas at home before quickly knocking on wood. Apparently, he didn’t knock fast enough, as it went from being a sweltering day for local act A. Wolf and Her Claws, to downpouring, pushing Phantom Tails set to Saturday as the waterlogged stage made equipment useless.

Meanwhile, Tyrone Wells was forced off his stage in the middle of his set. Some sought shelter under the Basilica’s roof when security opened the doors to let people take shelter and explore inside the exquisite landmark. However, fans that decided to tough out the storm were rewarded when Wells decided to come out and play his popular song “Freedom” anyway. With Wells’ energy, the upbeat tempo, and mix of bass, tambourine, and a tom drum, it automatically brought people back and dancing despite the storm’s gloominess.

After the rain subsided, The Head and The Heart was quick to grab the attention of drenched listeners at the main stage by performing their hit, “Ghosts.” Satisfying ears with thick harmonies accompanied by a prominent keyboard, the folk-indie-pop band continued to keep people’s feet dancing by the main stage despite puddles with their songs including, “Cats and Dogs,” “Coeur d’Alene,” and “Down in the Valley.”

Following The Head and The Heart, Train received help during their set from a whooping and full crowd. Call and responses were plentiful, even relying on the crowd to begin some songs like “Save Me, San Francisco,” as lead vocalist Patrick Monahan sang, “I’ve been yes,” on top of a thin accompanying line and pointing the microphone to jumping fans singing back, “and I’ve been oh, hell no!” before fully starting the song. Two girls dressed in Hawaiian skirts commanded Manahan’s attention later on and with a little persuasion were allowed up on stage as they wildly turned and twisted some dance moves for the song, “Mermaid.” That wasn’t the end of the audience members’ presence as later a young woman was brought up to the stage to help sing one of the band’s newer songs, “Bruises.” Manahan chuckled saying, “This song is sung between a guy and a girl. I’ll sing the guy part and the girl part, but I’ll make it look like you’re singing the girl part. You better know all the words!” The concert ended with popular songs such as, “Hey, Soul Sister” and “Drops of Jupiter.”

The real treat of the night was Cake, where the enormous disco ball and backdrop of a mountain set the scene for the comedic styles of lead singer John McCrea. The set was a balanced mix, with music from Cake’s older repertoire to songs released on their 2011 album, Showroom of Compassion. The icing on the cake (ha!) was the brass infusion with alternative rock mixed with jokes in-between – “Any Mexican-Americans in the crowd? Probably not, this song is for the one of you here.” Despite the numerous people compacted in a constricted space of the grounds, Cake’s performance seemed to make such annoyances minuscule as the band kept every concert-goer engaged, dancing, and laughing.

More photos by Jenna Klein

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