Downtown Sioux Falls was lit up Saturday night for “That Sounds Decent,” a free-for-all-ages concert. This event was hosted by local remix group Later Babes and Kansas City-based brewery Boulevard Brewing Co.
The venue was at the intersection of 8th and Railroad Center, the perfect spot in the heart of Sioux Falls surrounded by local businesses and the city skyline. Openers for the evening included Brookings-based rock band Horseplay, artists Diane Miller and Dylan West.
The event began at 5 p.m., and I unfortunately missed all three openers, but I managed to catch the mystery of Enemy Planes, the beauty of Night Moves and the soul of Soulcrate.
Minneapolis’ Enemy Planes were hitting the stage when I arrived around 8 p.m. As they set up, I noticed there were two drummers — one with a full set and the other with some sort of electronic drum machine. This added to the intensity of their setlist, and multiplied their sound for the final song in the set, which was basically just a strong drumline.
They describe their sound as “tripnotic,” which makes sense with the synth sounds and the lead vocalist’s near-falsetto howl and his stand of effects pedals.
Their track “Stranger Danger” from their 2015 album “Beta Lowdown” emitted enough bass to shake the earth for probably a three-block radius from the venue. It’s a good beat to nod along to.
Next was fellow Twin Cities group Night Moves. I had heard of them before and enjoyed their album “Pennied Days” when it was released this February, but I never had the opportunity to see them live.
Before I heard them, I saw them: the drummer was wearing a tight Cheerios t-shirt, bassist Micky Alfano was wearing his grandmother’s cat sweater and lead guitarist John Pelant was wearing a long fringe leather jacket, which really brought out the 70’s vibe.
Their music was quite poignant and nostalgic: somewhere between psychedelic and real country, the 70’s at its best. Night Moves brings back memories of Neil Young and Bob Seger without copying them.
Check out Night Moves’ album “Pennied Days.” If the album art isn’t enough to convince listeners of its beauty, then the music should do the trick. Each song is a hidden gem in its own way; no track is worth skipping. On “Carl Sagan,” Pelant sounds like Bono when he sings, “oh, you’ve been around…”
The second track, “Denise, Don’t Wanna See You Cry,” is so sweet, it will probably keep all Denises from crying ever again. The following track is “Leave Your Light On,” which could be played at a wedding, it’s just that beautiful. The song just keeps on trucking down the metaphorical musical road, leaving listeners behind on the road’s curb with the feels.
With the quality of Night Moves’ set, I would have been content with them finishing off the night and heading back to Vermillion right then and there. Then, Wes Eisenhauer of Soulcrate hopped up onstage, and I was reminded of how cool Sioux Falls really is.
Eisenhauer was the mastermind of the night’s event. He is part of both Soulcrate and self-proclaimed “electropop ripoff group” Later Babes, recent winners of the Colleen A. Janson Award. The music has been a huge boost to Sioux Falls’ scene in the last few years and has put the state on the map for musical credibility and overall creativity.
Soulcrate really did have a lot of soul to it. Whether they were singing the chorus to “Sleep Awake” or shouting, “Soulcrate, sucka!” to the crowd, they put forth a lot of emotion and energy. They couldn’t stay put onstage, which made for difficult photography, but an exciting show. At one point, Eisenhauer even laid down onstage while spitting out rhymes.
The night reassured my faith in my hometown’s scene, and reminded me that the Midwest is the best. There’s truly no place like home when there are so many creative types just down the street, it seems. Good job, Sioux Falls, that sounded decent.