As night fell on the 17th of March in Minneapolis, thousands of locals took to the city to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. However, about two hundred people decided to do something a little more out of the box, rather than just going to their favorite bar.
These 200 some people crammed into the legendary music venue “The 7th Street Entry” a club known for housing some of the greatest underground acts over the years.
This St. Patrick’s Day show didn’t have any ordinary musician coming through. It was Jordan Gatesmith’s new band Wellness. Gatesmith once owned the Twin City rock scene with his band Howler.
The band had the attitude of The Replacements with a surf vibe. Howler was constantly played on the radio in the cities and the band toured all around the U.S. and Europe over their two album lifespan. After that, the group disbanded and Gatesmith moved to L.A.
Now, after a couple years, he made his Minneapolis debut with Wellness. The band still had the same echo feeling that Howler had but the songs were way more relaxed and heavy instead of straight rock. This is not a bad thing.
The EP they put out is called “Mostly Blue” and it can be found on any streaming source. The EP showcases a side of Gatesmith that we never saw with Howler, but either way it’s good to hear him making music again.
As 8 p.m. hit, the doors to the entry opened and people started flocking in. Over time, the crowd became larger and larger and the anticipation built to see the new L.A. band.
Then at 11 p.m. it was time. The stage had been set up with white sheets hanging in the back of the stage to act as a screen for their projector. The projector shined crazy images showing what the band has made over time. A recurring phrase was “Circle Up!” a poke at the hardcore punk scene and their moshing.
After knowing “Howler” for years and seeing them once I wasn’t sure what to expect, but needless to say I was blown away.
The band was tight. They seemed to hit every note flawlessly while dancing and moving around to their music. At the end of the show Gatesmith had a surprise for the audience.
He said “I think encores are stupid, you know we’re coming back. So we aren’t going to look dumb and act all surprised when you call us back up. So this is our encore.”
Instead of walking off stage, he invited Ian Nygaard up with him, a former member of Howler. It was happening; a mini Howler reunion.
They played two songs “Back Of Your Neck” and “This One’s Different.” The crowd went nuts and started moshing as the band played their songs.
There is nothing better than seeing one of the bands that inspired you as a kid get back together, even if it’s just for two songs. Especially if that reunion is happening three feet away from you.
Cameron Campbell is a staff writer for The Dakota Student. He can be reached at [email protected]