Courtney Barnett at Surley Poster
Courtney Barnett Setlist
On Friday, July 20th, they had Sylvan Esso, and the next day, July 21st, they booked Courtney Barnett. The actual outdoor music festival is actually well-run, thanks to Surly Brewing’s partnership with First Avenue (who also run Festival Palomino, etc.) There were limited parking (you really need to get there early to get a spot), plenty of food trucks, outdoor toilets area was spacious (with some limited “flushing” booths), and ATM machines available. The field is rather large and can hold in about 4,000 people.
The thing to note is that you cannot leave the festival after you checked in. There are probably a lot of reasons behind this decision, but it’s probably to prevent people from going to their car and sneaking back in non-Surly booze, because, you guess it, they only serve Surly beer. That’s actually fine, because their prices are not really bad for these type of closed outdoor events: $6 could get you three cold Surly cans.
It was a beautiful day on Saturday, and right on schedule Lucy Dacus and her band (rotating touring band, but usually features guitarist Jacob Blizard and drummer Ricardo Lagomasino as staples) came on and played some introspective songs for the beer-drinking audience.
Dacus seemed pretty pleased at the big crowd and thanked the audience for coming out early to see her. Then she apologized for not being Big Thief. Apparently Big Thief dropped out, so Dacus, who was already playing with Barnett and Baker for Chicago’s Pitchfork Music Festival 2018 the previous night, asked to “get in on this.”
Dacus’ songs, although beautiful, always seems so sad (including her break-up song “Night Shift”), that it didn’t feel right in the hot sun in an open field. A better experience would be like her sold-out 7th Street Entry show in April 2018, where it felt very personal and featured a much longer set than this abbreviated festival 30-set.
Seeing Julien Baker again after seeing her in August 2017, felt like night and day. When we saw her in 2017, we described the then-15-year-old as “shy” and her songs were being “drowned out by the chatty crowd”. Seeing Baker, nearly a year later, I can tell you that she’s more confident and taking command of the stage. She’ll sometime scream on some songs, which can be such a powerful thing to hear from this very young singer.
To be honest, the crowd loved her. She’s really built up an audience here, and fans were listening and cheering to everything Baker had to say. For example, she mentioned the word “women”, and the girls in the audience cheered loudly.
New for Baker was introducing violinist Camille Faulkner to her set. Faulkner would come and go for songs she’s needed, first appearing on “Shadowboxing” and leaving and returning for a mini-set starting with “Televangelist”.
As for Australia’s Courtney Barnett, we’ve been in love with her since her The Double EP: A Sea of Split Peas in 2013. Since then, we’ve been following her every move, from her first American tour, to her latest side project/tour with Kurt Vile. The two collaborated on songs, but you generally got some heavy-Vile psychedelic guitars and lazy/deadpan singing style of Vile and Barnett.
Anyway, Barnett’s official second studio album Tell Me How You Really Feel came out in May via Milk! Records, Mom + Pop Music, and Marathon Artists, the record proved to be another hit with fans and critics. The new record featured guest appearances by Deal sisters (Kim and Kelley Deal of Pixies and Breeders fame), for “Nameless, Faceless” and “Crippling Self-Doubt and a General Lack of Confidence”, both songs were played live.
As expected, the set was mostly new album heavy, but she did throw in a couple of oldies for fans, including “Depreston” and “Avant Gardener”.
Remaining tour dates:
24 July - Washington DC at The Anthem
25 July - Brooklyn, NY at Celebrate Brooklyn
26 July - Portland, ME at State Theatre
28 July - Newport, RI at Newport Folk Festival
17 Aug - Thebarton Theatre, Adelaide
18 Aug - Metropolis, Fremantle
22 Aug - The Tivoli, Brisbane
23 Aug - Sydney Opera House
25 Aug - Sydney Opera House
29 Aug - The Powerstation, Auckland
30 Aug - Opera House, Wellington
1 Sept - Festival Hall, Melbourne
29 Sept - Denver, CO at Ogden Theatre
30 Sept - Denver, CO at Ogden Theatre
2 Oct - Phoenix, AZ at The Van Buren
3 Oct - San Diego, CA at The Observatory
5 Oct - Los Angeles, CA at Greek Theatre
8 Oct - Seattle, WA at Paramount Theatre
10 Oct - Vancouver, BC at Vogue Theatre
12 Oct - Portland, OR at Crystal Ballroom
14 Oct - Oakland, CA at Treasure Island
17 Oct - Milwaukee, WI at Pabst Theater
21 Oct - Boston, MA at House of Blues
23 Oct - Philadelphia, PA at The Fillmore
25 Oct - Nashville, TN at Marathon Music
27 Oct - Austin, TX at Stubb's
|Surly Brewing Co.||Limited Poster||Lucy Dacus||Lucy Dacus||Camille Faulkner|
|Julien Baker||Julien Baker||Courtney Barnett||Courtney Barnett||Courtney Barnett|
Courtney Barnett at Surly Brewing Festival Field, Minneapolis (21 July 2018)