Monday, July 21, 2008

Minnnesota Monday: Loe & The Nastys @ the Dakota

On Saturday, I was able to catch Loe & the Nastys at a local famous Jazz club in Minneapolis called the Dakota. Since three of the original members went to my college, I had known about them for awhile but hadn't ever seen them perform live. I wasn't able to stay for their whole set, but I was able to catch a good hour and a half of it. The Dakota was much busier than I had expected for 11:30pm, a good sign that the group had a large following, and I ended up seeing lots of people from my old college that I didn't even expect to like anything jazzy. Definitely a good sign.

Their sound is a mix of avant-garde nu-jazz, bossa-nova, and a pinch of humor. Loe's voice is certainly unique with a warm serene tone that easily slides along, and she connects to the audience very well with her delivery and occasional jokes. Andrew, who plays Bass, really knows his instrument and rocks it out on many a song. I wasn't aware that the previous guitarist, Ben, had left the group until I got there that night and spoke with some friends at a nearby table, so I was slightly skeptical of how good the newest addition, Zach, would be. My fears were gone as soon as I listened to Zach's impressive improvisations and admired how well he had mastered the guitar parts for the older songs. Ben, the drummer, never really had his own solo and I thought that was a shame, as he certainly knows what he is doing and it would be nice to see him break out and go wild.

Loe switched from piano to guitar for the songs, and because of this flexibility, there is a wide range of sound that came from this group. I was hoping to hear a bit more jazzy rifts on the piano from Loe, but she kept it sweet and simple. A good time was had by all at the Dakota on saturday, and I couldn't help thinking to myself that if the Dakota wants to keep on bringing in crowds and making money, they'll book Loe & the Nastys more often. They put on a great show and I would highly recommend checking them out.

Bottom line: Loe & the Nastys are a fun nu-jazz group that are easily enjoyed by all age groups. They have some great songs that may soon become classics and their sound is professional, upbeat, complex, simple, and everything jazz should be. Give them a listen and bask in the enjoyment of their sound.

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