Now, Now opening for Sick of Sarah, opening for Deas Vail
@ Beat Kitchen
29 November 2011
It’s 7:41pm and doors were only eleven minutes ago – yet it’s like a small party already, between the strings of those pink “Christmas” lights and the scattering of friend groups: some people wait patiently alone by the bar or merch, others, across the room, turn to talk to someone nearby. The stage, big enough for the equipment and a generous amount of room for band members to band out all over, gives the floor to mainly amps and drum sets. It’s a concert barre for girls in beanies and flannel shirts to practice their poses of at-the-front-with-the-best-view concert-goer. I notice the Beat Kitchen is very clean. Which feels nice. Some jackets hang on hooks on one side of the room and I wonder if I should do the same. I notice an Altoids tin on top of a Peavey amp. At 8:02, the Minneapolis trio Now, Now (formerly Now, Now Every Children) begins to take the stage, first with drummer Brad Hale and guitarist Jess Abbott, and then lead vocalist and guitarist Cacie Dalager.
After opening with “Everyone You Know,” Dalager squeaks out a note of appreciation. “Thank you. Thank you guys.” Her voice sounds much younger than I’m assuming she actually is – between herself, Hale, and Abbott, there is an uncertainty about how old these performers are. But it doesn’t matter – the music is still applicable. And enjoyable.
I soon see several jingle-bells looped through each other on Dalager’s mic stand. She walks over to the raised xylophone in the middle of the stage and performs a xylo-solo to the crowd’s attentive listening. They finish to whistles among the applause.
Something is a little odd about the night – everyone here seems like they certainly want to be here. And everyone seems captivated, watching the stage’s little movement intently as the band plays “Kill To Be Your Clothes.” The music is grabbing, but for some reason not one of the fifty-or-so people is singing along to anything that I can tell.
When the song has finished someone yells out typical fandom. “Hey, you guys are really good!” People around mumble agreement. When Hale forgets to start the next song, Dalager quickly dismisses it, saying “It’s OK,” and they begin “Lucie Too.”
Dalager bends down to attend to a switchboard on the floor but her voice is still singing. A looped track? I look up to see if anyone else is wondering what I am, but I realize Abbott is actually singing at this point. They could pass for twins born a couple years apart. And I don’t even know the difference between their birthdays. “We have two left for you,” Abbott says in the same small voice as Dalager. She mentions their new EP (Neighbors – The Remixes, highly recommended) and how the crowd can come hang out with them at merch. The two guitarists break for a tune-up. When they resume with “Neighbors,” the song feels like the dope of 90s female-fronted pop rock, in the vein of The Cranberries.
To close out the night, the group plays “Roommates,” a perfect song to exit on (and check out the remix – you won’t be disappointed). The song leaves me ready for what’s coming up next, but all I know is that it won’t be any more Now, Now. Dalager reminds us, at the end of the set, that Sick of Sarah is coming up. Ok. But I want an encore of Now, Now. Now.