Masked Intruder - Live in Minneapolis (Cover Artwork)

Masked Intruder

Live in Minneapolis (2017)

live show

A year and a half have passed since those melodically infectious hooligans wreaked havoc upon the Twin Cities. After the sudden demise of the Triple Rock, Masked Intruder and many other touring bands are now shoved into the famous First Avenue’s cramped and stuffy little brother, the 7th Street Entry. Luckily, the smaller venue is the perfect platform for these colorful criminals and the show was a blast.

Minneapolis locals Drones opened the night. These three nerdy guys carry on the Ramones-core sound with short, catchy, simple songs that are mostly about girls. To articulate the Drones sound it would be impossible not to bring up The Dopamines, Teen Idols, and Screeching Weasel. With three E.P.’s under their belts, Drones seemed to play every single song in their arsenal. The dual vocalist delivery kept the harmonies going through the fast and aggressive power chords. While sounding extremely tight and rehearsed, they also provided the perfect energy for an opening act. The highlights were “Hidden Planet” and the set closing “Told Ya”. Drones are just beginning. Watch out for these guys.

Next on stage were Eau Claire, WI’s Arms Aloft. Front man Seth Giles seemed pretty drunk and apologized frequently throughout the set on how bad they sounded. This seemed to be overly modest because Arms Aloft sounded great. Last year’s full length, What a Time to Be Barely Alive, is bit less energetic than the previous releases, but hearing these songs live brings a whole new level of power and vitality to them. This band is talented and they absolutely owned the stage. Well, except newest addition Lauren Anderson from local Indie rockers Idle Impress. I’m not sure if she was just filling in, but it was her first time on stage with Arms Aloft and you could tell. She nailed the songs in a technical sense yet lacked the stage confidence her drunken bandmates possessed. This is hardly an insult. Lauren was just getting her feet wet. Overall, Arms Aloft did exactly what they were supposed to do; get the crowd pumped for the headliner. It’s also worth noting that every time I see these guys their fan base seems to grow and grow. I’d say it’s about time for a headlining Arms Aloft gig already.

Finally, the Midwest’s favorite felons took the stage. The set started out like most any other Masked Intruder show. If you’ve never seen them live before (and shame on you if you haven’t, don’t deprive yourself of such fun), the band has its very own cheerleader, Officer Bradford. It’s almost like watching a professional wrestler work the crowd. He will flick off the crowd and try to tame the band, then they’ll rip through “I Fought the Law” and Bradford dances like a maniac, jumping in and out of the crowd throughout the set. He does so much for their live show that I’d consider Officer Bradford a legitimate member of Masked Intruder. After about ten minutes or so, Intruder Blue told the audience they were going to play their 2012 self-titled full length in its entirety. As great as their second record is, the songs never resonated as much as the likes of “25 to Life”, “Stick ‘em Up”, and “Heart Shaped Guitar”. The latter was pretty funny this time around. The band will always bring a lucky lady on stage to sing the female parts to the song. The young woman they chose this night had obviously never even heard the song before. She was a good sport about it and danced while another girl came up and finished the song.

It should go without saying how tight the musicianship is between the hoodlums of Masked Intruder. They have their act down. After completing the album and talking about while also defending the band MxPx to the crowd, Intruder Yellow sang lead vocals on The Outfield’s “Your Love”, giving Blue a run for his money. After a few more songs and a lot of T-shirts thrown into the crowd, the night was over. The infamous lawbreakers left to either ransack another overrated club or go back to prison where they belong. Either way, they left their mark once again on Minneapolis and hopefully they’ll return with a new album to promote.