When Alison Wonderland and Dillon Francis announced a new song and joint tour, I thought, “That’s going to be rowdy.” When I showed up at the Armory for their stop in Minneapolis last weekend, the crowd proved me quite right.
The Armory is Minneapolis’ newest venue, a welcome addition, and as it turned out, the perfect size to host the show, selling out in the final hours.
Alison Wonderland took the stage first, which was sadly something that began as I stood in what felt like an obscenely long line to get in. Headliners typically take the stage at midnight, so I figured showing up by ten would put me there in time to catch both, but this was not the case. Alison Wonderland started at ten pm, played for an hour and a half, then Dillon Francis’ show went for two hours, leading to a hard stop at 12:45 am. On a Friday. Because Minneapolis, I guess.
(full disclosure: I did not make it in for the beginning of Alison Wonderland’s set, which is crucial if you are photographing a show, as that is typically your only opportunity to use your camera. Lesson learned: Show up early!)
While I can’t provide photographic proof, I can tell you that she played with power, she didn’t miss a beat, and she even slipped in a song where she played live cello and sang by the end of it.
You know those times when there are drastic shifts in the weather, where you are thrust on a massive swing in temperatures from one day to the next? We just had one the week of the in Minnesota that was about a 60 degree swing, going from -20 to 39 in about a day, and the different temps elicit much different behaviors. That’s kind of what Alison Wonderland’s set was like. One moment she’d be whompy and heavy and the next, delicate and eloquent the next and she did it really, really well. Most notably on her transition into and out of her remix of Rufus Du Sol’s “Innerbloom. “
And then came Dillon Francis, the Nelson Muntz of dance music.
Dillon Francis’ set never stopped, save for a few moments where he got on the mic and yelled at the crowd or stood up on his tables and yelled at the crowd. It may sound like I don’t like him or I don’t approve, but I only mention it to say that the crowd responded accordingly. He said put your hands up and thousands of hands went up. He demanded the people go hard, and hard they went.
At the end of Dillon Francis’ set, he left the stage briefly and returned with Alison in tow to perform their collaboration and the tour’s namesake, “Lost Your Mind.” The duo powered through one more song and the audience loved it up. Once they were done, they were out of breath and both noted that while it may have only been the first night of the tour, that it was by far the best. Take that Chicago..?
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I work, live and play in Minneapolis.
I try to tell the story of the people that create music and experiences through pictures as well as through words.