Young Linus brings mature sound

James DeLong

“Warp Tour sucks!” was a commonly used phrase Saturday night as three of the Twin Cities’ up and coming punk and rock bands crammed into Dinkytown’s Bon Appetit. You don’t need to be into either type of music to understand why.

Building Better Bombs, The Rhyme and Museum and Linus packed the place like a tin of sardines as a part of Target Market and the Pulse‘s Smoke Free Saturday Night. Building Better Bombs got right to work with loud enticing power chords that exploded in and out over sped up drum n’ bass beats and screaming vocals. The energy that they ignited would last the whole show, as more people crammed themselves into the storage room-like venue as the night progressed. Perhaps the night was foretold in their song, “Head Start,” as they sang,” … we cannot be stopped!”

The Rhyme and Museum provided the perfect transition with casual conversation with the crowd, and a versatile musical sound. Beginning with symphonic guitar riffs at a relaxed pace, bursts of metal guitars soon took over with crashes of the drums. Hoots and hollers littered the air when the band began to sing, “You can have it if you want it,” which was played short and sweet in about two minutes – just enough to jump-start things again before Linus took the stage.

Their first song, about young children and suicide, was a powerful move to grasp the crowd’s attention. Linus certainly garnered absolute focus on themselves, when everyone suddenly stood silently and gazed up at the stage. Shortly after, the prankish antics of lead guitarist Mike lightened the mood as he horsed around with a friend in the front row and played simultaneously with the rest of the band. But the greatest display of this playful attitude of Linus was seen when lead singer Jeff informed the crowd, “We’re gonna slow it up a bit,” and Mike added shortly, “Turn the lights down in this Bitch! Oops, sorry mom!” His mom, who was in attendence, didn’t seem to mind.

Smooth melodic rhythms and catchy guitar riffs flooded the sound waves as the band continued to play for the following hour. Jam sessions were frequently in full effect as wicked drum flares and guitar blasts joined in unison to create a loud and pleasing sound that mesmerized the audience as the majority of us nodded our heads to the beat.

At first glance, Linus, who had recently been named High School Band of the Year in City Pages, would not come across as so young. Their mature and polished performance spoke for itself and proved otherwise.

Their overall sound was much more synchronized and in tune than the other young bands. Jumping from songs of depression to all out jams, Linus showed the maturity of a band that can grasp both seriousness and fun in their music while still keeping a performance tight and focused. A trait that even the most experienced bands struggle to incorporate into their performance.

With the release of their debut album, Championships Are Won in the Off-season, just days away, Linus wanted to make for damn certain that everyone in the crowd would want a copy of it. So they did it by playing their asses off.

Though the average student on campus has no knowledge of Linus, Saturday’s show suggests that things are most likely going to change. All three bands have the energy and creative potential to really snag more local recognition and exposure. An acoustic side-project, which includes members of both The Rhyme and Museum and Linus, called “John Henry,” is set to perform later in the month in Dinkytown. And a gig next week in St. Cloud with the same two bands indicate that they are busier than ever and deserve the attention they are starting to receive. For those of you that skipped out on Warp to see the show, you made a smart move.