News studio one day, punk show the next: welcome to Studio Six

Only at an underground punk show will you find the bouncer boosting people up to crowd surf.

The band Casual plays on Friday, Oct. 19 at Studio Six in Northeast Minneapolis. Studio Six performed their first live show at the venue as opposed to their usual multimedia studio performances.

Tony Saunders

The band Casual plays on Friday, Oct. 19 at Studio Six in Northeast Minneapolis. Studio Six performed their first live show at the venue as opposed to their usual multimedia studio performances.

Samir Ferdowsi

On Friday, Studio Six MPLS in Northeast rang with reverb as the space hosted its first live musical event ever. An all-around media studio, the venue hopes to holistically fuel 612 culture.

“We want to be a creative epicenter,” Studio Six founder Damian Kussian said. “We’re in the heart of the arts district and we want [to] protect the people that made this neighborhood so cool.”

Local bands North Star Wisdom, Goodnight Gorillas and Casual and Pierre, whose album release was Friday’s cause for celebration, brought a mass of head-bangers and mosh-pitters to the space.

Before opening up its punk dance floor, the studio played host to traditional media platforms. Large state broadcasts, podcasts and filming for advertisements took place in the Northeast bungalow. 

“We’re kind of separate in some ways, and collective in others,” Kussian said. “But we have such a mix of people; we can come together like Voltron and take on anyone.”

Rolling into the studio, you can see how.

If you take a right upon entering, what looks like a 1960s bowling alley quickly turns into a relatively large stage area. After a quick “X” from the ever-chill bouncer, you’re in a performance space reminiscent of a Twister board. 

A blatantly homemade papier-mache record monument hangs on one wall. Blue, red and white lights sporadically point every which way, and a Persian carpet serves as the performers’ stage-center.

“It’s pretty tight, and in a cool area,” said Pierre fan Lily Hewitt. “It’s a lot better than a basement show — I mean look at the ceilings, they’re a lot higher.”

Clearly out of their normal habitat, both band and fans were unsure of what to do with the space. The pink-haired, Doc Martens-wearing rockers were freckled across the medical-white floor. 

While Casual drew in a few hardcore moshers, a head bob was the go-to move for the majority of the show’s warm-ups. The funniest part? Being able to see it all go down. The lighting was ready for a multi-colored photoshoot, not a punk safe-haven. 

Nocturnal hooligans were in shock from being outside a musty college basement habitat. But a few shreds from Pierre, a “can we get these lights down a bit?” from the guitarist and it was off to the races. 

Having not heard a new project from the band in five years, Pierre fans were eager to revel in new sounds. At first cymbal slap, the space turned into a proper punk pit. Arms went flying and the studio served its rightful purpose — a chamber of mainstream dissent and empowering melodic rage.

Although the lights were never dimmed, the audience didn’t seem to care. With a constant stream of fans coming in and out, the space did feel like a collective for beautiful misfit frenzy on that night.

The staff were welcoming, the place was clean and the black-and-white latex balloons tied to random hardware nuts around the hallways were fitting.

“It’s definitely different, not what anyone here is used to,” Pierre drummer Kevan Larson said. “We wanted to find somewhere that could have that basement vibe. Yeah, now we had a real sound system.”