Posted by: Necci – Oct 09, 2012
UPDATE: The Fantoberfest event has apparently been CANCELLED, which means that neither this giveaway nor this show will be taking place. We have no further details on the reason this has happened, but we sure are bummed out about it.
We're really excited about this one--longtime Minneapolis alternative rockers Soul Asylum, who had one of the biggest hits of the early 90s MTV Buzz Bin era with "Runaway Train," and released their tenth album, Delayed Reaction, earlier this year, will be playing in Richmond on Saturday, October 20th as the headliners of the second annual Fantoberfest, presented by The Republic Restaurant & Bar! Formed in 1981 by singer/guitarists Dave Pirner and Dan Murphy as a punk band called Loud Fast Rules, Soul Asylum soon evolved into the same sort of irreverent yet passionate underground rock n' roll that Minneapolis had a reputation for producing in the 80s, taking their place alongside fellow Minnesota exports Husker Du and The Replacements. By the end of the 80s, the escalating pressures of major label deals and the rock n' roll lifestyle had ended the careers of both of those bands, but Soul Asylum remained together long enough to benefit from the post-Nirvana alternative rock explosion. Their breakthrough album, 1992's Grave Dancer's Union, was actually their sixth full-length, and represented the climax of a great five album run, starting with Made To Be Broken and While You Were Out (both 1986 releases on the Minneapolis independent label Twin/Tone), and continuing with 1988's Hang Time and 1990's ...And The Horse They Rode In On, released as part of their ill-fated first major label deal with A&M. Signing to Columbia for Grave Dancer's Union, they hit paydirt with a series of hit singles--not just "Runaway Train" but "Somebody To Shove," "Black Gold," and "Without A Trace," as well as "Misery" and "Just Like Anyone," from their 1995 followup LP, Let Your Dim Light Shine.
Since then, in spite of waning mainstream attention, Soul Asylum have soldiered on, contributing scores and soundtrack material to multiple Kevin Smith films, as well as releasing three more albums between 1998 and 2006. Founding bassist Karl Mueller succumbed to throat cancer in 2005, and his final album with Soul Asylum was 2006's The Silver Lining, released after his death. In a display of Minneapolis alt-rock solidarity, Mueller was replaced by former Replacements bassist Tommy Stinson, who now also plays in Guns N' Roses. Soul Asylum have had several drummers over the course of their existence, but drummer Michael Bland has been manning the kit since 2005; Bland is also a Minneapolis rock mainstay, having previously been a member of Prince's New Power Generation and Paul Westerberg's post-Replacements solo band. Delayed Reaction, their first album in six years, proves that they're still as talented as ever, with songs like "Gravity," "The Juice," and "I Shoulda Stayed In Bed" updating the classic Soul Asylum sound just in time for them to begin their third decade as a band.
And now they're coming to Richmond! With over thirty years of experience in the music business, and ten great albums to draw from, Soul Asylum has quite the body of work, and you'll get a chance to see them perform some of the best selections from their excellent back catalog, as well as the best tunes from their latest album, at Fantoberfest! This event, which will take place outdoors in the vicinity of Pleasant's Hardware, across the street from The Republic, features an extensive lineup that has a lot to offer besides the headlining performance from Soul Asylum. Also on the bill are plenty of great local bands, including Downbeat Switch, Photosynthesizers, Against Grace, and more! Plus, there'll be great food from The Republic, Starlite, and Uptown Grill. And with sponsorship by not only The Republic but also Starr Hill, you can bet there'll be cold tasty beverages aplenty for your enjoyment!
WHAT: Fantoberfest 2012, starring Soul Asylum!
WHO: Soul Asylum, Hero Gets The Girl, Killer Tofu, Capulet, Against Grace, Photosynthesizers, Downbeat Switch, The Congress, plus the winner of XL 102's Battle For Fantoberfest (the finals of which take place at The Republic tomorrow night!)
WHERE: 2000 block of W. Marshall St., behind Pleasant's Hardware, across the street from The Republic
WHEN: Saturday, October 20, 12 - 9 PM
ADMISSION: $12 in advance/$20 day of show. Advance tickets can be purchased online by clicking HERE, or in person at The Republic (2053 W. Broad St.)
The best part is that you can see this entire afternoon-long event for free! We've got four tickets to give away to this show, and you can enter to win them very easily by using this handy-dandy widget below. You've got until Friday at 5 PM to get your entry in, but why wait? Do it now!
[No giveaway... it's cancelled... sigh. Sorry. -ed]
If you're not quite as fired up (yet) as we are about this show, never fear--we have the remedy. Below, you can check out two different videos by Soul Asylum. The first is for "Somebody To Shove," the excellent first single from Grave Dancer's Union, which was originally released 20 years ago this week! This song's slashing guitar riffs and indelible chorus still hold up excellently even after two decades, and Dave Pirner's out-of-control mane still looks sweet as hell. Then we've got a recent live performance of "Gravity," the first single from new album Delayed Reaction, filmed live this summer in Minneapolis. Twenty years later, Pirner's hair is a lot neater than it once was, but drummer Michael Bland's mohawk more than makes up for that. What's really important is the fact that Soul Asylum clearly still have the passion and the chops to deliver a great live set. It sure is going to be great to see them right here in RVA!
By Andrew Necci