It seems slightly impossible that last night may be my last time attending a show at 7th Street Entry for a while. It could be years, or decades, before I make it back to my favorite hole in the wall. It’s unlikely that I’ll never be back to First Avenue, yet there is a sense of space building in my mind, a distance already forming between me and that well known wall of stars.
In all these years of walking by, I realized I had never taken a picture there. So last night, I handed my phone to Jess, and she quickly takes one.
It feels like this moment has been a long time coming. Whether that’s being happy and (mostly) at peace with myself and my life at 26, that I’m in the middle of a cross-country move to attend graduate school, or that I’m more excited than anxious about my future - or a miraculous combination of all three, I don’t know. For me, something in this photo represents how I feel about Minneapolis, and that just maybe, it feels the same.
My first night out in Minneapolis in the summer of 2011, I went to 7th Street Entry to see Maritime. I spent my 21st birthday at the Cedar Cultural Center, to see Kaki King. I interviewed Chris Koza on the spot in Peavy Plaza because I felt like it, after finally (finally!) seeing Rogue Valley live. After moving here in 2012, I fell in love with The Ericksons and The Farewell Circuit at The Southern Theatre Sessions, spent many an afternoon at The Acadia, and happily fell into the unofficial all-black dress code for Triple Rock. I gave up on The Varsity and Fine Line, but found a home at Icehouse and Turf Club a few years in. I said goodbye to bands at 331, saw old friends and new acts at Aster Café, and danced alone in the front row at the First Avenue Mainroom. I interviewed bands in coffeeshops, gorgeous studio spaces, and had the most candid and heartfelt of conversations about music with complete strangers. I ate slices at Pizza Luce with my favorite band, had brunch at Mickey’s with another, and hung out with local bands at The Depot. I got dumped and ended up heartbroken in the middle of the Electric Fetus, cried silently at Triple Rock, wept at Turf Club, and found love at Icehouse. And some of the best shows I've ever seen, I went to alone.
My life has circled around shows, local venues, and the people I spent time with every night of the week. I’ve tried hard at the end of every year to take stock of all my favorite shows and releases and memories, but I’ve always found the music impossible to separate from the fabric of my everyday life. The people and the music of Minneapolis are part of what I’m made of now. It's one of the greatest cities for local and live music in the whole country, and for a time, I've called it mine.
I can unabashedly say that 7th Street Entry was my first love. But I’ll miss Icehouse and Turf Club now the most. I’ll still miss everything in between – especially the people: friends, fellow writers, and musicians alike. And the moments that I will continue to chase: when it’s just me and the music, beating as one.
So Minneapolis, I may or may not be back. But I’ll always cherish the times we’ve had together. And I’ll always love you.