When I heard that Dial Tone was having an album release party at The Cedar Cultural, I was like, “What? Didn’t these kids just meet? How can they have an album already? And how can they be headlining The Cedar?”
Turns out they have, in fact, already played the Seventh Street Entry. It’s amazing what three U of M students can do in 11 months. But let’s backtrack a bit.
I first met singer/guitarist Cole Pivec when he was 15 years old and fronting the teen rock band, 612LIVE! when this group of five kids who took lessons at The Linden Hills House of Music won the award for Best Teen Act at the Minnesota State Fair in 2018. Over three more years, 612LIVE! performed on various stages that I sponsored and produced, at The Linden Hills Festival and Woofstock.
Two years ago, Daisy Forester, Henning Hanson and Cole Pivec met as freshman at the U of M. Last fall, they started writing and playing music together. One of their earliest performances was at a House of Music fundraiser; Cole was no longer taking lessons at The House, but Dial Tone made a special appearance there to help out his old school.
I loved them immediately. First of all, I was surprised that Cole was not playing the role of Front Man. Daisy was center stage, confidently playing bass and belting out the songs she’d written. Cole was by her side, also singing, but now exhibiting a free-spirited wildness that I hadn’t seen before. Meanwhile, the drummer, Hanning Hanson, was great. Classically trained, I later learned. Totally solid, with sharp, specific fills and no heavy-handedness.
I had arrived at this fundraiser to help out the local team of teachers, and suddenly I was being treated to a set played by three extremely talented 20-year-olds who were writing their own material.
So, like I said, last week when I heard about the album release – I couldn’t wait to see them.
When I got up to the stage at the Cedar, I started chatting with one of the dads of one of the kids in the 612LIVE! band, (who is, of course, a musician himself). As we talked, I realized how truly stoked this guy was to see this band. Have you not seen these guys, yet? I asked early in the conversation. “Oh no, I’ve seen `em five times,” he says. “They’re a blast.”
They’ve got it, we agree. This band has it all. Smarts and good lyrics; strong technical chops; catchy riffs and rhythms. But as we watch the show, what becomes most appealing is “the vibe.” The character, you might call it, of these three lovely people, all three of whom are beautiful and full of positive energy. It’s remarkable. They are fun to watch, fun to dance to, fun to be near.
And this: I’ll admit to not seeing a lot of “younger shows” lately, but my experience more often than not is that kids don’t dance much anymore... Wrong! This whole place was dancing. Eighty percent of the audience were people aged 18-23 - and they were dancing. Most of the rest of us who are over 50 were dancing, too.
The band is definitely dancing. Cole dances all across the stage, all night long. Daisy mostly keeps to the center, but they dance with each other while they play, and they dance with the crowd, too. They love the crowd, and they show it – and the crowd loved them back. The whole thing had that kind of throw-back, lovefest feeling that us grand-parent-types feel right at home with.
Which gets me to the thing that was most memorable about this show. . . There was a profound amount of respect for the elders at this event. “Respect for our predecessors” was virtually the theme of this show.
Many times, the musicians spoke of how honored they were to be releasing their album at The Cedar. They talked deliberately about what a rich musical history we have here in Minneapolis, and how we should be proud of our deep musical culture. They played several covers giving homage to Minneapolis artists, one of them proceeded by Daisy’s pronouncement, loud and clear. “If you guys don’t know Babes in Toyland, you’re gonna get educated right now.” Then they blew into “Bruise Violet.”
And guess what. Their encore of Prince’s “Let’s Go Crazy” left nobody unhappy with Cole’s version of Prince’s always incredible guitar work. Seriously, if you can find another 21-year-old playing guitar like that, please introduce me. I’ll write about them, too.
“We are playing on the shoulders of giants,” Daisy said, between songs. “That’s what it feels like, to play here in the Twin Cities. And we are so grateful to have your support.”
Then Cole banged out the opening riff to the next song before screaming into the microphone: “We are Dial Tone… from Minneapolis!!!”
Their next show is Dec .1 at the Fine Line. Are they sold out yet? I don’t know. But if you want to see their video, go to YouTube/Dial Tone Codependency. You can also find them at Instagram/Dial Tone Official, and Dial Tone Album on Spotify.
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