03/13/2018 The Dollyrots/The Von Tramps/The Melismatics @ James Ballentine VFW, Mpls.

On this warm, mid-winter day I was excited all afternoon to attend The Dollyrots RAH! RAH! RADICAL Tour 2018 event that going on at the Uptown VFW, one of my favorite venues in Mpls. I had never seen The DollyRots, but I knew their sound from streaming their tunes online. They are an up-tempo pop punk that gets people’s feet a-movin’ to the beat. I knew I was in for an enjoyable, energizing night of great bands including The Von TrampsThe Melismatics, a husband & wife (Pony & Ryan Smith) fronted band that ROCKS nice and hard.
To begin the night were The Von Tramps, a local, female-fronted punk-rock outfit complete with epic displays of attitude. As if Krissandra needed any attitude assistance. Just look at that Bass!

The force is strong with this one…

She dynamically plucked that bass with a verocity that would make Han Solo blush. I bet she could make the Kessel Run in much less than 12 parsecs.

Han Solo, What Me?
Who’s Scruffy Looking?

Nobody believed Han when he boasted about the Millenium Falcon did we? I know I needed proof.
I think I better play some video of the Von Tramps otherwise I’ll be in deep trouble:

The VTs are joined by Elton on the sax.

The next band was The Melismatics, a local harder rock band led by Pony and Ryan Smith. They have unbelievable chemistry onstage where they feed off each other’s energy creating controlled chaos in the small space.

Fascinating to see Pony and Ryan existing in their own spheres yet catching glimpses through half opened eyes. Pony exists in her amazingly expressive sphere while Ryan, fully aware of everything, guides the songs with rocking vocals.

Pony demands your attention while she shreds her guitar then assumes the keys to give more depth to the songs. I fell in love with The Melismatics within seconds of seeing them because they have very lively shows. Their energy lives on even after silence. Thank you Pony & Ryan! You can count on seeing much more of me in the future!
Finally, it was the DollyRots time to shine on stage. It seems the trend of tonight is family or couples because the DollyRots are married as well(Kelly Ogden and Luis Cabezas) with a gaggle of kids in the Winnebago parked outside the VFW(just to be clear, only 2 kids in the ‘bago).

They started their set with the high energy I was hoping for! Immediate screams of joy were heard by all in the space.

My expectation of this night was to be happy/excited and ¡HEY!, to my surprise I did not stop smiling the ENTIRE night! Proof is in the photo I was able to snag with Kelly featured below.

IMG_20180314_190335_105Kelly wanted to get a picture with me(but only if she could wear my bomber hat😎)

To conclude this post I want to wish everyone a Happy Spring and hopefully NO Allergies!😂


– Brian Wene

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