La Dispute energizes at Fine Line Music Cafe

Gage Cureton
Staff Photographer

La Dispute frontman Jordan Dreyer needs to tie his shoes – but don’t worry, he’s got it covered.

As Dreyer walked out onto Minneapolis’ Fine Line Music Cafe stage Wednesday, April 24, he turned away from the eager crowd and knelt before the band’s drum kit.

He carefully tied his laces and the anticipation amongst the crowd continued to build in the packed venue. A bit of an odd gesture for a concert on Dreyer’s behalf, but his move seemed to fit the atmosphere just fine.

Whether Dreyer’s shoe tying was part of the band’s planned performance or it was an actual honest gesture on his part is beside the point. It was clear the band was there to give fans a humble, energetic performance.

As Dreyer finished the last knot in his shoelace he faced the crowd once again and the band opened up their set with “FULTON I” off their latest album “Panorama”.

The song, an emotional rollercoaster instigated by Dreyer’s unmatched vocal execution, sparks a seemingly exited, sad and enraged feeling deep in the bones. It seems to follow the early stages of grief – a whirlwind of thoughts and contested emotion. 

The introspective essence of “FULTON I” was strengthened as the band followed with song’s accompanying continuation “FULTON II”. Listening to “FULTON II” only clarified just what these songs (and Dreyer) are trying to convey. The true meaning seems to be a memory or a collection of occurrences that hold some weight within the artist’s mind. 

However, the saddening and thought-provoking lyrics of La Dispute are less prevalent as the band works their stage presence and performance.

Interlooped with La Dispute’s complex, imagery-ridden lyrics is the band’s ability to continually interact with fans and concertgoers – something I’ve heard the band champions and its fans are well aware of. 

During La Dispute’s performance it was common for Dreyer to spin on stage; wrapping himself in the microphone’s wire. However it didn’t stop him from leaning into the crowd almost to the point of fans swallowing him into the crowd. 

At one point, the band paused and Dreyer told fans that the last time they played in the Twin Cities it was “for about five people.” 

Dreyer’s comment is a stark difference from where La Dispute appears to be at in their journey as a band. I think the packed Fine Line venue can attest for that and quite possibly most fans will tell you the same.

To be honest, I hadn’t listened to the Michigan-based band much before attending their concert – camera in-hand – but they sounded even better live than they do recorded. Like their music, La Dispute’s live performance is intimate, deep and in your face.

Photos by Gage Cureton | MSU Reporter.

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