Caravan Du Nord draws a musical crowd

This past Friday, the Caravan Du Nord visited Minnesota State University, Mankato, for their 10th annual tour. 

The Caravan Du Nord is a group that tours nine different locations throughout Minnesota and is sponsored by The Minnesota Music Coalition, The Current, and the Minnesota State Arts Board.

Caravan Du Nord hosted four different events on MNSU campus on Friday, a workshop on Creating Safer Spaces at 3 p.m. in the Performing Arts Center, a workshop on Building Your Musical Career at 4 p.m. in the Performing Arts Center, a Music Industry Social Hour at 5:30 p.m. at Johnny B’s in University Square, and a concert at 7 p.m. in the Elias J Halling Recital Hall. All of these events allowed the musical groups involved in this section of the tour to really interact with those who came to see them.

“Sometimes we see artists on a pedestal,” said freshman Rachel Mueller. “I really enjoyed the panel and hearing the advice from the panelists. I got to see how real they are.”

“I enjoyed the part of the talks that pertained to my career,” commented fourth-year student Kaleb Howze.

The 7 p.m. concert in the Elias J Halling Recital Hall drew a decent crowd of folx ranging from students to community members to watch the three performers of the night- the Twins of Franklin, Freaque, and Mayda.

The Twins of Franklin, who are, in fact, not twins, were the first performers. Becky Shaheen and Laura Lou are two best friends who, after years of being mistaken for twins, embraced it as their band name.

The Twins’ music is mostly folk, ranging from upbeat to some more soulful, dramatic music. They themselves describe it as, “moody dreamy folk rock songs.”

The duo interacted a lot with the crowd, being ever grateful that they were in attendance.

The following artist was Freaque, a multidisciplinary artist who described the experience of listening to his music as being, “in the swamp.”

“We rise above a society that tells us we are not enough,” said Freaque. “We do not have to conform to societal standards to be viewed as human beings.”

The artist spent a lot of his down time between songs interacting and joking with the crowd. His accompanying guitarists and bassist created enthralling, eerie effects with their playing through use of reverb and unusual tools. 

Many of Freaque’s songs were about the overwhelmingness of living and loving, which seemed to connect with the crowd.

At one point, the artist went on a short monologue before one of his songs about victimhood. 

“I deal a lot in my life with seeing myself as a victim,” he noted. “I think I find myself most alive when I lift that image of me away. We’re all victims of something… and I think the victim process is so personal. You can’t expect anyone else to move out of their victimhood, it’s an extremely intimate process.”

The final artist of the night was Mayda Miller, an R&B pop artist who is very up and coming, her music having been compared to that of Prince. She performed with a close friend of hers on the bass, and another on the guitar.

Her performance featured vocal warping effects on her microphone, futuristic backing tracks, and choreographed dance moves with the bassist. Her music was a drastic switch from the previous two, with much more intense electric guitar and drums.

“I loved seeing the different genres and the goodness in each of them,” commented Mueller after the show.

Header Photo: Caravan Du Nord’s next stop is Detroit Lakes on November 13. After that, they make their way back to Duluth, MN on November 19. (Via Facebook Page of MN Music Coalition)

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