Last Wednesday night (12/12/12) West of Aldine took the stage at the Triple Rock Social Club in Minneapolis for a benefit show put on by IPR, The Institute of Production & Recording’s, event production course (part of the Music & Entertainment Business program) for the My Stuff Bags Foundation.
The band’s modest bio reads:
West of Aldine has evolved from a small acoustic trio into a hot groove-oriented group in the past 2 years. They pride themselves on their genre flexibility by taking the constricting box of “pop” music and twisting it in a way that makes it flow with unique vocal precision and rhythmic articulation. The hooks are always catchy, the melodies are created with character, and the drums carry the dance floor. West of Aldine doesn’t participate in a good time, they create it.
Energy on stage was palpable. Front-man Christian Hulting commanded an audience with modest charm and charisma, lead guitarist Zach Grusznski’s energetic solos were matched by the sweetness of his tone, and bassist/drummer combo Anthony Maahs and Jesse Mattila laid down an infectious grove for every tune, original and occasional cover alike. In addition to playing traditional music venues like the Triple Rock, West of Aldine plays a lot of shows with schools and promotes music and education in whatever way they can.
The event itself was a success. Minnesota regular Tim Mahoney engaged the audience, as usual, and chatted about his life in music, stint in reality television and played a mix of his originals and even a little improv. Moving Parts, a band forged in the studios at IPR, warmed the crowd with an energetic set. First-man-up Kenny Stratton entertained with a mix of singer/songwriter originals and pop covers.
Not only did cash proceeds from the door (thanks to Triple Rock for it’s part in this) go to the My Stuff Bags Foundation, but so did donated blankets, homemade hats, coloring books, and various personal items like deodorant and razors. Promotion for the event reached thousands through Facebook alone, bringing attention to an important cause.