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Damion Suomi and The Minor Profits…..

Posted in Band Business Tips, Band Review with tags , , , , on February 24, 2011 by Master Jenn-Jenn

I have to say I had high expectations for seeing Damion Suomi and the Minor Prophets in Omaha on Sunday.  I first discovered this band on a sampler from Paste Magazine and many of their songs routinely make it onto my playlists.  Then last year, I saw them live for the first time in Des Moines.  There were maybe five people at that show…which typically means a lackluster performance from many bands.  After all it has to be hard for bands to pick up the energy when only a handful of people turn out to support them.  Damion and The Minor Prophets are the exception to that rule.  Those guys rocked the Mews in Des Moines as if it was standing room only with a line circling around the block.  So when I learned that they were playing Omaha I quickly began to build expectations for the show.

I arrived just a few moments before the show started and was glad to find the venue, The Waiting Room,  buzzing with activity.  The guys quickly took the stage and it didn’t take long for the loud conversations to crash to an end.  It was almost as if Damion’s voice circled behind the crowd and silently pushed them forward.  Chairs scraped the floor as interested listeners began to move forward filling empty spaces near the stage with bodies moving to the rhythm of the music.  It’s not often that the opening band captures the audience with the ease that these guys showed.  They are in essence masters of the stage.  They know how to put on a show that doesn’t distract from the music.

What absolutely sticks out about this band is that they love what they do.  It’s in every song, every member, and every movement they make on the stage.  Many bands aspire and practice to have what looks so natural for this band.  I have no idea what their practices are like (I’d give a lot to be able to attend one), but I can say their movements on stage do not look staged or practiced.  Rather, they look as if the movement flows from the music.  They don’t rely on props or obviously staged moves to bring their music to life.  Their music brings them and thus the audience to life, as it should be.

In many bands it is one or two members that tend to be the life of the stage.  The one person where your eyes navigate, because they are the entertainers.  Damion Suomi and The Minor Prophets are different in the fact that each member are indeed true entertainers.  Yet, these guys are so in tune with each other that the individual entertainment styles do not overwhelm or interfere with each other.  Your eyes easily navigate from one member to the next as if the music has suddenly become a visualization unfolding right before your very own eyes.  Again I believe this is because it’s their stage presence flows from their music.

In addition to an amazing, should be studied by all bands, stage presence these guys switch instruments as easily and as fluid as I switch feet when walking.  It adds a depth to their music that many bands lack.  They also flow from one song to the next so smoothly that the crowd never looses it’s momentum.  Each song easily slides into the next, without sounding as if it’s the same exact song, instead you get the complete album feel….Taking you back to the days when each song was another milestone in a story only experienced by listening to the complete album.   For the audience this creates a high energy show that doesn’t give them the opportunity to look away even once.  It’s a smart move for an opening band, because they were able to put more songs in front of the fans and leave the fans walking away in awe at the raw energy they experienced.

Damion Suomi and the Minor Prophets didn’t stop performing once their set was done.  Not at all.  Again they are true entertainers.  When the venue experienced issues with the drum mics these guys joined The Builders and the Butchers on stage to lend a helping hand and for me at least they stold the set.   I don’t for a minute believe they set out to do so…I think they just geniunely love what they do and that passion if pretty attractive for any audience.  They embody what live music should be…fun, entertaining, and driven by the music.

If I had any complaints about this show it was:

One:  The Merch was hard to see.  I know they were the opening band, but theirs was easily lost in the massive amounts of Merch that was carried by the other two bands.  I didn’t feel like fighting the crowds so I just skipped the Merch.  Plus I’m pretty sure I already own most of their music…

Two:  They didn’t play all of my favorites!  Okay this one is purely personal and truly I wasn’t all that disappointed because the show was phenomenal.  I’m itching to get their new album!

In conclusion

Damion Suomi and the Minor Prophets…..are a must see…I don’t care how far you have to travel to catch a show.

If you are a fan go to the show to see one of the best live shows that is pure music and not props, fireworks, lighting, and other junk.  It’s raw, pure, and intensely entertaining.  You will move and you will sweat as you get lost in their world.

If you are musician go to the show and take notes on how to put on an amazing show.  Find the band members after the show and pick their brain to figure out HOW they do it.


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