I enjoyed an evening of wonderful live performances last night. First, I caught an early show, The Parker Quartet, at the Varsity Theater in Dinkytown with my son, Tyler.
I got quite a shock when we walked into the Varsity; it has been completed remodeled and redecorated à la Loring Pasta Bar. The transformation is impressive. We got some comfy seats about halfway back, but the acoustics and PA system buzz were annoying me, so we moved to seats right next to the stage.
I first heard the Parker Quartet perform at the SPCO's Music Room on the third floor of the Historic Hamm Building. They played Dvorak's string quartet in E-Flat, Op. 51, and I was blown away. They play with such energy, feeling, and precision! They played two Dvorak pieces last night as well. The second Dvorak piece was my favorite of the concert.
The PQ hail from Boston, but we've been blessed to have them in the Twin Cities for the past couple years. They have played with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra and are just completing a stint as Artists in Residence for Minnesota Public Radio. I hope they will stay with us for a long time to come. I think they make the Twin Cities a better place.
Ben Rosenbush / Brighton
Later, I went over to the 331 Club where Tyler was playing a set with Ben Rosenbush / Brighton. I have listened to Ben's CD many times, but this was the first chance I've had to hear him perform live. It turned out to be a fantastic show.
Ben's songwriting and singing is absolutely fantastic. The band of players he pulled together for the night was just great. The word needs to get out about this guy! Buy his CD and go to his shows before the rooms get too packed and the tickets get too expensive.