Returning to the 7th Street Entry stage for a one-song finale Tuesday – a cool, a cappella mash-up of spoken-word and Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” – Dessa talked about the quick East Coast tour she squeezed in right before Doomtree’s Blowout VII. It opened her eyes to how open-minded Twin Cities audiences are to performers crossing genres from rock to folk to hip-hop to, say, whatever you call Marijuana Deathsquads. “Nobody here is saying,’What the [expletive], Dessa!?” she summed up.
The third installment of Doomtree’s seven-night run underscored how many genre change-ups are happening just this week under one roof thanks to the Blowout. While I only made it for the tail end of Tuesday's Entry show (after filing my Wilco review), the experience of Dessa and her jazz-rock-orchestral live band’s occasionally elegant, occasionally snarling, always powerful was entirely different than anything on tap the other six nights of the Blowout. Which is to say nothing of Tuesday’s opening acts: Electronic rock trio I, Collosus, riling rap/rock collective Crescent Moon Is in Big Trouble and even a comic, rising Chicago star Hannibal Buress (about whom folks were raving).
After thanking her Doomtree mates Paper Tiger, Lazerbeak and Cecil Otter – who laid the sonic foundation for her and the band to build on, she pointed out -- Dessa wound down the night with the rarely played, haunting ballad “Annabelle” (with co-vocalist Aby Wolf playing MVP), and then came her always-dramatic, nerve-wracking pre-encore finale “The Chaccone.” I was a bit surprised the show didn’t go longer (it ended about 12:30 a.m.), but as Dessa’s exhausted-looking bassist Sean McPherson reminded me, “She has to go all week!”
Click here for Leslie "Sleepy Eye" Plesser's Vita.mn photo gallery from last night's show. P.O.S. takes over tonight.