What a Difference a Year Makes

Photo courtesy of Steve Hay

Dave Mann and his friends have a story to tell, one that started with Minefields (a vetoed band name) and ended at Mittenfields. Last Friday, after a year-long hiatus from performing, Mittenfields returned to the stage at the Velvet Lounge. Judging by the audience’s warm reception, it was clear that the band was missed. Original members, including Erik Sleight and Sam Sherwood on guitars; Dan Ramspacher on drums; and Dave Mann commanding vocals and the bass returned, along with new additions, Sadie Dingfelder on violin and Ron Storhaug on trumpet. The band was finally ready to officially make its return. During the set, the band offered an inspiring and enthusiastic performance that showcased its own brand of rock music with a friendly nod to hardcore.

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Mittenfields opened with the song, “My Mind is An Avalanche” invoking passion and emotion into the vocals and setting an upbeat tone for the rest of the evening.  By the time they dove into their second song, I had already identified three fundamental things about the “new and improved” Mittenfields:  1) that they looked and sounded at home on stage; 2) that each of them are clearly talented musicians; and 3) boy are they loud—as Sadie so aptly noted while on stage, “Two songs in and I can’t hear a damn thing… must be a good show!”  Good show indeed.

Photo courtesy of Steve Hay

As the set continued, the band brought more energy, more heart, and even more wattage to its sound. The band however, was most notably consistent in its tempo, control and pacing throughout the evening—all while managing to keep the vocals lively and the performance unforced. Songs such as “Skinnydippin’” also highlighted the band’s ability to seamlessly layer intricate layers of instrumentals and vocals together as they performed various styles of what I can only describe as rock goodness.

Mittenfields proved to be a fun and engaging band with a genuine love for the music that they make. Their smiles on and off stage come across in the music that they share with fans, both old and new.  Be sure to catch Mittenfields at one of their upcoming shows for a homecoming unlike any other.

06.24.10
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