k102 north country christmas ball (featuring rocket club)

23 Dec

The Twin Cities has an abundance of places to see live music – anything from a small, intimate venue like the Fine Line Cafe to a rockin’ arena like the Xcel Energy Center. Through some awesome connections, a few friends, Pat and I had the opportunity to attend the K102 North Country Christmas Ball (featuring Rocket Club) at Mill City Nights on December 21.

Prior to the show, we grabbed some dinner at the local Osaka Sushi & Hibachi restaurant. We opted for sushi and placed our order. Pat and I got our normal, “boring” order of a couple California rolls and a Lobster-Avocado roll. The Rooney’s, on the other hand, ordered so many pretty, exotic rolls, I had to take pictures of how beautifully displayed they were! I even ventured to try a couple, and I’m happy to say, I wasn’t too grossed out. Guess which are ours?

Osaka Sushi


Lots of sushi!

I’ve never attended a concert at Mill City Nights prior to the North Country Christmas Ball, so I was duly excited for the evening. The venue was bigger than I thought it was – a split entry with a large bar (and the restrooms) downstairs, a main floor with a bar area and an upstairs viewing area. For this particular event, the upstairs area was reserved for the ‘beautiful people.’ We set up camp near the sound booth (I resisted pressing buttons) while Pat ran around working.

Side note: this is how our concert events are turning out to be the more Pat gets involved at the radio station. He invites people for me to hang out with while he works during the early parts of the evening’s show. While I’m excited he’s getting more responsibility and is a team player, I’m secretly missing him to talk about song order, discuss sets, criticize talk about the opening act and finding our nominee for “best” (worst) dancer. Country concerts have the best dancers. And yes, if you are at one, I am judging your moves – choose wisely.

I digress… Greene & Hurst opened the Christmas Ball opting to sing a lot of their own music they had written. J.D. Greene is the afternoon host at K102 and I must say, he’s really grown into his guitar playing from when I used to hear him strumming on the out-of-tune Trailor Choir guitar he had in his office. Todd Hurst had a fantastic voice, as well. I’m hoping to catch their band again in the near future.

While I am biased, I think Rocket Club is one of the best musical groups I’ve seen live. If you haven’t seen them play, find the nearest venue to you and SEE THEM NOW. There is so much talent on stage between the songs they write, the instruments they play and the beautiful voices that belt from their chests. Rocket Club opened their North Country Christmas Ball set with Little Drummer Boy – and NAILED it. The bass player’s son played the snare drum and didn’t miss a beat (no pun intended). Their set list combined their usual songs from their albums, interspersed with Christmas songs – and these guys know how to keep the crowd interested. Far too often at concerts, I find myself somewhat bored in the middle of a set because the artist has too many slow songs in a row. Not these guys. Rocket Club wastes no time on stage or performing. They played for nearly two hours and I didn’t want the night to end. It was the perfect start to a long holiday weekend.


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