The Palace Theater in Saint Paul was a celebration of camp on Thursday night. Fans of headliner Sammy Rae & The Friends fully embraced the tour’s theme by proudly sporting muted flannels and bandanas. We have special coverage of the show for you. Two of our photographers, Janet Eckles and Mae Saunders, were there to capture the show.
The tour’s set design was thoughtfully curated, with a tent, faux tree stumps and microphone stands adorned in florals and friendship bracelets set before a forest themed backdrop.
Twin Cities’ locals Kiss the Tiger hit the stage with full force. Lead singer Meghan Kreidler commanded the stage with confidence as she howled and strut to the beat while fully engaging the audience with call and responses throughout their set. Thursday’s performance was the band’s first time playing the Palace Theater, and their upbeat new single “There You Are, Beautiful” was an instant crowd favorite.
The Friends, Sammy Rae’s band, took the camp theme further by heading onstage with lanterns in hand, sporting outdoor gear. Sammy Rae appeared to joyous applause and immediately launched into single “Talk it Up.” The band’s upbeat syncopated rhythms, along with Sammy’s charming stage antics, fully engaged and endeared the audience throughout the night. Sammy frequently interacted with her six bandmates during their set, often hugging them and conferring with them about upcoming song choices. She made it clear to the crowd that Friends’ songs are for everyone, but dedicated single “Jackie Onasis” to “the girls and the gays,” and stressed the importance of creating a safe space for members of those communities. The band also performed new singles “Luck of the Draw” and “Coming Home,” as well as old favorites from their previously released album and two EPs.
The encore began with a cover of “Ooh La La” by Faces. Sammy started the song with a message on pushing yourselves to get out of your comfort zone. She lived this sentiment by playing guitar, which was her first time doing so before an audience. The rest of the band followed suit by playing each other’s instruments. The encouragement from the audience was overwhelming, with the crowd starting a chant for the keyboardist who had switched to the drums. The band rounded out the night with crowd favorite “Let’s Throw a Party,” which saw the band leaping across the stage and throwing their friendship bracelets to members of the audience, leaving everyone feeling like they were one of the Friends. Check out the amazing photographs from Janet Eckles and Mae Saunders below!