Soul Asylum @ MN Zoo

Posted on July 3rd, 2009 – 1:15 AM
By Jon Bream

Dave Pirner took his son to work on Thursday night at the Minnesota Zoo and that helped transform a less-than-stellar Soul Asylum concert into a memorable one.

Wearing heavy-duty headphones (like the ones worn by people who guide airplanes on tarmacs), Eli Pirner, 5, stood onstage in front of bassist Tommy Stinson’s amp during the opening “Somebody to Shove.” By the end of the night, Eli was at the mic, lowered to his level, to sing “Stand Up and Be Strong,” face to face with his kneeling dad. Bet your kid didn’t get to do something that cool when you took him or her to work.

Afterward, Danny Murphy told the sellout crowd: “Eli rocks! That was good man. Just like the singer, it took Eli a little while to get wound up and then he was into it.”

That would be a fairly accurate review of Dad’s 95-minute performance at the Zoo. With Eli sitting in the wings, Pirner perked up during the seventh song, “Without a Trace,” which he dedicated to the band’s late bassist Karl Mueller. “String of Pearls” earned big cheers from the crowd, which may have been the tamest crowd at the zoo this year. “Let’s All Kill Each Other” was perfectly punk tongue in cheek.

The big winner came later: the invigorating “Bittersweetheart,” during which Pirner did a little shimmey. He was way into “Sometime to Return” and the closing “Stranger,” during which he was demonstrative and emotional. It was maybe the only song he’d played all night without a guitar. By then, Eli had scampered off stage into Mom’s arms. 

Here is a set list (though I missed a couple of songs when I went to the restroom where there was a long line):

1. Somebody To Shove 2. All Is Well 3. Easy Street 4. Misery 5. Lately 6. Black Gold 7. Without a Trace 8. String of Pearls 9. Let’s All Kill Each Other 10. Just Like Anyone 11. Cartoon (?) 12. ?? 13. Black Star 14. Never Really Been 15. Runaway Train 16. Watcha Need 17. Bittersweetheart 18. Sometime to Return 19. Stand Up and Be Strong   ENCORE 20. Closer to the Stars 21. ??   22. Stranger

165 Responses to "Soul Asylum @ MN Zoo"

Tim H. says:

July 3rd, 2009 at 9:16 pm

Jon,

You need to check with your research or layout people who put together the Metro South Extra Edition the other day. They showed an OLD pic of the guys, with the caption stating KARL?!?!, Dave, Danny, and STERLING?!?! would be playing at the zoo.

That’s almost as bad as USA Today’s summer concert preview listing Jeff Holdsworth (in lieu of Page McConnell) as the 4th member of Phish, even though he hasn’t been in the band for like 20 years and the accompanying pic showed the current lineup.

Gary A says:

July 4th, 2009 at 9:14 am

Jon-I found the Soul Asylum show as a refreshing change for shows at the Zoo. They definitely are more of a true rock band than most of the acts booked. I agree that the crowd seemed very tame especially following the sing-along middle agers at the BoDeans Sunday night. I also concur that Dave perked up as the evening went along as did the crowd a bit. Stand Up and Be Strong was definitely a highlight as was You Don’t Get Much Without Giving by the BoDeans. I’m looking forward to a local flavor trifecta coming up with one of my faves, the Hold Steady next weekend. Thanks by the way, for your work over the years. As an elementary school principal who gets his release from local music and singing, it’s fun to see your take on things!

James says:

July 6th, 2009 at 8:37 am

Jon; you are off, my friend. You are getting paid to not have the complete set list? I thought they were spot on all night and sounded great. They threw in some reals gems…Blackstar, Easy Street, Sometime to Return and Stranger(Sounded awesome). The 12th song was Never Really Been and the 2nd song of the encore was called Slowly Risin’; off of The Silver lining CD. Go pick it up; it’s one of their best.

James says:

July 6th, 2009 at 8:43 am

Jon; Sorry. The 12th song was the Minnesota zoo theme song; quite hillarious I thought.

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