The Armory, the newest music venue in Minneapolis, Minnesota had its official opening night last Friday. The Horizon Tour with Seven Lions, Tritonal, and Kill The Noise helped open the doors to a diverse and sold out crowd. A great mix of Dubstep, Progressive House and Trance was the perfect way to bring in everyone who had patiently been waiting to experience the new venue.
The Armory is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a large, hanger-shaped, concrete building that was originally built in the 1930s to house the National Guard. In its early years, The Armory also held concerts, sporting events, political conventions, and was even used to shoot a music video or two. As time went on, the building was eventually purchased by a private company in the late 1990s and used as a parking structure. Fast-forward to 2012, The Armory was bought by Swervo who then started renovating the space to revive it as a music venue. Renovations and staffing were completed earlier this year. On December 15th, 2017 the doors were back open.
I was fortunate enough to attend this historical night. After seeing previews of the final touches before opening night, I couldn’t have been more excited. I arrived fairly early, so I didn’t experience much of a line out the door. However, getting in was painless enough where large groups could still get through smoothly. Security was as you would expect at any large venue, multiple metal detectors and staff guiding people through. Unfortunately for me, that meant removing my belt in order to pass. After the shuffle of getting my belt back on and getting things back into my pockets, I climbed up the short flight of stairs to the main level. I was in instant awe at my first site of the event space.
The layout of The Armory had what all show attendees dream of, symmetry. There were endless bars and large bathrooms on each side of the dance floor. The VIP areas were located in balconies on the second and third levels, also along each side of the dance floor. I never once felt like one spot on the main level was better than another the entire night, which lead to less crowding. I looked up at the curved ceiling, which appeared to be lined with some sort of material. This was a relief because I was worried about the acoustics, which ended up being outstanding.
Kill The Noise was kicking things off when I arrived. With a beer sitting next to the decks, Kill The Noise went full party-mode and threw down a heavy mix. He dropped everything from Rezz to the Skrillex remix of Kendrick Lamar’s “Humble”. His crisp visuals had everything from skulls to a loop of someone making a sandwich, which were both stunning and hilarious.
Tritonal was next to hit the stage. It didn’t take long for Chad to jump onto the table and get the crowd hyped up. The guys also didn’t waste any time playing their new single which dropped that same day, “Shinin’ Bright”, along with its fun lyric video showing old school roller skaters. Their set was a nice balance of classic Progressive bangers and feel good tracks, including a remix of Armin van Buuren's “Sunny Days”, a perfect fit for The Horizon Tour. At various times throughout the set, Chad came to the front of the stage to be more intimate with the crowd by passing out water to fans and waving the Tritonia flag. Tritonal wrapped things up with a dedication to all the victims of hurricanes and shootings this past year by playing their twist on Wiz Khalifa’s “See You Again”.
Seven Lions closed out the night. His set was the perfect harmony of Dubstep and Trance. The crowd loved the range of music, especially the sprinkles of Psy Trance. I found myself lost in the visuals of Seven Lions' set. The scenes of medieval women walking through caves and along beaches were brilliantly shot. To wrap up his head-banging set, Seven Lions brought out Kill The Noise and they played their new collaboration, “Cold Hearted”. Seven Lions and Kill The Noise left the stage. A familiar voice in the Twin Cities scene, SIMshows Owner Jack Trash, got on the mic to thank the sold out crowd for an amazing opening of The Armory.
On that note, the first show at The Armory was over. Being the middle of December in Minnesota, I joined the massive crowd who had moved from the dance floor to the coat check line. The line ran down a flight of stairs, but had a clearing on one side for people to walk up after grabbing their coats, which was nice. After some quick chats and thank-yous to the new Armory staff, I made my way out the door.
Overall, my experience with the opening of The Armory was fantastic. Show-goers were friendly, the staff was on par, and the musical experience was highly memorable. Any quirks throughout the night were small and were expected to happen with the opening of a new venue. This is the large venue that Minneapolis has been looking for. As time passes, it might be one of the best venues in the Midwest, if not the country.
I would like to thank the staff of The Armory, SIMshows, everyone involved in The Horizon Tour, and all of the fellow fans of Dance Music who helped make for one historical night!