Mint Condition at First Ave

So I've lived in Minneapolis for a while, but before last weekend I had never gone to see Mint Condition. Considering that they are a local group, I really had no excuse. With the release of their new album, they did a show at First Ave & I went with my women's group. First Ave as a venue is great for standing room only shows. Yes, that First Ave made famous by Prince & The Time & immortalized forever in Purple Rain. I'd only been there one other time so I was excited to see Mint Condition rock the stage. Doors opened at 8pm with a start time of 9pm & initially I wondered were everyone was - the venue was so empty! But it quickly began to fill up & the people watching was a premium while we waited for the show to start. First, every Black person in the Twin Cities was at the show & let me tell you, I saw all kinds of folks. There were the cat daddies in their shiny shirts & playa hats, literally trying to hit on every woman under the age of 50 that came across their path. One man told my friend that he got all his clothes in Chicago...I suppose he was trying to impress her with that info? I saw somebody's mama in a gold lamé pants & jacket combo. I saw several older men with long fuzzy dusty braids (sir, really?) and I even saw a shaggy Jheri curl. Epic people watching indeed.

The opening act was a local woman & she was an ok singer, but wasn't a good performer. She sang to her backing track & it was just her on stage & she didn't keep the audiences attention. She had an Erykah Badu-esque thing going on, with a long body-skimming dress & a headwrap. She performed 4 songs & I saw most of the crowd talking through it. At the end she announced that she wasn't getting paid for the show so please buy her CD...umm ma'am, that's not the way to get folks to buy your stuff! After she left the stage, we had another 30 minutes of people watching...I saw some of the single men trying to holla, & I was told by a tipsy woman that I should remain childless as long as possible LOL.

At 10pm Mint Condition finally hit the stage! I had a pretty good view off to the left side, about middle distance to the front of the stage. The entire band performed - keyboards, guitar, bass, drums, and a horn section which was awesome. They started the show with selections from their new album, Music @ the Speed of Life. And of course, they had to do a lot of their older stuff, which is the stuff I love. Stokely was full of energy, and so was the rest of the band, and they really put on a great show. The crowd was into it & everyone sang along, especially with the older stuff. They performed for a total of 2 hours & did all their hits - Whoa, What Kind Of Man Would I Be, If You Love Me, So Fine, and more. They also did Not My Daddy, that horrible song they did with Kelly Price, but they had Paris Bennett (from American Idol) do the female part. In case you didn't know, she's from Mpls. Anyway, they did the fake leave the stage thing & then came back to do Pretty Brown Eyes. BTW, I wish artists would stop doing that. We know you're gonna come back to do your most famous song! Just do the damn song!

Some shots from the show:


Overall, I had a great time, even though at the end of the night my feet were screaming. Mint Condition puts on a great show.