Review of The Garden’s recent Minneapolis concert

By: Ann McMullen

On November 19th, art-punk band The Garden performed at Minneapolis’ First Avenue. As they’re probably my favorite group that is actively releasing music, and First Ave is easily my favorite music venue in the Twin Cities, I had to go.

The Garden consists of twin brothers Wyatt and Fletcher Shears, who have been making music as The Garden since 2011. Based in Orange County, the duo’s music is quite experimental, using very abstract elements from punk and other alternative genres. They really have no two songs that sound alike. The twins also have a mild obsession with jesters, and a fan base I’ve heard countless internet horror stories about…all things that would make for an interesting show, in one way or another!

Their Fall 2022 U.S. tour was to promote their newest album: ‘Horse***t on Route 66’. Because of this, I feared they would focus too much on their new songs and neglect the old ones, but thankfully, the setlist contained a great mixture of their latest releases and older fan favorites.

To my surprise, the new songs were some of my favorite to see live. I was impressed by how much of the crowd could already sing them word for word. And, to my knowledge, no one threw up or injured themselves or did something else crazy in the pit, which I was a bit worried about because it’s something I’ve heard has happened at tons of Garden shows.

The concert was everything I expected. Both twins had intricate makeup and outfits to match the theme of the new album. They kept the entire set exciting with a great live sound and phenomenal stage presence. Even the opener, Machine Girl, was great. I was relatively unfamiliar with them before the concert, but their performance was wonderful, so I have since checked more of their music out.

Seeing The Garden was definitely worth the small price I paid for a ticket. I enjoy (no pun intended) their music even more after this show, and can’t wait to see the twins perform live again.

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