Last Friday, the Caravan Du Nord visited Minnesota State University, Mankato, for its 10th annual tour.
The Caravan Du Nord is a group that travels to nine different locations across Minnesota and is sponsored by the Minnesota Music Coalition, The Current, and the Minnesota State Arts Board.
La Caravane du Nord hosted four different events on the MNSU campus on Friday, a workshop on Creating Safer Spaces at 3 p.m. at the Performing Arts Center, a workshop on Building Your Musical Career at 4 p.m. at the Performing Arts Center, a music industry social hour at 5:30 p.m. at Johnny B’s in University Square, and a concert at 7:00 p.m. in the Elias J Halling Recital Hall. All of these events allowed the musical groups involved in this part of the tour to really interact with those who came to see them.
“Sometimes we see artists on a pedestal,” said freshman Rachel Mueller. “I really enjoyed the panel and heard the advice from the panelists. I have to see how real they are.
“I enjoyed the career part of the interviews,” said fourth-year student Kaleb Howze.
The 7pm concert in the Elias J Halling Recital Hall drew a decent crowd of folxes ranging from college students to community members to watch the three performers of the night – Franklin’s twins, Freaque and Mayda.
Franklin’s twins, who are not actually twins, were the first performers. Becky Shaheen and Laura Lou are two best friends who, after years of being mistaken for twins, adopted it as their group name.
The music of the Twins is predominantly folk, ranging from upbeat music to more moving and dramatic music. They describe them themselves as “dreamy, moody folk rock songs”.
The duo interacted with the crowd a lot, always being grateful for their presence.
The next artist was Freaque, a multidisciplinary artist who described the experience of listening to his music as being “in the swamp.”
“We rise above a society that tells us we are not enough,” Freaque said. “We don’t have to conform to societal norms to be considered human beings. “
The artist spent a lot of free time between songs interacting and joking with the crowd. His accompanying guitarists and bassists created fascinating and eerie effects with their playing through the use of reverb and unusual tools.
Many of Freaque’s songs were about the overwhelming life and love, which seemed to connect with the crowd.
At one point, the artist did a short monologue before one of his songs about victimization.
“In my life, I am often faced with seeing myself as a victim,” he noted. “I think I find myself more alive when I remove that image from myself. We are all victims of something… and I think the process of victimization is so personal. You can’t expect someone else to step out of their victimhood, it’s an extremely intimate process.
The last artist of the night was Mayda Miller, a very promising R&B pop artist, her music having been compared to that of Prince. She played with a close friend on bass and another on guitar.
His performance featured vocal warping effects on his microphone, futuristic backing tracks, and choreographed dance moves with the bassist. His music was a radical change from the previous two, with a much more intense electric guitar and drums.
“I loved seeing the different genres and the goodness of each one,” Mueller commented after the show.
Header photo: Caravan Du Nord’s next stop is Detroit Lakes on November 13. After that, they return to Duluth, MN on November 19. (Via the MN Music Coalition Facebook page)