at the show: a marked men matinee in minneapolis

on early doors and hardcore openers whose moodboard includes slashers, the women of All Japan, and car crashes

at the show: a marked men matinee in minneapolis
The Marked Men at Cloudland Theater on April 7, 2024—the early show

1. The perks of 3pm doors

God, do I love an early show. Doors at 3pm means it’s early enough to drink coffee on the rainy drive over, grab lentil dal at lunch, and still have a spot for a $4 can of Olde Style at the gig. It’s early enough to spend the afternoon catching up with a friend. It’s early enough that it’s still light out on the drive home. It’s early enough that you can have an entire night afterward where you still live within the buzz of adrenaline from seeing the Marked Men absolutely demolish a small room.

2. Community by design

Tickets to one of the two Marked Men reunion shows this weekend had to be purchased in-person at Extreme Noise. (Endless thanks to Zach Kolden for physically waiting in line and then triumphantly texting me a photo of our physical tickets.) It meant the room brimmed with familiar faces. The opening acts were locals, who made a point to mention how excited they were to get to see the Marked Men.

3. Makin’ Out’s vulnerable, powerful indie pop

Caitlin Angelica was tuning her guitar, speaking about losing her partner August Golden in the Nudieland tragedy last year. She was sharing songs defined and framed by that loss, and her bandmates added electric guitar heroics and indie pop jangle—not to mention the heft and hubris of an absolutely wild drummer—to music previously intimate and stripped back. It’s early days for Makin’ Out, who signed off by announcing they’re in the midst of a lineup transition. The songs are already there, and with time, Angelica & co. could develop into something even more special.

4. Holy shit: Buio Omega

Did guitarist Nikki Derella immediately win me over with their bootleg Manami Toyota shirt? Duh. Buio Omega is a five-piece wrecking ball of a hardcore band. Frontperson Greer screamed up front in a silk red nightgown with wide feral eyeballs, introducing their song “I Wanna Crash My Car (On Purpose)” as her mom’s favorite by the band. An unreal set that warranted an instant purchase of their recent EP, which probably would’ve been on the big Q1 list if I’d heard it sooner.

5. The unbeatable Marked Men

I’ve loved the Marked Men’s records, I’ve loved the members of the band’s other bands, and still, I wasn’t prepared for how airtight and relentless this show was. They’d play four songs in a row without a pause—a Jeff Burke song, a Mark Ryan song, a Jeff song, a Mark song. They’d play one of my favorites and chase it with another. It was incredible to be in a small room where people were excitedly screaming out requests like it was a Neil Young theater show. People were shouting the call-and-response on “Sully My Name.”

Seeing the Marked Men in 2024 is a solid reminder that this band was more than power pop with punk rock bite—it’s that rare rock’n’roll combination of multiple bandmates writing and performing at the highest possible level. “This is a new one,” Joe Ayoub announced to a room briefly rendered completely silent. “Just kidding.” Everybody laughed—a jolt and a release. I’m still thinking about what it would mean for this band to keep doing it.


The Marked Men setlist on April 7 at Cloudland Theater in Minneapolist: A Little Time On the Outside Don’t Lose It A Little Lesson It’s Not a Crime Sully My Name We Won’t Talk About It Sophisticate Wait Here, Wait for You Too Pretty to Fuck She Won’t Know Going Crazy Ditch Red Light Roomers Someday Fix My Brain