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Tune in as we celebrate the Duluth Homegrown Music Festival, happening April 30-May 7. We have you covered with daily Live From Studio A sessions featuring Homegrown rawk and/or rollers, festival highlights from local music experts, and daily photo and blog posts.Like and follow our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to be in the know for Homegrown.This Homegrown Week on The North 103.3 is made possible by the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.

Homegrown Music Festival 2023 Day 5

A man wearing a Star Wars costume and holding a bubble making gun sings into a microphone.
Jeremy Nelson

Day 5 of the 2023 Duluth Homegrown Music Festival saw Sonja and Lee Martin of Feeding Leroy joining the Mahon brothers of New Salty Dog for their daily Mahon Morning set at Duluth Coffee Company.

A longstanding tradition among unofficial Homegrown events, the SoupB4Supe event at venue 2104, attracted an early-evening crowd to eat soup and watch five local acts perform in the living room of an old Duluth mansion.

Two people standing outside. The person on the left is wearing a green visor with an L on it, a fake mustache, and a green track suit and has their arm around the shoulders of the person on the right.  The person on the right is wearing a red visor with an M on it and a red top and pants with a maroon jacket on top.
Stevie Twining
Luigi and Mario getting into the spirit of Trick or Treat Night at Earth Rider

It was Superior night, with all venues except for the Reef Bar based in Superior, Wisconsin. Empire Coffee hosted the first show of the night; the baristas were working double time by 5:30 and so was Zeta Carinae, who managed the guitar while at the same time ignited electronic beats that perfectly foreshadowed Thursday's Trick-or-Treat Halloween costume dress-up theme. The sci-fi sounds and steaming of espresso machines combined to create the perfect mad scientist soundtrack.

Over at the Earth Rider Festival Grounds, Superior Mayor Jim Paine read his Homegrown proclamation to start the festivities. Emily Haavik took the stage with her band and a broken knee, challenging the audience between songs to a game of two truths and a lie regarding how she got the injury. Options were 1. Saved a child from a jaguar, 2. Got caught in the train tracks, or 3. Biffed it on her second black diamond skiing run. (Anyone who follows Haavik on Instagram would know that 3 was the correct answer.) It was a brisk night, and instead of last year's more sheltered tent setup, the venue's stage was outside and open to the elements, requiring bands and patrons to bundle up; Haavik's band the 35s played in coats and hats to keep warm.

A seated woman on an outdoor stage playing guitar and singing into a microphone wearing a jacket.
Stevie Twining
Emily Haavik and the 35s perform at Earth Rider

Back at Empire Coffee, earnest poet/rocker Dirtbike Boyfriend made his Homegrown debut dressed as Orville Peck, complete with colorful duds, a short-brimmed pink cowboy hat, and a flashy silver mask with fringe disguising his face. Near the end of his set the musician introduced a song about local band Bratwurst, famous for their over-the-top noise/industrial performances. "Tyler [Scouton, Bratwurst's leader] said he'd be here, but he's not, so if you go to his show, throw something..." the performer started, before an audience member interrupted, "Punch him in the face!" After jokingly agreeing to this escalation, Dirtbike Boyfriend was quick to make clear that he did not, in fact, endorse punching Tyler in the face.

A man in pink skinny pants and a small pink cowboy hat wearing a silver mask with pink fringe that covers his face plays guitar in a coffee shop with a small group of people looking on.
Christine Dean
Dirtbike Boyfriend performs at Empire Coffee

The chilly temps didn’t stop festival goers at Earth Rider from enjoying local music stalwarts Boku Frequency. The psychedelic funk trio was in the pocket as usual, opening their set with a Bob Marley cover before venturing into blues, rock, and soul . Thomas “Too Sharp” Harris laid down the funkiest of bass grooves that got heads bobbing. Towards the end of the set he took a pause to warm up his fingers, frozen by the cold wind blowing through the festival grounds. "Can we come back tomorrow?" he joked.

A guitarist, drummer, and bass player perform on a stage.
Stevie Twining
Boku Frequency perform at Earth Rider

Singer/songwriter was the first act of the night at Cedar Lounge. Meanwhile, Nate J. Mattson finished the evening at Empire Coffee, twiddling knobs to create electronic beats for an appreciative audience. DJ Nola took over at Earth Rider, spinning tunes that kept the good-sized-despite-the cold crowd dancing while dressed in a leopard-print onesie and cat ears.

A woman in a leopard-print onesie and wearing cat ears stands behind a table of DJ equipment playing music.
DJ Nola at Earth Rider

Not far away, at The Tower Avenue Tavern, DJ Nola's set could faintly be heard by music fans waiting to get inside for the venue's first act of the night, The Adjustments. There was more dancing over at the Main Club, where DJ A-Dub warmed people up with house music that got people moving. A fantastic light show and fog brought a fun dance club vibe and the music selections were crowd pleasing favorites.

The Spin Collective was up next at Earth Rider, providing some warmth with their dramatic fire-spinning performance. At the Cedar Lounge, Greg Tiburzi did a solo set, playing guitar and keeping the beat with a kick drum and tambourine he played with his feet. The Iron Range native asked "who wants a polka?," which got cheers from the audience, and launched into a song about the Range city of Nashwauk.

A woman breathing fire while an audience watches from behind.
Jeremy Nelson
The Spin Collective perform at Earth Rider

Back at Tower Avenue Tavern, Anatomy of Ruminants put on a theatrical, improvised performance with a guitarist with a black scarf draped to obscure his face and a bassist sitting on the floor playing an eerie, droning soundtrack while vocalist Tina Fox made sounds that were just on the edge of being intelligible words, like ghostly electronic voice phenomena, drawing the listener in to try and make sense of it. The horned mask she wore and the fact that the floor-level stage and crowded venue made it impossible for most patrons to see where the sounds were coming from added to the performance's sense of mystery and drama.

A woman wearing a horned mask with a third eye sings into a microphone with her eyes closed.
Tina Fox of Anatomy of Ruminants

The evening's outlier venue, The Reef Bar in Duluth, opened the night with Hip-hop artist Jaze. He performed lyrical rhymes with great beats and shoutouts to Nas. A song that sampled Nirvana's "Come as You Are" had the crowd singing along to the hook. He took a moment to encourage those on their sobriety journeys to keep going, and stopped his set to remember those in our community that we lost too soon, including AfroGeode.

A man in sunglasses and a blonde wig plays bongos, a man in a hat plays drums in the background, a man wearing a Groucho Marx nose and glasses plays a guitar, and a man in a pink wig and sunglasses plays guitar.
Megan McGarvey
New Salty Dog perform at Tower Avenue Tavern

Unsurprisingly, the Tower Avenue Tavern remained packed as New Salty Dog took the stage, with frontman Jacob Mahon wearing a Groucho Marx nose and glasses and the rest of the band in wigs or hats. Fans brought small colorful helium balloons with New Salty Dog references drawn on them to decorate the stage. Similar to their feel-good Monday night jams at Bent Paddle, their set had the whole audience grooving along.

At the Main Club, Alamode's also drew a large crowd for their fun, danceable set, made even more fun by a bubble gun. In honor of the date, May the 4th, the band was rocking Star Wars-themed costumes.

A band dressed in Star Wars costumes performs on a stage in front of a sign that says Main Club.
Alamode performs at the Main Club

The evening drew to a close at The Reef Bar with Indecent Proposal, who also inspired dancing with their set of engaging, '90s-influenced rock. The crowd shouted for "One more song" before letting the band call it a night.

Coverage of the Duluth Homegrown Music Festival on The North 103.3 is supported by the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.

Christine is The North 103.3's Music Director, a host of Music Through the Day, and the producer of Live from Studio A. One of her favorite things about her job is the opportunity to share music from the Twin Ports’ many talented local artists. In her spare time she takes full of advantage of Duluth’s outdoors opportunities.
Luke Moravec is the host for Northland Morning on The North 103.3. He’s also a local actor, musician and writer. He loves puzzles, riddles and fun mysteries.
Shane German comes to the North 103.3 via community radio station WYCE in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he was the Music Director for 6 years. He's excited to explore a new city, and new terrain - and to engage with a new community.
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