By Brian P. Rubin
It was another cold and blustery night in the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood in Minneapolis, but the vibe in KFAI’s Studio Five was plenty hot thanks to the High Crimes. The five-piece rock band belted out tune after tune on “Live From Studio Five!” and thrilled hosts Doug the Thug, Dewglass, and the ever-reliable Cher Dial.
The group—comprised of Ben Marker on vocals, Riggs Kessler on lead guitar, Miles Adams on rhythm guitar, Matthew Fox on Bass, and CJ Vanderpoll on drums—offered up a tight set, with high energy rock songs that had their hard rock and southern blues influences on display for all to hear. Even though the genre was decidedly “rock,” it was clear that each of the guys of the High Crimes brought their own influences to bear on the overall sound.
Both guitarists came from North Wisconsin, while bassist Fox and drummer Vanderpoll come from the south, Georgia and Louisiana, respectively. Vocalist Marker splits the difference of north and south, hailing from Nebraska, and the combination of these three regions is apparent in every song the band plays.
The High Crimes played songs off of their upcoming album This Place is Under Arrest—tunes like “The Shakes,” “Lay Your Body Down,” and “Guns in the Attic.” The High Crimes also hit a few covers, including “Mountain Song” by Jane’s Addiction, and “Non-Fiction” by the Black Crowes. And they also debuted “Mother Mary,” a song which they had never played live before, giving “Live From Studio Five!” the exclusive on that one.
One aspect of the High Crimes’ performance that was noteworthy was something that just couldn’t be seen because of the nature of radio. At one point, Cher complimented Marker on his dancing.
“If I don’t dance when I sing,” Marker replied, “I’m never in tune.”
The band is working on writing and recording their next record, but are set to appear at Foodstock in March, an annual event in the Twin Cities where entrance to the music festival is granted after concert-goers bring some non-perishable food that can be donated to local food pantries. Be sure to keep up with the High Crimes on Facebook to keep up with all their upcoming rock and roll goodness.