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An Exhilarating Night of Raw Emotion with Friko

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MusicLive CoverageAn Exhilarating Night of Raw Emotion with Friko

An Exhilarating Night of Raw Emotion with Friko

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Hailing from Chicago, indie-rock darlings Friko brought their hard hitting discography to The Rebel Lounge on May 29th for an exhilarating night of raw, frantic emotion. The band is joining Mind’s Eye on their headlining Fear and Love tour, starting off each show with a punch in cities across the United States.

An exhilarating night of raw emotion with Friko at The Rebel Lounge in Phoenix on the Fear and Love Tour with Mind's Eye.
An exhilarating night of raw emotion with Friko at The Rebel Lounge in Phoenix on the Fear and Love Tour with Mind's Eye.
An exhilarating night of raw emotion with Friko at The Rebel Lounge in Phoenix on the Fear and Love Tour with Mind's Eye.

The tour comes on the heels of a busy year for the group with the release of their debut album Where we’ve been, Where we go from here in early February. This was soon followed by nearly back to back tours supporting other established indie acts including WILLIS and Water From Your Eyes. Currently composed of Niko Kapetan (vocalist, guitarist) and Bailey Minzenberger (drummer), the duo has garnered acclaim from across the indie scene both nationally and in their hometown of Chicago since their formation in 2019. Their rise will only further solidify with an appearance at Lollapalooza this August. With a deeply cultivated talent and stage presence that walks a delicate line between electrifying and soothing, it’s easy to understand where the band’s success has come from.

Even an hour prior to the start of the show, fans were already lined up around the entirety of the venue as they eagerly awaited the performances by all three bands on the evening’s lineup. While many had bought tickets to see the widely beloved headliner, they would soon leave as newly converted fans of Friko’s rambunctious sound.

An exhilarating night of raw emotion with Friko at The Rebel Lounge in Phoenix on the Fear and Love Tour with Mind's Eye.

Following a rowdy performance from Phoenix locals Practically People, Friko soon waltzed onto the stage and quickly adjusted their instruments before diving into the spirited first few verses of “Crimson to Chrome”. The song quickly latched onto the crowd, keeping our attention and drawing us all in closer to the stage. The chorus of “We’re either too old, too bold, or stupid to move, I guess we’re / Caught on the wrong side of the shoe again” was repeated for minutes on end, growing gradually louder until it reached a triumphant finish.

On their next song, “Chemical”, the band continued nurturing the sparks that they had ignited within every member of the crowd. Kapetan’s repeated shouts of “Chemical! Chemical!” were underscored by a blaring wall of guitar and rooted in place through Minzenberger’s frenzied drumming. It was a small glimpse at the deep synergy that the duo maintains and leverages within their music. This dynamic had an immediate pay off, colliding like flint and steel to light the crowd ablaze, the absolute catharsis spreading through the room like wildfire.

An exhilarating night of raw emotion with Friko at The Rebel Lounge in Phoenix on the Fear and Love Tour with Mind's Eye.

After a slight dip in energy during “Half As Far”, the animated start of “Crashing Through” promptly pulled everyone back onto their feet and elicited movement across the crowd as heads began bouncing again. The song followed in the footsteps of those before it, dipping in and out of more vigorous segments before reaching a climax in the closing seconds. As the cacophonous final minute of the song came to a gradual close, the band soon slammed on the brakes and made a sharp turn into the soft, classical style of “For Ella” that saw Kapetan put down his guitar and move to the keyboard.

If there was ever any question about the band’s ability to stray beyond the thunderous sound that many of their songs leverage, “For Ella” forever put these doubts to rest. Even though the crowd had been lively and bouncing along just minutes prior, the room had been charmed into silence. The ethereal vocals delivered by Kapetan were uplifted not only by the equally delicate lyrics, but also through the seemingly orchestral arrangement that kept the entire track grounded. The masterful inclusion of the violin and cello flawlessly complemented his solo on the keyboard. At times, the song even felt more befitting of a grand symphony hall than the small club we were actually in.

While the shift from hard-hitting, sweeping instrumentals to soft-spoken, melodic murmuring occasionally left fans in the crowd with a feeling of whiplash, it was all welcomed with open arms. In this sense, a Friko show can be likened to a rollercoaster. The experience might thrash you around a bit and leave you disoriented with its sudden climbs and descents, but the pure exhilaration of it all will have you jumping back in line to do it all over again.

Show Date: 05.29.24 // Phoenix, AZ @ The Rebel Lounge // An Exhilarating Night of Frantic Raw Emotion With Friko
Photos & words by Brian Mecinas

Brian Mecinas
Brian Mecinas
Based in Phoenix, Arizona! Environmentalist by day and concert photographer by night <3

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Brian Mecinas
Brian Mecinas
Based in Phoenix, Arizona! Environmentalist by day and concert photographer by night <3

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