St. Paul, MN – Breaking their own unwritten rule of ignoring fan requests during performances, Twin Cities hardcore trio Rape Cannon cut their show at Ted’s Bar short after those in attendance started chanting “ONE MORE SONG!” a mere five minutes into their first set.
After finishing a slightly off-key performance of their opening song, the fist-pumping anthem “You Can’t Break Wind with a Hammer,” the marginally talented musicians from St. Paul were swapping out guitars when bar patron Derrick Longley started chanting the phrase usually reserved for an act’s final encore. In a matter of seconds, the crowd of just under a dozen concert-goers joined in with Longley’s chant, harmonizing and stomping their feet as they did so.
“The band seems to have good intentions, but I think we’d all heard enough,” sympathized Longley. “A lot of people were really just trying to have conversations and watch the Wild game. It just seemed like maybe it was in everybody’s best interest to cut the thing short.”
While being accustomed to short sets—the band’s longest show to date is a five-song concert in May 2008—Rape Cannon bandmembers struggled to decide what their second, and final, song of the evening would be.
“That was one of toughest decisions we’ve ever had to make,” said the band’s drummer, Garret Huffington. “We literally had 95% of our set list left to go. Having to choose just one song from a pretty substantial list of raucous Rape Cannon originals was agonizing, to say the least. But you have to give fans what they want, right?”
After huddling onstage for a few minutes, bandmembers settled on “The Smell of Your Voice” as their final song of the evening, an emotion-filled ballad about a young woman who loses her hearing and vision but can still understand people by smelling the pronunciation of their words.
Asked whether the crowd’s underwhelming reaction to their performance would cause the band to question their future in the local music scene, Rape Cannon frontman Jared Tooney indicated that the band thrives on the type of feedback they received Friday evening and will continue formulate their shows with the fans first and foremost in mind.
“Any musician worth a shit gets on the stage not for himself, but for the people in the crowd,” said Tooney. “Our fans are some of the most intelligent and discerning music fans out there. If us not playing is what’s gonna keep them coming back for more, then we’d be fools not to give in.”
On a positive note, the band did receive its loudest ovation in over three years when their van left the bar’s parking lot.