Sci-fi rock band brings other-worldly performance to The Cabin

Minneapolis band Maudlin sings about vampires and conspiracy theories

More stories from Erica Jones

DIY diaries
May 9, 2018

Photo by Erica Jones

Priscilla Priebe, a third of the band Maudlin, brought liveliness and zest to The Cabin.

Even though “Maudlin” means “effusively sad or full of self-pity; extremely sentimental,” the band seemed to be anything but, delivering an upbeat and punchy performance that kept their audience members tapping their feet and nodding their heads.

With reverberating bass and percussion that fiercely pumped, the three-person band – consisting of Priscilla and David Priebe and Whelan Keenan – danced around on stage. They smiled and laughed both with and at each other, sharing personal moments throughout their set.

Maudlin’s vocals blended well, with Priscilla Priebe’s feathery female tones lying atop David Priebe’s deeper male notes, creating smooth harmonies despite the tough rock feel of the music.

Most of the songs featured softer introductions, building up to a loud and intense peak and often ending with a simultaneous strum of the guitars and a bang of the drum. Almost all were original pieces and two were covers. David Priebe said the band typically doesn’t do covers but they did so in order to cover a longer set. He said Friday night’s performance was about twice as long as what they regularly perform.

Although the crowd wasn’t very large or loud, the duo fed off of each other’s energy, delivering a nearly two-hour act that could have entertained a room full of hundreds of people.

David Priebe said he and Priscilla Priebe have been creating tunes since the two were in high school and the band makes music and performs for their own enjoyment.

“It’s purely for fun,” Priebe said. “We do it just to have a good time, but it’s more fun when people are listening.”

Even during intervals when they weren’t performing, the band was entertaining. Donning cowboy boots and a blue electric guitar, Priscilla Priebe consistently had a smile on her face as she slid around the stage. David Priebe asked if the audience had heard the joke about the old man on the porch. Keenan questioned whether the cartoon lion on his shirt was Simba or Mufasa.

Then they were back to business, delivering their songs with hard punches and creative lyrics.

David Priebe said he would classify the band’s music as alternative, indie or sci-fi rock, which he said deals solely with a wide and unusual topical range found in the words they sing.

“We write a lot about relationships, but then also world history, the occult and other spooky things,” Priscilla Priebe said. “We’re really into mysteries.”

In fact, the band encouraged the audience to clap along during one of their songs. Only after it ended did they inform everyone it was about the Illuminati.

UW-Eau Claire sophomore Maria Nygren said she loved the band’s enthusiasm, but she wished she could have understood the lyrics better over the instrumentals.

“I want to hear what they sound like when they’re not live,” she said. “I like the music but I couldn’t really understand what they were saying.”

She said she had never heard Maudlin’s music before but wanted to check the band out after reading about it online. Nygren said their website described them as having a sound like Weezer, a rock band she likes.

Nygren said the performance lived up to her expectations. She said she plans to come back to The Cabin with friends for more live performances.