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We Are The Willows

Friday, October 4 @ 7:30 pm

Date & Time

Oct 4, 7:30 pm
Doors open: 6:30 pm


All Ages

Songs that tell us there is no arrival point, there’s only who we are & where we are now.

We Are The Willows is an alternative and indie rock band that crafts dynamic songs with a contemplative air. The quintet will play the Opera House stage on Friday, October 4, 2024 at 7:30 PM. Doors will open at 6:30 PM. Tickets will range from $20 to $25 (plus Eventbrite fees) and will increase by $5 on the day of the show. Friends of the MPOH will be able to purchase tickets starting July 1 and the general public will be able to purchase tickets on July 15.

We Are The Willows didn’t begin as a band. It started as the solo project of Minneapolis songwriter, Peter Miller. A Collection of Sounds and Something Like the Plague, released in 2009, was Miller’s first effort under the name We Are The Willows. It’s an album about loss of religious faith and the act of reimagining the world without god. After the release of the album, Miller began touring extensively. Between 2009 and 2011 he played over 250 shows all across the country. Between tours Miller recorded, mixed and released the PLACES EP and began working on what would become the first full band album.

In 2007 Miller’s Grandmother gifted him over 350 letters written by his Grandfather while stationed in the South West Pacific during WWII. On tour, Miller would read the letters, take notes, and eventually songs started to form. Over the next 3 years, Miller wrote songs cataloguing his grandparents’ courtship during WWII. As the songs were taking shape, it became clear they needed instrumentation and sonic depth beyond what Miller could perform himself. He enlisted the help of longtime collaborator Jeremiah Satterthwaite to play guitar and co-produce the album as well as Hilary James (voice/ cello) and Travis Collins (voice/ bass). Together they spent the next year recording the 20 song concept album, Picture (Portrait). The album garnered praise from NPR, the BBC, NOISEY, PASTE magazine, Buzzfeed, The Brooklyn Vegan, and USA Today.

Picture (Portrait) reached more people than any previous We Are The Willows album and afforded the band unforgettable experiences. It did, however, come at a cost. Band relationships strained, logistics became overwhelming, and finances were not sustainable. After a disastrous tour in 2016, the band realized they had hit a ceiling. They took a moment to pause and go back to the drawing board. The band made some lineup changes and drummer Josh McKay joined the group. They recorded with various producers in studios around the Midwest including with Mike Noyce (Bon Iver, Tallest Man on Earth) at April Base Studio in Eau Claire, WI and with Zachary Hollander at The Pearl in Minneapolis, MN. They released a few singles and toured the Midwest. It was slow going, but the band was rounding the corner of something new.

In October of 2019, feeling stronger than ever, the band went into legendary Minneapolis studio, The Terrarium to record with engineer Zachary Hollander. Things clicked into place immediately. The ease with which the band and Hollander worked confirmed that they were onto something good. In 7 days the band came out of the studio with a new record. In the Summer of 2020, We Are The Willows released their 3rd full length album, Who We Are & Where We Are Now. It’s been a long time in the making. This album is a testament to being better for the people and things you love. It’s an acceptance of the things you can’t control and that there is no arrival, there’s only Who We Are & Where We Are Now.