Manalive Acoustic

November 6, 2013 | 11 a.m.

Taking the stage and the show

Culture | Mollie Jacobson for The Clarion


Manalive played an acoustic set for Student Activities' first Coffee House of the year. | Photo for The Clarion by Drea Chalmers

While the group of six settled into their chairs on stage, they smiled at each other as they tentatively plucked the first notes meant not only to warm themselves up, but the crowd as well. The fleeting exchange of smiles and offhand comments ended abruptly as they quickly got lost in the music, closing their eyes and focusing on the instruments before them. The group of musicians was Manalive. They made an appearance at Tuesday night’s Coffee House, playing the acoustic version of a few of their favorite songs.

Manalive consists of six members–Aidan Fealy, Ben Thiry, Michael Davis, Seth Hartland and siblings Adam and Amanda Hendren. They’ve known each other since high school and have always loved playing together simply for the joy of creating good music.

Last spring, an opportunity arose that prompted them to make their musically gifted group official. Adam Hendren’s favorite band, From Indian Lakes was coming to Minneapolis, and he took a chance and sent them an email asking if him and his friends could be their opening act. This shot in the dark turned out better than they could imagine. From Indian Lakes said yes. It was at this time they realized they needed to come up with a name for their band. They settled on Manalive, feeling like the sound of it fit the image and genre they were going for.

The night of the concert was eye-opening, and they realized that this dream of theirs could become a reality if they worked hard and put themselves out there.

“It was an awesome experience,” said Fealy. “The members of From Indian Lakes stayed at our apartment after the show, and we sat around and talked about life and music. It was so cool to realize that these guys are just like us, and if they could do something big, we can too.”

Its not often that a group gets a gig before they even form a band, but Manalive proudly continues to break the status quo. Within five months of creating the band, they had booked a show opening for Parachute and Matt Hires—two names that are commonly heard playing on radio stations such as the popular Cities 97. They played a sold-out show at Mill City Nights in Minneapolis. The energy was palpable among the crowd, and the excitement of Manalive was infectious. It was an exhilarating night for all of them, and it was only the beginning.

This December, the indie/alternative group will be heading down to Houston, Texas to record their EP at DS Recordings, one of the top recording studios in Texas. From there, they don’t know what will happen, but they’re taking chances and seeing what the future holds.

“Well, we all know you miss 100 percent of the shots you never take,” said Michael Davis jokingly. “But in all honesty, it’s cool that we get to do this, and I’m so thankful that I’ve gotten to be a part of it.”

Interested in hearing their music? Check out their upcoming events at


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