First Avenue's 20 best concerts: Readers' picks

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Even if the ticket stubs are long gone, and the T-shirt purchased at the merch table didn't survive backpacking across Europe, the memories of amazing shows at the legendary Minneapolis club First Avenue live on. Last week, we unleashed the Gimme Noise list of the 20 best concerts the venue has ever hosted, and we happily stand corrected, amended, and with our pants down a little bit. (King Sunny Ade and Nirvana were the most frequently cited omissions.) Many folks sent us lists, and others left comments describing their favorite nights at the venue -- one even mentioned a sexual conquest that followed. Here we have 20 from the readers. -Reed Fischer

20. Bloodhound Gang, First Avenue, 7/31/97
We were sitting at the table upstairs near the stage right bar (back when it was 21+ upstairs), and the guitarist climbed up to the 2nd floor from the stage right in front of us. I think they also had guys in monkey suits or they were in monkey suits, dancing on stage. -PJ Mudd

19. Thomas Dolby, First Avenue, 6/03/84

After Golden Age of Wireless had been released -- he did all the songs -- unforgettable. -Raymond Albright

18. Ghostland Observatory, First Avenue, 11/10/10
The room seemed to levitate during "Kick Clap Speaker." - "Makes Sense"

Boredoms_Daniel_Corrigan.jpg
Photo by Daniel Corrigan
17. Boredoms, First Avenue, 3/25/08
All Boredoms shows are fantastic. Eye had a broken leg and was hopping around playing a seven-neck guitar with a huge stick and then conducting four drummers with glowing orbs. It was a fascinating use of the vocabulary they've built up, and incredibly, incredibly loud. -Ryan Olson

16. Wilco, First Avenue, 6/29-30/01
These were special shows for a couple of reasons. Wilco wasn't on tour. They just played these two shows and one at Summerfest in Milwaukee. Weeks prior to the show, Jeff Tweedy told fans to download the unreleased Yankee Hotel Foxtrot and judging by the crowd singing every word to the YHF songs, the crowd followed Tweedy's instructions. Also, because they were not on tour, these shows had a unusual looseness to them. These were also Jay Bennett's last shows with the band and his was kicked out after their next show in Milwaukee.  Footage of these shows can be seen in the film, I Am Trying to Break Your Heart. -"Zinovy"

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4 comments
popriveter
popriveter

Before reading the list, I thought of the Pulp show, the Blur show, the Bjork show and the Weezer show. Those were some great nights. I am glad others cherish those memories. For me, there Ivy and Komeda (June 19, 1998,) Cardigans with Kent (April 16, 1999,) and Jeff Buckley opening for Soul Coughing (May 12, 1995- and I barely remember the Soul Coughing set) would make my list.

Chrisriedel0525
Chrisriedel0525

Jay Bennett's last Wilco show was 7/4/01 at Grant Park in Chicago on the 10th anniversary of the last Replacements show ever on that same stage.  Speaking of which, the lack of the Replacements, Husker Du and Soul Asylum from this list completely invalidates it. What a joke.

Timbo
Timbo

Boo, the Girl Talk/Dan Deacon show should be up on this list. Which was on the same day as the Of Montreal/MGMT show there which was the early show. That day was crazy.

Or the Animal Collective show in support of Strawberry Jam. 

Both said shows did suffer from bad openers. Tay Zonday for that Girl Talk/Dan Deacon show and Eric Copeland for that AnCo show.

Joey Lusvardi
Joey Lusvardi

That Metric show was insane. Can't wait for them to come back!!!

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