The best Twin Cities concerts of 2013 (so far)

Categories: Last Night, Lists
Photo by Erik Hess

At the halfway point of 2013's concert year in the Twin Cities -- things feel pretty satisfying. We've already experienced six months of polarizing sets, surprise shows, reunions, long-awaited returns, and this is before the Replacements have played a single note live.  

Some the most deeply felt and visually entrancing images have sorted themselves out. With the help of some dedicated freelancers, Gimme Noise assembled the best Twin Cities concerts of 2013. Have at it in the comments section with the ones that were your favorites.

Photo by Erik Hess
15. Zach Sobiech at Varsity Theater, 2/16/13
From Reed Fischer's review: "Songwriting has long been a tool to express the aches and worries of difficult living. The examples of artists who met early and tragic ends, like Elliott Smith or Jeff Buckley, are numerous. The difference for Sobiech, however, is he has a disease beyond his control, but his mind is sharp, and the situation completely in his comprehension... Trying to pack a lifetime's worth of expression into a short time is a tall order, but he's doing it."

See Also: Slideshow: Up, Up, Up: A Benefit for the Zach Sobiech Fund

Photo by Stacy Schwartz
14. Dan & Matt Wilson at Pantages Theatre, 2/1/13
From Youa Vang's review: "The highlight of the evening came in the form of a hybrid acoustic version of 'Closing Time.' On 'Kandy' they grabbed their phones and recorded the brothers, Dan on piano and Matt on guitar, holding the audience captive with the well-known song that ebbs, flows, and builds up to something wonderful."

See Also: Slideshow: Dan and Matt Wilson at the Pantages, 2/1/13

Photo by Anna Gulbrandsen
13. How to Dress Well at Triple Rock Social Club, 4/1/13
From Pat O'Brien's review: "Krell found a way to strike a perfect balance, getting his point across while not, almost literally, crushing the crowd to death with it... He ended the set with a daring, phenomenal acapella cover of Janet Jackson's "I'll Never Fall in Love With You Again," for which he stepped away from his microphones once again and stood at the edge of the stage, the crowd staying mum once more and his own "Set It Right" making for a stunning beginning to the evening."

See Also: Sky Ferreira and How to Dress Well at the Triple Rock, 4/1/13

Photo by Erik Hess
12. Bombino at the Cedar Cultural Center, 6/11/13
From Keith Harris's review: "He avoids rock's frenzied drive up the fretboard toward ejaculatory liberation, and he was more likely to climax, if you insist, with some aggressive chording... But we already knew Bombino was a killer guitarist. The performance's real revelation was the drumming, more forceful than on the recordings, though never pushy. What served as a firm bone structure in the studio became the muscle propelling the music on stage."

See Also: Slideshow: Bombino at Cedar Cultural Center, 6/11/13

Photo by Erik Hess
11. Fall Out Boy at Myth, 6/26/13
From Youa Vang's review: "To the cynic, Fall Out Boy's promise of saving rock 'n' roll may seem like they're overreaching, but to the future generation [they] may be the answer."

See Also: Slideshow: Fall Out Boy at Myth, 6/26/13

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Jeff Cagle
Jeff Cagle

Way to leave out Primus and Soundgarden, City Pages. Fall Out Boy? Are you kidding me?


still sad i missed black moth super rainbow and yeah yeah yeahs. Im surprised they listed fall out boy, i dont listen to them much but i was pleasantly surprised when they opened for blink 182 a few years ago


Huh - No love for Garbage @ MCN...

Peter Slaird
Peter Slaird

apparently no one from city pages was at primus

k2yeb topcommenter

How can you say one is better? What makes it better exactly? Isn't that subjective? At least they only put it on 3 pages rather than 15 like every other site.

Melissa Mj
Melissa Mj

I know I'm going to catch shit for this, but Limp Bizkit at Varsity Theater was awesome and the total 90s flashback it was meant to be. I also think Questlove & D'Angelo should be higher!


Maybe it's because I'm young, but I've seriously never heard of the above listed artists. Here's my top ten list of shows for the past year: 

1. Above & Beyond @ Myth

2. Dillon Francis @ The Loft

3. Benny Benassi @ Epic

4. Justice @ Epic

5. Zeds Dead/Seven Lions/Popeska @ Mill City Nights

6. Calvin Harris @ Epic

7. Hardwell @ Epic

8. Infected Mushroom @ The Skyway

9. Wolfgang Gartner @ Epic

10. Arty @ Epic

I don't understand why none of my shows made your list. Every one of these shows were either sold out in advance or close to sold out. 


Here are my faves of the year so far -

5. Rock the Garden – Silversun Pickups & Metric

4. Jim James – First Avenue

3. Django Django – First Avenue

2. Niki & The Dove – Triplerock

1. Pickwick – Turf Club


I thought The Men put on the best concert of the year and one of the best I've ever seen at the 7th Street Entry on April 12th. 

Anna G
Anna G

2013 has been pretty awesome so far - here are my standouts:

15. Free Energy @ Turf Club
14. Wolf Lords Release @ 7th St
13. Tame Impala @ First Ave
12. Toro Y Moi @ Fine Line
11. Wavves & Fidlar @ 7th St
10. Foals @ First Ave
9.  James Blake @ First Ave
8.  Prof @ First Ave
7.  Major Lazer @ First Ave
6.  Twin Shadow @ First Ave
5.  Yeah Yeah Yeahs @ First Ave
4.  How to Dress Well @ Triple Rock
3.  Rock the Garden
2.  CHVRCHES @ Fine Line
1.  Prince @ Dakota


Zorn @ 60 at the Walker was by far the best thing to happen here this year if not the best thing in at least the last 10 years.


@xski199 you haven't heard of those acts because everything you listed is EDM. You should like Major Lazer though

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