MN Music On-a-Stick at Minnesota State Fair, 8/30/14

Categories: Last Night
Photo by Tony Nelson

MN Music On-a-Stick
with Cactus Blossoms, Har Mar Superstar, Cloud Cult, Bob Mould, Doomtree, and Brother Ali
Minnesota State Fair Grandstand, St. Paul
Saturday, August 30

You can always count on the Current to keep you on your toes. At their third annual takeover of the State Fair Grandstand, 89.3 put together in a lineup of genre-spanning Minnesota acts. Every artist took the night in a different direction, and each one -- from Brother Ali to Bob Mould -- seemed to have a cadre of fans who were there mostly for them.

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Liv Warfield at the Dakota, 8/28/14

Categories: Last Night
Liv Warfield
with the NPG Hornz and Luke James
Dakota Jazz Club
Minneapolis, MN
Thursday, August 28

"Paul McCartney got it wrong" is a hell of a way to start a song. In Liv Warfield's "Blackbird," her bird is less of a tragic symbol and more of an irrepressible individual. Her whole band, also called Blackbird, settled into a simple but powerful blues groove. They were joined by the full strength of the horns from Prince's New Power Generation. The rhythm smoked, fueled by the fire of the scorching guitar work from Ryan Waters. "I'm just a black--" Warfield started to sing, and then the band and the Dakota fell dead silent.

Warfield coolly surveyed the crowd, raised her hands above her head, and in a well-practiced motion, moved her arms up and down like wings twice. Very few performers have the presence to make a gesture that broad look effortlessly cool, and she's one of them. The band exploded back with full force as she finished the phrase, ending the second half of the set in a wash of brass. It was theatrical, spontaneous, and powerful, and above all a display of musical skill, much like the night as a whole. 
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Turf Club grand reopening with Dead Man Winter, 8/28/14

Categories: Last Night
Photo By Tony Nelson

Turf Club grand reopening
with Dead Man Winter, Frankie Lee, Erik Koskinen, and the Cactus Blossoms
Turf Club, Saint Paul
August 28, 2014

The Turf Club is back! Well, a cleaner, better smelling version of the Turf Club. After First Avenue purchased the St. Paul establishment a few months ago, it has undergone some necessary renovations. New bathrooms on both levels (no more trough, boys!) with updated fancy green and black tiles. The stage has been modified and expanded with a vintage horse-racing mural as the backdrop. There's a brand spankin' new sound system that is crisp and clear without a hint of buzz.

These, among other changes, were on display for the first time last night at the grand reopening party with Dead Man Winter, Frankie Lee, and Erik Koskinen. Oh, and it wouldn't be a grand reopening party without a surprise set by club staples, The Cactus Blossoms, who closed out the night.

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Deke Dickerson & the Trashmen at the Minnesota State Fair, 8/27/14

Categories: Last Night
Photo by Steve Cohen

Deke Dickerson with the Trashmen
Minnesota State Fair's Schell's Stage, St. Paul
Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Deke Dickerson teaming with the Trashmen for two nights at the Minnesota State Fair's newly erected Schilling Amphitheater felt like a no-brainer. The legendary Minnesota garage, surf, old school rock 'n' roll band was fresh off another career highlight, their umpteenth release, Bringing Back the Trash, which features Dickerson sitting in with the band.

An influential axeman himself, Dickerson formed his first rockabilly band, Untamed Youth, in the '80s when he was only 17. But he still couldn't get over the fact he has been performing with his childhood heroes spoke earnestly and proudly of the experience of making new music with the band.

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Linkin Park at Minnesota State Fair, 8/26/14

Categories: Last Night
Photo by Adam DeGross

Linkin Park
with Thirty Seconds to Mars and AFI
Minnesota State Fair Grandstand, St. Paul
Tuesday, August 26, 2014

It seems as if each night at the Minnesota State Fair Grandstand has a certain theme, and Tuesday night's was angst-ridden arena rock. As the sun set on a beautiful night, the midway lights turned on, and the scent of manure and fried foods wafted through the air, fans filed in to the Grandstand like ants over a Popsicle on the ground.

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Run Westy Run at Triple Rock, 8/25/14

Categories: Last Night

Photo by Steve Cohen

Run Westy Run
Triple Rock Social Club, Minneapolis
Monday, August 25, 2014

Most Minnesota bands take years to complete a tour of the state's most iconic music venues, but the recently reformed Run Westy Run are making a run at it just eight months in. The Westies performed a raucous set at the Triple Rock Monday night, a gig that followed Christmastime bashes at First Avenue and the Turf Club and June shows at the 7th Street Entry, Amsterdam Bar & Hall, and The Rex in Duluth.

Monday's concert was only the local legends' sixth since returning from a 15-year hiatus last December, but more significantly last night, their first since the death of founding bassist/guitarist Kyle Johnson. The blood and musical brother of Westies frontman Kirk and guitarist Kraig, he passed away earlier this month at the age of 54. The Triple Rock show, booked to coincide with Saturday's memorial service for Kyle, was surely the musical equivalent of that for the members of Run Westy Run.

Run Westy Run were never as popular as fellow locals the Replacements or Hüsker Dü, but as the two-hour show proved, have always been just as meaningful to their biggest of fans.

See also:
R.I.P., Run Westy Run founding member Kyle Johnson

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Totally Gross National Party at Icehouse, 8/23/14

Categories: Last Night
Photo By Mark N Kartarik
Warey at the Totally Gross National Party

Totally Gross National Party
with Allan Kingdom, Leisure Birds, Tender Meat, Stolyette, Pony Bwoy, Fog, Votel, Alpha Consumer, Roniia, Warey, Aero Flynn, Marijuana Deathsquads, Taggert & Rosewood, and Def Kith
Icehouse, Minneapolis
Saturday, August 23, 2014

On Saturday at Icehouse, the innovative Totally Gross National Product crew again proved that they throw one hell of a party. The day was filled with 10 hours of eclectic, inventive music provided by 14 divergent bands with creative ties to TGNP, including debuts of some brand-new musical collaborations. The sets were intentionally kept short, which forced the groups to fill their performances with their best work.

See also:
Slideshow: Totally Gross National Party 2014 at Icehouse

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Kid Rock at the Minnesota State Fair, 8/23/14

Categories: Last Night
Mike Madison
Kid Rock at the Minnesota State Fair

Kid Rock
Minnesota State Fair Grandstand, St. Paul
Saturday, August 23, 2014

There is one vestige of the felled rap-rock era that just refuses to shrivel up and go away. This artifact of one of popular music's more unfortunate trend cycles remains so popular, in fact, that he still manages to sell out massive concerts. This past Saturday at the Minnesota State Fair, he proved his immortality once more by performing to a sold-out crowd of 13,123 America-loving, black bandana and sequin-wearing, fair-going "motherfuckers."

Ladies and gentlemen, Kid Rock is still very much alive and kicking. Included in his ridiculous assortment of hats that he so generously showcased throughout his performance: the fedora/top hat (a marriage of the two most signature hipster hats), the trucker hat, and of course... the cowboy hat. "I wanna be a cowboy, baby," he sang to the drunken crowd, most of them double-fisting in efforts not to spend half of the show waiting in line for another cold one.

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Aretha Franklin at the Minnesota State Fair, 8/22/14

Categories: Last Night
Photo by Tony Nelson
Aretha Franklin and the Four Tops
Minnesota State Fair Grandstand, Saint Paul
Friday, August 22, 2014

A sharp, piercing sun was setting as the Grandstand was beginning to fill up Friday night. The grandiose revelry that is the Minnesota State Fair was kicking off its first weekend in true style. As if it were tailored especially for this one beautiful evening, the Fair outdid itself welcoming the Four Tops and the Queen of Soul herself, Aretha Franklin, to the stage for what turned out to be, for many reasons, an unforgettable night.

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Katy Perry dances with an alien at Skateville in Burnsville

Categories: Last Night
@KaceyMusgraves on Twitter
Last night in Burnsville, Katy Perry and Kacey Musgraves laced up their skates just ahead of their performance tonight at Target Center.

See also:
The best Twin Cities concerts this weekend

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