Twenty One Pilots at Skyway Theatre, 4/17/14

Categories: Last Night
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Photo by Anna Gulbrandsen
Twenty One Pilots
with NONONO and Hunter Hunted
Skyway Theatre, Minnepolis
Thursday, April 18, 2014


Don't let their name fool you. The Ohio band Twenty One Pilots is really only just two guys, Tyler Joseph and Josh Dun. The two performers are doing things and making music that nobody is really doing right now; they combine genres of music -- dubstep, hip-hop, indie-folk, rock, reggae -- that may look like they don't belong together on paper, but sonically and visually come together to make one hell of a show.

See also:
Slideshow: Twenty One Pilots electrify Skyway Theatre


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Twiztid at Skyway Theatre, 4/16/14

Categories: Last Night
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Photos by Adam DeGross

Twiztid
Skyway Theatre, Minneapolis
Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Snow is falling lightly over downtown Minneapolis. Too early for rush hour traffic, the streets are relatively quiet. Buses roll by. Pedestrians walk quickly with their heads down, shielding their eyes from the wet flakes. Suddenly, a call to arms pierces the relative silence.

"WHOOP WHOOP!"

The Skyway Theatre comes into view. A line is forming beneath its marquee - people of all shapes and sizes, young and old, some with their hair twisted up into tiny braids, others with faces painted up unnervingly like horror movie clowns. The line begins to stretch into the adjacent parking structure. A man again shouts out. The collective reply resonates from the back of the line, spilling out onto the street. "WHOOP WHOOP!"

It was not Halloween. It was a Wednesday evening in mid-April, and a Twiztid show was about to go down.

See also:
Slideshow: Twiztid take over Skyway Theatre


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Riff Raff at First Avenue, 4/15/14

Categories: Last Night
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Photo by Erik Hess

Riff Raff
First Avenue, Minneapolis
Tuesday, April 15, 2014

After "Rose Gold Stripper Pole" -- in which Riff Raff managed get a decent bounce going simply by occasionally saying "stripper pole" out loud, over his own vocal track -- his DJ addressed the crowd. "You know you're looking at the future of music!" he said. The future of music, aka Riff Raff, aka Jody Highroller, aka Horst Simco, aka Rap Game Shirley Temple, was kneeling down on the side of the stage. "I apologize to the state of Minnesota," Riff Raff said, not acknowledging the mantle just placed on him by his DJ. "I'm very drunk right now."

See also:
Slideshow: Riff Raff at First Avenue, 4/15/14


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Speedy Ortiz at 7th St. Entry, 4/15/14

Categories: Last Night
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Photo by Mark N. Kartarik

Speedy Ortiz
7th St. Entry, Minneapolis
Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Last night was missing something. Like a sense of urgency or chance of surprise. Technically tight, the members of Massachusetts' Speedy Ortiz played 7th St. Entry well enough so that sonically you understood their status as a headliner. They bound from one song to the next with measured proficiency, enforcing an air of confidence in their combined effort.

And the control of that sound - showing this ability to open up guitar feedback like a throttle - presented this act as not a backyard outfit high on loose abandon, but as a touring machine smiling their fresh-cut teeth. Guitarist Mike Robidoux shoved a pair of pliers into his fret board at a particular instance, yet you felt that somewhere else he'd done so before, even if the technique still entertained. That image is sort of the metaphor for the evening, now.

See also:
Slideshow: Speedy Ortiz at 7th St Entry, 4/15/14

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Phantogram at First Avenue, 4/13/14

Categories: Last Night
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Photo By Anna Gulbrandsen

Phantogram
With Teen
First Avenue, Minneapolis
April 13, 2014

Phantogram's textured synth-rock's power has grown steadily over the years. And they have never sounded -- and looked -- as massive as they did last night at a sold-out First Avenue. Sarah Barthel and Josh Carter (along with Chris Carhart on drums and Nick Shelestak on guitar/synths/samples) delivered an enthralling 85-minute performance in support of their new record, Voices, augmented with a stylish light show.

See also:
Slideshow: Phantogram at First Avenue, 4/13/14

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Dillinger Escape Plan at First Avenue, 4/12/14

Categories: Last Night
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Photo by Erik Hess

Dillinger Escape Plan
with Trash Talk, Retox, and Shining
First Avenue, Minneapolis
Saturday, April 12, 2014

Dillinger Escape Plan haven't played Minneapolis in some time, but their return made a huge impact. With excellent openers Trash Talk, Retox, and Shining rounding out a solid bill, it was an overall excellent night of experimental punk and metal at First Avenue.

See also:
Slideshow: Dillinger Escape Plan cause a frenzy at First Avenue

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Toadies at First Avenue, 4/11/14

Categories: Last Night
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Photo by Erik Hess

Toadies: Rubberneck 20th Anniversary Tour
With Supersuckers and Battleme
First Avenue, Minneapolis
Friday, April 11, 2014

In celebration of the 20th anniversary of their full-length debut, Rubberneck, Texas alt-rockers Toadies stopped by First Avenue on Friday. Supported by Supersuckers and Battleme, they played through the album in its entirety and were met with an enthusiastic and responsive crowd.


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The Replacements at Coachella, 4/11/14

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Photo by Timothy Norris

The Replacements
Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival, Indio, California
April 11, 2014

Paul Westerberg wasn't exactly thrilled to be in the Southern California desert last night. "Headed out to San Francisco, definitely not L.A.," he once sang. During his latest reunion show with the Replacements -- at Coachella -- he often mocked the audience, whom he quickly deemed insufficiently familiar with the band's catalog.

At one point he looked out over the crowd, asking for a "girl who has never used the word awesome," which seemed to be a dig at San Fernando Valley ladies, based a couple of hours West, who largely populated the premises.

So yeah, he was crotchety. But dammit if he didn't get away with it.


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Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings at State Theatre, 4/9/14

Categories: Last Night
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Photo by Tony Nelson

Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings
State Theatre, Minneapolis
Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Sharon Jones has always been a fighter. Like many of her labelmates on Brooklyn's soul-revival record company Daptone, she toiled for years in relative obscurity, working as a correctional officer to pay bills and watching as her bids for stardom were repeatedly shot down by a business that seemed to have passed her by. Even after her career began to take off in her early 40s, Jones never received success on a silver patter, building it instead through years of hard-nosed touring, watching all the while as younger, less singularly talented performers made millions by cribbing from her playbook.

Ms. Jones' resilience was tested again in 2013 when she was diagnosed with bile duct cancer, and she spent the better part of her year in and out of intensive surgery and chemotherapy. Now, a mere four months after her last round of chemo, the indomitable singer returned to Minneapolis for an incredible, cathartic performance. 

See also:
Slideshow: Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings at State Theatre

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Experience Hendrix at State Theatre, 4/8/14

Categories: Last Night
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Photo by Steve Cohen

Experience Hendrix
State Theatre, Minneapolis
Tuesday, April 8, 2014

To say last night's touring Jimi Hendrix tribute performance, Experience Hendrix, was a non-stop barrage of propulsively sexy, heavy-duty guitar would be an understatement. Almost as powerful as the man himself, an endless succession of guitar players lit the glorious State Theatre stage up like the finest of Woodstock acid trips. For nearly three hours, Jimi's old Army buddy and eventual bassist in the Band of Gypsys, Billy Cox led an army of All-Star guitarists who collectively managed to scorch their way through the bible of Hendrix quintessentials.

See also:
Slideshow: Experience Hendrix at State Theatre

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