Solid Gold, Big Head Todd, and more


Solid Gold

Uptown Bar & Cafe

You've probably heard the name Solid Gold kicked around a lot lately, and for good reason. Aside from making the cover of City Pages' Year in Music issue, the band has recently found itself topping many a local best-of list. While Solid Gold's debut, Bodies of Water, hit shelves late in '08, the band made quick work of its rivals thanks to frenetic live shows, ubiquitous local radio presence for the über-danceable "Get Over It," and the inescapable fact that the combo's synth-drenched pop sculptures are just plain good. That the album was long fussed over and painstakingly crafted—Solid Gold ditched two albums worth of material before making Bodies—is evident. That the record has gone over so well is a testament to the perks of remaining loyal to one's artistic compass. 21+. $5. 9 p.m. 3018 Hennepin Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612.823.4719. —Will McClain


Big Head Todd and the Monsters

Jam-band circuit mainstays Umphrey's McGee
Kevin Browning
Jam-band circuit mainstays Umphrey's McGee

First Avenue

Originally founded as a trio in 1986, Big Head Todd and the Monsters have since proven to be one of the longest tenured workhorses in independent music. Despite not having a single chart-topper in more than a decade, the blues-influenced rockers continue to achieve tremendous success on the road, heavily leaning on the idea that they are first and foremost a touring band. Firm evidence of this came with the release of 2007's All the Love You Need, when the band mailed some 25,000 copies to fans at no cost, in addition to offering the album as a free download via their website. "We want to get our new music out to as many people as possible," said the band in a statement following the album's release. No wonder it has gained such an extensive fan base, despite little conventional commercial success in the past 10-plus years. With Former Sun 60 vocalist Joan Jones. 18+. $23/$25 at the door. 6 p.m. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.332.1775. —Chris DeLine


Umphrey's McGee

First Avenue

Reigning for the past decade, the present, and perhaps far into the future on the jam-band circuit, Chicago's Umphrey's McGee arrive for their latest three-night residency at First Avenue with something genuinely new and out of the ordinary: an entire album of new material untested on the road save for the first three Colorado dates on this tour. Mantis, released on inauguration day, took nearly three years for the band to put together, and although there's plenty of room for UM's trademark improvisation, the album has the feel of an epic statement, its free-flowing moments carefully plotted for maximum effect, echoing the prime of such progressive rock mammoths as King Crimson, Yes, and Pink Floyd. Clocking in at a relatively tight 54 minutes, Mantis nevertheless is rife with sprawling pieces full of shifting dynamics and textures, spatial odysseys that bloom into searing guitar forays from Jake Cinninger and Brendan Bayliss, psychedelic clouds of harmonizing vocals, metal runs that melt into Joel Cummins's piano, and Zappaesque rock-classical-jazz convolutions. In other words, it's prime UM high-concept stuff played with characteristic UM panache. 18+. $20. 8 p.m. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.332.1775. Also Saturday and Sunday —Rick Mason


The Guystorm

Hexagon Bar

The Guystorm are set to host a release show for their debut 7-inch vinyl EP, The Dark Album, this Saturday. Since the group formed more than a year ago, their undeniable energy and frustratingly distorted post-punk, cast behind Angelo V. Pennacchio's flamboyant gasps and oft-politically focused wails, have made them worthy of the "next in line" label among the Cities' best young bands. The majority of the EP's songs have been works in progress for the majority of the band's tenure together, which means two things: The Dark Album is going to be packed with crafted, well-rounded songs, as opposed to hastily tossed-together train wrecks; and as the Guystorm's recent studio set for KFAI's Radio Revolucion showcased, the release show is going to be explosive. Joining the band will be Lookbook, Haunted House, and DJ Twin Tower$. 21+. Free. 9 p.m. 2600 27th Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612.722.3454. —Chris DeLine

Vic Chestnutt

400 Bar

Songwriter Vic Chestnutt's online bio reads like a cross between free-verse poetry and a grocery list. Its simplicity makes its poignant moments more striking: "adopted," "age 17 meets Johnny Cash," "hands and legs go numb," "meets Joni Mitchell." So it is with Chestnutt's lyrics, propelled and nourished by Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman. The songwriter distills the observations of a man paralyzed at age 18 into deceivingly simple sentiments such as, "My blue ribbon gumption is gone/All my gravy must have soaked into something." Though Michael Stipe discovered Chestnutt in Athens in the late '80s, the mainstream caught wind of him with 1996's Sweet Relief II: The Gravity of the Situation, a haunting all-star covers album of his songs. Chestnutt's repertoire is deep, wide, and perfect for exploration in an intimate setting. With Elf Power and Yer Cronies. 18+. $10. 8 p.m. 400 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612.332.2903. —Will McClain

Scott Weiland

Pantages Theatre

Let's now consider inelegant grifter Scott Weiland. This rock demigod can be relied upon to spew out hackneyed, over-emoted nonsense, to kick substance abuse and then relapse, to rack up DUIs, to boomerang nomadically from project to project, to alienate everyone who works with him to one extent or another. Weiland, then, exemplifies a persona that's quickly dying out in the music world: the addled, totally unpredictable dude-as-diva, with all the adherent rights and responsibilities that title carries with it. You never know what the guy's gonna do next. Will the Stone Temple Pilots reunion—he's their frontman, remember—remain afloat, grinding out reheated grunge hits on the touring trail? Will he and the other members of Velvet Revolver eventually kiss and make up? Will Happy, his upcoming album, be as fuzzed-out, deranged, electronic, and downright enjoyable as his 1998 solo debut, 12 Bar Blues? No way to tell—which is more than one can say about the likes of Ozzy, Axl, or Chris Cornell these days. In case you hadn't gathered as much, Weiland's foxy to us; is he foxy to you? All ages. $35. 8 p.m. 710 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis; 612.339.7007. —Ray Cummings


Yo! Majesty

Next Page »
Minnesota Concert Tickets

Concert Calendar

  • May
  • Mon
  • Tue
  • Wed
  • Thu
  • Fri
  • Sat
  • Sun