Best of

the Twin Cities

Best Concert (Touring)

Kanye West at Xcel Energy Center (Oct. 10, 2016)

Kanye West is one of the only artists alive who can captivate an entire arena — even when no one can see him. Throughout his mesmerizing, passionate performance during the Saint Pablo Tour stop in St. Paul (his first Twin Cities visit in eight years), West floated above the crowd on a moving platform accented by blood-red lighting that left him mostly in the shadows. But Kanye’s dynamic material and outsized persona enlivened the wild general admission floor as well as the packed stands, even if we only caught indistinct glimpses of him. The elevated stage played up Kanye’s God complex, bringing him closer to heaven while his adoring crowd worshiped from below. The moving stage redefined the parameters on what an arena show could look like; it transported Kanye to all corners of the X, getting the entire crowd hyped by the spectacle. The slew of cancellations before and after the performance made it that much more special, though any Kanye appearance is going to be memorable.

Readers’ Choice: Adele at Xcel Energy

Best Acoustic Performer Sam Cassidy

Best Album 'Wordless Wonder' by Real Numbers

Best Album Cover 'Bend Your Bones' by Fraea

Best Band Name Lazy Scorsese

Best Band to Break Up Frankie Teardrop

Best Club DJ DJ Keezy

Best Concert (Local) Communist Daughter record-release show at First Avenue (Nov. 11, 2016)

Best Concert Venue Palace Theatre

Best Cover Song 'Congratulations' by Dessa

Best Earworm 'Phone' by Lizzo

Best EP 'Nite Time' by Ness Nite

Best Hip-Hop Artist P.O.S

Best Hip-Hop Producer Travis Gorman

Best Hip-Hop Verse Finding Novyon on 'Cups' by Sean Anonymous & DJ Name

Best Jazz Artist Zacc Harris

Best Jazz Club Dakota Jazz Club

Best Jukebox Turf Club Clown Lounge

Best Karaoke The Infernal Singalong Machine at Grumpy's

Best Live Artist Lizzo

Best Metal Band Sunless

Best Compilation 'Sound Verite Records/IX Vol. 1 2016'

Best Music Controversy Pro-consent reimaging of 'Baby, It's Cold Outside' goes viral

Best Music Festival Eaux Claires

Best Music Residency Andrew Broder & People: A Residency for Music and Action at the Turf Club

Best Music TV Show 'The Lowertown Line'

Best Music Video "It's Good to Be Alive" by Mark Mallman

Best Music Video Director Mercies May

Best Musical Act of Protest Kitten Forever donate music sales to fight Trump

Best New Band Poolboy

Best Place to See a Show with Kids The Garage

Best R&B Artist Ness Nite

Best Record Label Doomtree Records

Best Record Store Day Location Flashlight Vinyl

Best Reunion Happy Apple

Best Rock Band Hippo Campus

Best Selling Out Hamburger Helper's 'Watch the Stove' mixtape

Best Single 'Kismet Kill' by Haley

Best Song to Cry To 'Someday We’ll Linger in the Sun' by Gaelynn Lea

Best Song to Have Sex To 'Full Court Press' by Tickle Torture & Velvet Negroni

Best Songwriter The Cactus Blossoms

Best Stage Style Finding Novyon

Best Venue to Close Mill City Nights

Best Venue to Open The Warming House

Best Vocalist Lady Midnight