First Avenue’s Best New Bands night each January is an excellent way to catch up on local music for anyone who’s fallen a bit behind. It’s also a rare opportunity for fledgling acts to take over the Mainroom. The headliner this year, rapper Nur-D, who’d already won City Pages’ Picked to Click poll a few months earlier, is the kind of performer who understands that when you’re on the big stage, you gotta go big. And so he brought out a full band, complete with horn section and backup singers, attired in full Space Jam uniforms. (The MC himself, of course, was Bugs.) The music, largely from his excellent album, Songs About Stuff, lived up to the spectacle, and Nur-D’s high-spirited stage presence brought it all back home.
Readers’ Choice: Nur-D