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First Avenue's 20 best concerts: Readers' picks

First Avenue's 20 best concerts: Readers' picks
Photo by Stacy Schwartz

Related:
First Avenue's 20 best concerts: The complete list
First Avenue: An archived history via flyers, riders & contracts
Top 20 best Minnesota musicians: The complete list

Even if the ticket stubs are long gone, and the T-shirt purchased at the merch table didn't survive backpacking across Europe, the memories of amazing shows at the legendary Minneapolis club First Avenue live on. Last week, we unleashed the Gimme Noise list of the 20 best concerts the venue has ever hosted, and we happily stand corrected, amended, and with our pants down a little bit. (King Sunny Ade and Nirvana were the most frequently cited omissions.) Many folks sent us lists, and others left comments describing their favorite nights at the venue -- one even mentioned a sexual conquest that followed. Here we have 20 from the readers. -Reed Fischer


20. Bloodhound Gang,
First Avenue's 20 best concerts: Readers' picks
Photo by Daniel Corrigan

17. Boredoms, First Avenue, 3/25/08
All Boredoms shows are fantastic. Eye had a broken leg and was hopping around playing a seven-neck guitar with a huge stick and then conducting four drummers with glowing orbs. It was a fascinating use of the vocabulary they've built up, and incredibly, incredibly loud. -Ryan Olson

16. Wilco, First Avenue, 6/29-30/01
These were special shows for a couple of reasons. Wilco wasn't on tour. They just played these two shows and one at Summerfest in Milwaukee. Weeks prior to the show, Jeff Tweedy told fans to download the unreleased Yankee Hotel Foxtrot and judging by the crowd singing every word to the YHF songs, the crowd followed Tweedy's instructions. Also, because they were not on tour, these shows had a unusual looseness to them. These were also Jay Bennett's last shows with the band and his was kicked out after their next show in Milwaukee.  Footage of these shows can be seen in the film, I Am Trying to Break Your Heart. -"Zinovy"

 

15. Pulp, First Avenue, 5/26/95
I remember it for two other reasons besides it being awesome:
1. I lost my virginity to my college girlfriend Kathryn earlier in the day (sorry for the TMI).  2. Jarvis sang directly to Kathryn at the concert (I think during "Disco 2000"), we were close to the stage. -Ian Stade

14. Pixies, First Avenue, 1/26-27/92
The Pixies played the same night as the Super Bowl. Had tickets to both, the show at First Ave was far better than Super Bowl. -"Scott55116"

First Avenue's 20 best concerts: Readers' picks


13. Descendants, First Avenue, 7/13/87
I think the Descendents should maybe have been on the list. Their greatest work of all time was recorded at

First Avenue's 20 best concerts: Readers' picks
Photo by Stacy Schwartz

8. Metric, First Avenue, 6/13/09
Fantasies release tour: Emily Haines singing and dancing for almost two hours was incredible entertainment. -Raymond Albright 

7. Lords of Acid, First Avenue, 7/20/95
We got there early, so we were right in the front in the middle. It was one of the sweatiest shows I'd ever been too. Also the only one I've ever attended where the lead singer (who was super hot), sang with her microphone stuck in a blowup doll's butt. -PJ Mudd

6. The Chemical Brothers, First Avenue, 4/27/97

The most memorable part of the show was their visuals. They had a 8mm projector (or something similar) on some scaffolding project all the visuals on them throughout the show. -PJ Mudd

 

5. Weezer, First Avenue, 11/15/96
Weezer did an outstanding concert in support of Pinkerton. They rocked, and Rivers Cuomo had a hat on and no glasses. Here is a setlist from that era. I can't imagine the current incarnation of the band plays "Tired of Sex" to start off a show. -Ian Stade

4. fIREHOSE and the Feelies, First Avenue, 10/09/90
The Feelies were headlining. There was some spat going on between the two bands and fIREHOSE, already known for their great live shows, kicked it up a notch, trying to bury the Feelies. Mike Watt broke two bass strings because he was playing with such fire...and yes, The Feelies couldn't live up. -"Zinovy"

3. Radiohead, First Avenue, 6/04/95 
Thinking about it now it's pretty funny. The only reason I went was to hear "Creep" since I wasn't a fan of The Bends. Now, though,The Bends is probably my favorite Radiohead album. -PJ Mudd

2. Helmet, First Avenue, 11/21/94

I also have a special affinity for my first concert: Helmet, Quicksand and Orange 9MM in fall of 1994. Helmet was my favorite band by far. I was close enough to get sweated on by Page Hamilton. It was the beginning of a long-term relationship the club that has had its ups and downs, but has been very worth it. -Ian Stade

1. Nirvana, First Avenue, 10/14/91
Um... Nirvana? HELLO?!?!?! - "John Stevenson 101"

Related:
First Avenue's 20 best concerts: The complete list
First Avenue: An archived history via flyers, riders & contracts
Top 20 best Minnesota musicians: The complete list


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