Rock the Garden: MGMT, Sharon Jones, OK Go, and Retribution Gospel Choir coming to the Walker on June 19
The Current and the Walker Art Center announced their Rock the Garden lineup today with a live broadcast at Brit's Pub in downtown Minneapolis, hosted by Current DJ Mary Lucia and the Walker's Senior Curator for Performing Arts Philip Bither. The yearly outdoor festival has grown quite large in the past few years (selling out the 10,000-capacity Walker lawn for the past two years in a row), so anticipation was running high for this year's lineup and keeping the information under wraps proved difficult -- especially when openers OK Go tweeted that they would be playing with Sharon Jones and MGMT earlier today.
The headliners for this year's bash are hypemongers MGMT, who have just released their sophomore album to loud and divisive reviews. We here at Gimme Noise have been let down by their live show the past two times we've seen (their set opening for Beck in September of 2008 was a bore, while their first time playing in town at the Entry was a drunken half-assed train wreck), but we're hoping that they've improved their live show in the last year and will bring more energy to the Walker show.
The most promising name on Rock the Garden's lineup is Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, a consistently fantastic soul/R&B group. Jones will be joined by fellow openers OK Go, who have been out-Princing the Purple One lately with their new album of shimmering funk jams, and should be a fun act to see outdoors on the sunny lawn.
Event organizers filled in the now-traditional local spot with Duluth trio Retribution Gospel Choir (featuring Alan Sparhawk of Low), a moody rock band who has gotten downright poppy on their latest release.
No big surprises here, especially for avid listeners of the Current, but other than the hit-or-miss headliners it's a pretty solid lineup. As with last year, however, the Basilica seems to be giving the Walker and the Current a run for their money by booking uncharacteristically hip acts (both Spoon and the Avett Brothers are arguably more popular amongst local indie rock fans than MGMT), and they haven't even released their final headliner for the two-day block party.
Tickets for Rock the Garden go on sale to Walker and MPR members today, and to the general public on April 27. General admission tickets are $40. More info is available on both the Walker and the Current sites.
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