The 802 Tour's luxurious experience hits the Walker in March
On March 22 and 23, a collective of young, folk-rooted composers who were drinking buddies back in Vermont will perform at the Walker's William and Nadine McGuire Theater. If you read that sentence and a certain level of pretentious cultural superiority didn't come to mind, go back and read it again. Better yet, attend the show in March.
To be fair, people these days often mistake pretension for sophistication, and consequently miss out on some quality stuff. This March show is quality stuff. The 802 Tour -- which features Nico Muhly, Sam Amidon, Doveman and Nadia Sirota -- makes for a night of good, clean fun with a class of music to match its luxurious setting. And it will sound more expensive than the actual ticket price (only $22, $18 for Walker members).
Each performer on the bill touts an impressive résumé and an inventory of really beautiful compositions. Doveman -- 25-year-old Mark Bartlett's brainchild -- for example, has played with such demigods as David Byrne, Arto Lindsay and the National. His piano-fueled, "I'm not singing I'm whispering" arrangements take the scenic route to your attention, but if you let them get there, they have a charming staying power to them.
Similarly, Nico Muhly has an Ivy League resume, but his approach has less of a folk scaffolding around it. It's straight-up contemporary classical, and it's some of the best to come around in a generation. It's also got the endorsement of legend Phillip Glass; the two have collaborated on numerous projects.
The 802 will also welcome the 612 with The Laurels String Quartet, a group of local pluckers and bowers who have played behind pretty much all the faces on the Twin Cities' musical Mt. Rushmore -- Dessa, Jeremy Messersmith, Adam Levy, Chris Koza, etc. Here's the Quartet backing up Dessa on a safer Prince cover than, say, "Purple Rain," "I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man."
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