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The best Twin Cities concerts of 2013, part two

The best Twin Cities concerts of 2013, part two
Photo by Erik Hess

As 2013 winds down with a wintry bang, the unforgettable live music moments from the second half of the year are enough to still keep us warm.

While some of the bands who were included in our best concerts list from the first half of the year came back to rock our stages with equally potent -- if not better -- local gigs (namely CHVRCHES, Prof, Poliça, and Prince), we've assembled an entirely new list of performers who put on incredible shows from July through December that those of us who were there won't forget anytime soon.

See Also: The best Twin Cities concerts of 2013 (so far)

The best Twin Cities concerts of 2013, part two
Photo By Erik Hess

15. Paramore at Roy Wilkins Auditorium, 11/23/13

From Youa Vang's review: "To integrate the Twin Cities into their show, the band invited the Hopkins High School choir to sit in on "Ain't It Fun," repeating the phrase and mantra "Don't go crying to your mama, 'cause you're on your own in the real world." Need more something to break the monotony of playing the same set every night? The most romantic, poignant piece by the band "The Only Exception" had a couple getting engaged during the song. Hayley shared she was glad it was a surprise or she would have been a crying mess during the piece."

See Also: Slideshow: Paramore at Roy Wilkins Auditorium, 11/23/13

Tapes 'n Tapes at CC Club's 80th Anniversary
Tapes 'n Tapes at CC Club's 80th Anniversary
Photo by Tony Nelson

14. CC Club's 80th Anniversary, Friday and Saturday, 12/6-7/13

From Jeff Gage's review: "It's been a landmark year for the CC Club in a lot of ways, and these two nights of concerts were a perfect way to cap it all off. The place has come a long way in recent months, considering that less than 12 months ago there was some cause to wonder whether the place would even still be around at this point. But the new owners from next door neighbors French Meadow have been good to their word on preserving what has become the last real holdout of a bygone neighborhood."

See Also: Slideshow: The CC Club's 80th Anniversary: Night One
Slideshow: CC Club 80th Anniversary, night two

The best Twin Cities concerts of 2013, part two
Photo By Kyle Matteson

13. Colin Meloy at the Woman's Club, 11/13/13

From Erik Thompson's review: "Gorgeous, stunning versions of "Engine Driver" and "On the Bus Mall" proved to be high points of the show, before Meloy played two new songs for us. The first one, currently called "Philomena," is "My take on 'Blurred Lines,'" Meloy joked. "Every male artist should have something like this in his proverbial quiver. Who knows, maybe it will become a summer jam?" The bawdy song had some strong sexual undercurrents, which Colin addressed flippantly. "Playing that song in the Woman's Club likely gave it the extra dimension it needed. You can hear the Edwardian ladies titter."

The best Twin Cities concerts of 2013, part two
Photo By Ryan Siverson

12. Amphetamine Reptile's Bash 13 at Grumpy's, 7/20/13

From Erik Thompson's review: "Mudhoney was making their first Minneapolis appearance in over a decade, and the dynamic quartet certainly made the most of it, delivering a knockout set that was far and away the best of the day. The feisty performance featured a fluid blend of stone-cold classics and defiant new material (from their recently released Sub Pop effort, Vanishing Point), with "Slipping Away" and "I Don't Remember You" coming alongside slacker anthems like "You Got It (Keep It Outta My Face)," "Suck You Dry," and "Touch Me I'm Sick" all delivered with the same snide attitude that made them compelling back in the day, with Mark Arm, Steve Turner, Dan Peters, and Guy Maddison not showing any signs of rust nor any hints of slowing down any time soon."

See Also: Slideshow: Amphetamine Reptile's Bash 13

The best Twin Cities concerts of 2013, part two
Photo By Anna Gulbrandsen

11. El-P and Killer Mike at Varsity Theater, 7/19/13

From Zach McCormick's review: "Killer Mike has such a fearsome delivery that he doesn't even really need to move. Standing at a monolithic six foot something and built like an NFL lineman, the Killer is a master of the hardcore ATL style, nimbly switching between a swaggering baritone and a growling bellow that command attention whenever he touches the microphone. Ringing in the headliners with the massive, El-P produced "Big Beast," the MC mugged like a reigning heavyweight while the songs piercing uptemo trap beat caused a surge in the crowd's front rows."

See Also: Slideshow: El-P & Killer Mike at Varsity Theater

 

The best Twin Cities concerts of 2013, part two
Photo By Anna Meldal

10. My Bloody Valentine at Roy Wilkins Auditorium, 11/1/13

From Pat O'Brien's review: "It wasn't apparent how loud the show actually was until the band would momentarily stop playing between songs and it felt roughly the equivalent to standing inside of a diesel engine. "Only Shallow" from Loveless brought the loudest cheers from the audience. It's easily their most recognizable song, but the band treated it like business as usual. The bone-crushing version they offered up was nothing short of astonishing. The band always was and still is at its best when highlighting Butcher's angelic, ethereal voice."

The best Twin Cities concerts of 2013, part two
Photo By Erik Hess

9. Nine Inch Nails at Xcel Energy Center, 9/28/13

From Reed Fischer's review: "New and new-ish material followed once the lights came back on, and texture proved to be even more important than sheer volume for tracks like "Running" and "Satellite." This stretch of relative inactivity from the crowd was eventually met with a chamber unloaded rapid-fire into our temples via "Somewhat Damaged," "Wish," "Only," "The Hand That Feeds," and set-closer "Head Like a Hole."

See Also: Slideshow: Nine Inch Nails at Xcel Energy Center, 9/28/13

The best Twin Cities concerts of 2013, part two
Photo By Erik Hess

8. Charles Bradley & His Extraordinaires at First Avenue, 12/5/13

From Zack McCormick's review: "If we could all have the blessing of hearing a sermon or motivational speech from Bradley at least once a week, I think we might just be able to achieve world peace, or at least lead happier, more productive lives. We talk about how artists have "it" a whole lot in this job. Charles Bradley is it. Incarnate. This might sound like hyperbole, but you really have to see the man to believe it. More than any of the other performers on the sterling Daptone Label, Charles really embodies the wide embrace of the soul music he performs. It's such a true gift to see any entertainer, especially one that just turned 65, give himself over to the show so completely."

The best Twin Cities concerts of 2013, part two
Photo By Kyle Matteson

7. Chris Cornell at O'Shaughnessy Auditorium, 10/30/13

From Erik Thompson's review: "'When I'm Down' proved to be a showstopper, with Cornell once again putting a record down on the turntable to provide an aural accompaniment to his vocals. He explained that the musician Natasha Shneider (from the band Eleven, as well as a former touring member of Queens of the Stone Age) played a gorgeous piano version of that track, and when she died, he decided he would sing along to it as a lasting tribute. Cornell prowled the front of the stage, completely lost in the raw emotions of the song while Shneider's swelling piano strains filled the room."

The best Twin Cities concerts of 2013, part two
Photo By Reed Fischer

6. Bob Dylan at Midway Stadium, 7/10/13

From Reed Fischer's review: "Watching him glide -- well, as much as Dylan does these days -- on the piano with his legs bowed out and sing in his most dulcet tones for a few minutes of "Suzie Baby" was a hazy image of a simpler era. (Although it would feature five capable backing musicians dressed in matching gray suits and always watching their bandleader with intense devotion to his whims.) An encapsulation of teenage love gone wrong, "Suzie Baby" was far simpler than much of the tangled knots of our featured performer's typical lyrics, and all the more refreshing."

 

The best Twin Cities concerts of 2013, part two
Photo By Erik Hess

5. Four Fists (P.O.S. & Astronautalis) at Triple Rock, 10/08/13

From Erik Thompson's review: "And indeed it was an awesome rap show, as the guys brought the set to a triumphant close with a flurry of flat out bangers, with Astronautalis' new song "Running Away" flowing into riotous versions of "Fuck Your Stuff" and "All Of It," causing Andy to briefly reminisce, "Remember that time two and a half years ago when I didn't live here? Yeah, that sucked." After an updated, frantic version of "Trouble Hunters," Doomtree's Mike Mictlan joined the crew and helped truly set the club off with the unofficial hip-hop anthem of the Twin Cities, "Get Down," which had everyone in the club (including the opening acts) jumping in time to the track's towering beats."

See Also: Slideshow: Four Fists at the Triple Rock, 10/8/13

The best Twin Cities concerts of 2013, part two
Photo By Robin Harper

4. Beyoncé at Xcel Energy Center, 7/18/13

From Reed Fischer's review: "The brilliance of Beyoncé when it comes to choosing her influences was played up effectively throughout the night, from the stark spotlighting recalling Michael Jackson during "If I Were a Boy" to the incorporation of Donna Summer's sensual powerhouse "Love to Love You Baby" into the intro for "Naughty Girl." The latter brought a line of fire out of the stage floor and a cabaret feel to the proceedings. Then, the glimmering "Party" turned the vibe to Vegas-style excess, including giant fans of feathers and slot machines spinning on the big screens. Surely she'll have a residency in Sin City when we're casino-obsessed retirees, so why not subliminally prepare us?"

The best Twin Cities concerts of 2013, part two
Photo By Steve Cohen

3. Depeche Mode at the MN State Fair Grandstand, 8/27/13

From Erik Thompson's review: "An absolutely massive version of "Personal Jesus" began with a bluesy, ominous groove, featuring Gahan swinging his vest around brazenly before the song erupted. The now-shirtless frontman strutted and shimmied his way around the stage as the track took on a swampy, sinister sound, with the crowd throwing their hands in the air and singing the chorus back to the band in full voice. Gore then took over, bringing the song and the main set to a close in a haze of triumphant guitar squall."

See Also: Slideshow: Depeche Mode at the Grandstand, 8/27/13

The best Twin Cities concerts of 2013, part two
Photo by Tony Nelson

2. Janelle Monáe at Skyway Theatre, 10/22/13

From Jeff Gage's review: "Monáe's voice, for that matter, is big, even theatrical, in its range and power, but what's equally impressive is that she matches it with the energy of her delivery. For pretty well the entirety of her 100-minute set last night, she was in constant motion, dancing and shimmying along with her backup singers, running in place, and leading her five-piece band as though she were conducting them. One can only imagine the workout routine she must have to maintain to make it all happen. (Not everything can come easily, after all.)"

See Also: Slideshow: Janelle Monáe at Skyway Theatre, 10/22/13

The best Twin Cities concerts of 2013, part two
Photo By Steve Cohen

1. Savages at First Avenue, 9/17/13

From Erik Thompson's review: "'Hit Me" proved to be a real showstopper, with Beth tentatively asking the crowd, "Can I be honest with you?" before launching into a submissive manifesto filled with lines like, "I was in a place where I wanted to be thrown up against the wall, because I'm a dirty little dog. I want to be smacked. You must put me on my leash, bare naked with my legs shaking. Hit me!" But rather than coming off as a track fueled by aggression and domination, the song showed that Beth was clearly the one in control of the situation, provoking the audience with her bold delivery and salacious subject matter, while peeling back the curtains of people's perversions and turning it into art."


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