Exceptional local and national musicians play our Twin Cities clubs every night. Plenty of shows are worth the price of admission, but then there are the nights that are transcendent affairs. As the year reaches its summery midway point, Gimme Noise looks back at what we've seen and heard. Here are ... More >>
Neon Trees with Smallpools and Nightmare and the Cat First Avenue, Minneapolis Monday, June 23, 2014 Neon Trees assembled behind a massive white sheet placed across the front of the stage as the opening notes of the Pixies' "Where Is My Mind?" plunked out on a keyboard, but it turned out to be jus ... More >>
Stillwater, Minnesota, and Hudson, Wisconsin, both located within about a half-hour drive from most launchpads in the Twin Cities, are practically busting at the seams with antiquey, boutiquey, bed-and-breakfast charm. Their prime location in the St. Croix River Valley means there are lots of hiking ... More >>
Arcade FireTarget Center, MinneapolisSaturday, March 8, 2014Win Butler is either one of the best rock stars in the world, or one of the worst. He can't dance and sweats a lot. He's overly tall and still feels the need to stand on stage monitors to make himself look even more gigantic. Essentially ... More >>
Live music photography is hard work, and it's even harder to thrive while doing it. Lining up a quality shot is part of the equation, but a good concert photographer must also have a clue. We recently profiled 20 of the best Twin Cities music photographers, and asked each for "dos and don'ts" for at ... More >>
Trey Anastasio BandFirst Avenue, MinneapolisTuesday, February 4, 2014Trey Anastasio last performed on the First Avenue stage 21 years ago. The Phish frontman returned with a six-piece backing band to make up for his long absence with a three-hour, two-set performance on Tuesday night. The sold-out c ... More >>
From underrated hipster bars to "pretty reckless" musicians, 2013 was a big year for the music scene in Minnesota. Raise your PBR a glass to the most-read posts on Gimme Noise from this year.
Janelle MonáeSkyway Theatre, MinneapolisTuesday, October 22, 2013The word "transcendent" gets thrown around much too often these days, but in the case of Janelle Monáe, it actually fits. What it should mean is something more than just a good performance, or even a great one. It should reach out be ... More >>
Franz Ferdinand With Frankie Rose Skyway Theatre, Minneapolis October 9, 2013 Of course Franz Ferdinand felt right at home in an old, revamped movie theatre. The ultra-charming Glaswegian quartet returned to Minneapolis for the first time in four years on Wednesday night, and got the packed Skyway ... More >>
Taylor Swift Xcel Energy Center, St. Paul Saturday, September 7, 2013I'll admit, I wasn't prepared for all the red. Yes, I knew Taylor Swift's most recent album was called Red and that this was "The Red Tour" but it hadn't occurred to me that those titles would dictate her fans' dress code quite so ... More >>
Mumford & SonsXcel Energy Center, St. PaulWednesday, September 4, 2013There's no question that Marcus Mumford and his band of Sons are brilliant. In one way, at least. Finally someone has capitalized on American pop's two most-popular niches, twang and EDM. Unfortunately, this marketable and sta ... More >>
Ke$ha with Mike Posner and Semi Precious Weapons Myth Live Event Center, St. Paul August 19, 2013 If the will call line is held up by security inspecting a glitter container to ensure it's not drugs, a grown man is prancing around in gold spandex pants, and the floor becomes a minefield of spilled ... More >>
The Joy Formidable with Guards and KittenFirst Avenue, MinneapolisWednesday, April 3, 2013First Avenue sure knows how to put on a birthday party. Whether by design or whether by coincidence, Welsh band the Joy Formidable was the perfect group to lead that party into a frenzy that included cake, drun ... More >>
RihannaWith A$AP RockyXcel Energy Center, St. PaulSunday, March 24, 2013Does naming an album Unapologetic mean you never have to say you're sorry? Rihanna hit the stage at Xcel a little late (9:50 or so), but that wasn't the problem. The 10,000 devoted fans from around the upper Midwest would've wai ... More >>
MadonnaWith Paul OakenfoldXcel Energy Center, St. PaulSaturday, November 3, 2012Nothing came easy while Madonna performed at Xcel Energy Center Saturday. For anyone other than the ticket-holding masochists in the crowd, it was two hours of uncomfortable boot-licking. The few, hard-won pleasures came ... More >>
Foster the People With Tokyo Police Club and KimbraTarget Center, MinneapolisFriday, June 22, 2012It's difficult to retain your indie-cred once you hit the big time -- look at Dave Matthews Band -- and people must have liked Nickelback once upon a time. Riding off the success of their breakout singl ... More >>
Florence the MachineState Theatre, MinneapolisFriday, April 27, 2012View a slideshow from the concert here."This is such a beautiful venue," Florence Welch said to her assembled subjects midway through Friday's performance. And indeed the ornate State Theatre is one of the few spots worthy of the ... More >>
Clap Your Hands Say YeahDecember 1, 2011The Varsity TheaterA lot of people have been hating on Clap Your Hands Say Yeah lately. Their latest album, Hysterical, received a lackluster response critically when it was released in September of this year, and yes, CYHSY has had a bit of difficulty tryi ... More >>
Photos by Tony NelsonSebadoh November 2, 2011 400 Bar, Minneapolis "I'm not crying, but you're going to be in a minute." mused Sebadoh's bassist Jason Loewenstein at the beginning of Sebadoh's formidable two-hour set Wednesday night at the 400 Bar, underscoring what Sebadoh is and always has ... More >>
Photo by Tony NelsonSt. Vincent at the Walker Art Center earlier this monthIt's about lunchtime, right? Well, best go get your lunch outta the fridge and come back to your desk, because you're going to want to devote 15 uninterrupted minutes to this video. For those unfamiliar with the 4AD Sessio ... More >>
Photos by Tony NelsonThe Head and the Heart August 7, 2011 Varsity Theater, Minneapolis There's a line from the Head and the Heart's standout track "Down in the Valley" where Jonathan Russell sings, "Lord have mercy on my rough and rowdy ways." The line fits in perfectly with the rest of the ... More >>
Photos by Tony NelsonU2 with InterpolJuly 23, 2011TCF Bank Stadium, MinneapolisThese reviews are inevitably for fans, yet I find myself writing for U2-haters. One friend left a message during the show on Saturday wondering why I was there. Would anyone at the TCF Bank Stadium that night have aske ... More >>
Photos by Tony NelsonBruno Mars and Janelle MonaeMay 25, 2011Roy Wilkins Auditorium, St. PaulThere's really nothing that compares to the exhilarating sound of an arena full of teenage girls shrieking. It's the sound of hearts breaking in unison, of ecstatic and un-jaded joy. And it was the sound ... More >>
Photos by Tony NelsonBob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band May 12, 2011 Xcel Energy Center "Today's music ain't got the same soul." Not a song I really need to hear for the ten-thousandth time, or for the thousand more times I'm likely to hear it in my lifetime, but I'll be damned if this lyr ... More >>
Photos by Tony NelsonThe Kills May 5, 2011 First Avenue, Minneapolis If film exists of Thursday night's show turned in by the Kills, it's something that other bands should view immediately, study, and commit to memory. It unfolded exactly how a show in this vein should -- and even with the f ... More >>
Photos by Tony NelsonMike Watt and the Missingmen, with STNNNG April 18, 2011 Turf Club Oh, for the love of plaid, seeing Mike Watt perform live is really something special.
Photos by Tony NelsonBritish Sea PowerMarch 29, 2011Cedar Cultural Center, MinneapolisBritish Sea Power have a catalog that spans from sweeping and epic to explosive and driving--the power to crush both skulls and hearts. But there's no disconnect when they switch gears, and that's the appeal: ev ... More >>
Photos by Tony NelsonDavid GrayFebruary 28, 2011State Theatre, MinneapolisThe State Theater is one of the best venues to view this type of concert. David Gray and his full band revel the type of sound that can only be heard at large well-directed, capacity. Every aspect of the sound surrounding h ... More >>
Photo by Tony NelsonWu-Tang Clan at Epic this past JanuaryOur sister paper, the Village Voice, typically hosts a free day party during SXSW, and the lineups have been pretty fantastic -- last year brought together the xx, Superchunk, Surfer Blood, and more. But this year, they are cranking up the ... More >>
Photo by Tony Nelson"This show is already better than the last time I saw them because it's with their real singer," a friend said knowingly as Morcheeba launched into their set Wednesday night at First Avenue. The British downtempo trio's reinstated lead singer Skye Edwards floated across the st ... More >>
Photos by Tony Nelson - click here for slideshowLiz Phair January 20, 2011Fine Line Music Cafe, MinneapolisThe controversy surrounding Liz Phair's supposed "selling out" some years back still rests in the forefront of many peoples' minds. She was a reluctant sex symbol (the very best kind for a s ... More >>
Photo by Tony NelsonWhile you were reading today's cover story on Cloud Cult, you hopefully noticed all the great pictures Nick Vlcek snapped of the band during their performance at the Lowertown Music Festival in July. Well, that's not all we have for you. On his visit with the band in Eagan for ... More >>
Photo by Tony NelsonTricky at the Fine Line, 20092010 has been a big year for mid-'90s revivalism. Pavement reunited and toured the country. Liz Phair played her 1993 breakout album from start to finish. Bone Thugs are back. Superchunk put out a new album. All things considered, aren't we about d ... More >>
Photos by Tony NelsonThe Swell SeasonJuly 25, 2010First AvenueThe Swell Season, still buoyed by their Oscar win for Best Original Song in 2008 and the success of their recent album Strict Joy, have played the Hollywood Bowl and Radio City Music Hall in 2010, selling out both of the venerable (and ... More >>
Photos by Tony NelsonAll the pieces were certainly in place for a memorable show from the Hold Steady on Saturday night, with a sold-out crowd awaiting the band at the outdoor stage at the Cabooze on a steamy but glorious summer evening in Minneapolis. I'm not sure if it was the oppressive heat, ... More >>
Photo by Tony NelsonIconic folk musician Ramblin' Jack Elliott stopped at the Cedar Cultural Center on Saturday night for a show, where he was joined by locals Patches and Gretchen and an all-star local tribute act called the Rolling Patches Review, who warmed up the crowd with their own renditio ... More >>
Photo by Tony NelsonGuante and Big Cats!We've got another great week of music content loaded onto the site -- see below for a rundown of the music section that appears in the print edition of City Pages this week.Guante: A warrior with wordsBy Michael L. WalshSpending an afternoon with the talent ... More >>
Photos from over the weekend.
Five bucks? Pffft. Whatever. Check out these totally free events.
Check out singer Alison Mosshart's icy death stare.
Peter Scholtes's cover story this week on the local Reggaetón scene features a gallery of photos by Tony Nelson.