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ArtCars at the Lake, Killer Mike, Treehouse Mega-Sale: This Week’s Best Events

Plus Olympic hopeful breakdancers, Palmer's Palmfest, and a new queer dance night in Uptown.


Welcome to Event Horizon, your weekly roundup of the best events in Minneapolis and St. Paul.

Killer Mike, promo image


Killer Mike

First Avenue 

Before June’s Michael, Killer Mike hadn’t released a solo record since 2012’s classic R.A.P. Music. (The song "Reagan" should be required listening in U.S. history classrooms.) The heavyweight Atlanta MC hasn’t been slouching for the past decade; he joined forces with producer/rapper El-P to create a run of four blistering Run the Jewels records that were each met with critical acclaim. With Michael, the real-life Michael Render gets increasingly biographical, adds flourishes of gospel and soul, and recruits an army of feature friends that includes CeeLo, Young Thug, Jagged Edge, André 3000, Ty Dolla Sign, Future, and his RTJ collaborator El-P, among others. His baritone flow remains unmatched. Local rapper Dwynell Roland, whose new song was recently added to our ongoing playlist, opens. $35. 7 p.m. 701 N. First Ave., Minneapolis; find more info here.—Jay Boller   

Lucinda Williams


This intimate five-night stand will give Lucinda Williams an opportunity to share a little insight into her life and music, and since the alt-country queen has Minnesota ties—she met her longtime manager/collaborator (and eventual husband) Tom Overby when he was working at a Minneapolis Best Buy, and the couple got married onstage at First Avenue in 2009—expect a little bit of local color. And you can probably also expect the new song "Hum's Liquor," about Bob Stinson and featuring his half-brother Tommy. That's one of the darker moments on Williams’s latest, Stories from a Rock n Roll Heart, which, as the title suggests, rocks out with less fuss than she has in recent years. $75-$95. 7 p.m. Monday-Wednesday, Friday-Saturday. 1010 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis; find more info here.—Keith Harris


Gogol Bordello

First Avenue

Eugene Hutz’s manically cartoonish frontman routine has always belied a certain political earnestness. His breakneck Roma-punk fusion championed cultural impurity as a vision of the future, and the way he centered immigrants as key figures in the erasure of borders allowed him to embrace a kind of anarchy far beyond hardcore thrashers who fell back on regimented musical styles. On Gogol Bordello’s latest, Solidaritine, his music takes on a new urgency—you may have read a thing or two about what’s going on in Ukraine, Hutz’s birthplace (from which his family fled when he was a child), and things ain’t looking too great over here in his adopted country, either. To prove he’s not playing with you, Hutz fires up Fugazi’s “Blueprint” done as a halftime Roma raveup, and he enlists Bad Brains’ H.R. to help him declare this “The Era of the End of Eras.” (“And it’s just begun,” he adds.) And, as all of us had better, he recognizes the limits of radical individualism too: “Look at us all/Pining for what can be done in unity.” With Puzzled Panther. $35/$38. 8 p.m. 701 N. First Ave., Minneapolis; find more info here.—Keith Harris

Minnesota Zoo


Treetop Trail Opening

Minnesota Zoo

If you’re anything like the author of this blurb, you’re old enough to remember the Minnesota Zoo monorail zipping around the grounds before it sank into a decade of dormancy. Much like your carefree childhood, it’s never coming back, but its track is being put to good use. With Treetop Trail, the zoo repurposed it into the world’s longest elevated walkway loop, a $37.4 million project that’ll be celebrated with a ribbon-cutting ceremony today. The 1.25-mile walking path swerves around the outdoor animal exhibits from 32 feet in the air, giving zoo goers prime peepin’ perspective over the beasts below. Think NYC’s High Line, but with tigers instead of Manhattanites. "You're in the canopy of the trees—that's what really struck me," zoo board member Charlene Briner tells the Star Tribune. "You're in the world's best treehouse." Access to the Treetop Trail is included with your standard entry fee. 13000 Zoo Blvd., Apple Valley; find more info here.—Jay Boller

Power Puff: A Queer Dance Party

Granada Theater 

Tonight, the Granada Theater in Uptown kicks off a new ongoing monthly dance party. Power Puff, a night of inclusive queer fun, is hosted by Dick Von Dyke, with music from DJs Shannon Blowtorch, Izzie P, and QueenDuin. (They’ll also have gogo dancing by Yoni Light, Jojo Ventus, and Tre’ Da Marc!) Everyone in the LGBTQ+ community is invited to be their authentic self while dancing the night away. 21+. $20/$25 at the door. 9 p.m. 3022 Hennepin Ave. S. Minneapolis; find tickets and more info here.—Em Cassel

B-boy Leony competes at the Red Bull BC One Cypher Brazil in the Memorial da America Latina in Sao Paulo, Brazil on July 22, 2023. (Little Shao / Red Bull Content Pool.)


Red Bull BC One Midwest Regional Cypher

First Avenue

Breaking, aka breakdancing, is going legit next summer when it officially becomes a sport at the Paris 2024 Olympics. But before that, competitors from around the U.S. are vying for top honors at the Red Bull BC One series. This weekend, top B-boys and B-girls from L.A., Seattle, Honolulu, and Minnesota will be taking the stage in hopes of making it to the nationals in Philadelphia then finals in Paris. For those unfamiliar with the “judgeable” elements of breaking, there are basically four areas to master: top rock (moves that start in the standing position), down rock (aka fancy footwork), power moves (the flashy stuff that requires momentum, acrobatic skill, and flexibility), and freezes (the iconic poses that demonstrate control, strength, and bad-assery). Friday’s show at First Avenue is a rare (and cheap!) chance to see some Olympic hopefuls before they (possibly) go for gold. All ages. $10-$15. 6:30-9:30 p.m. 701 N. First Ave., Minneapolis.—Jessica Armbruster

Treehouse Records Liquidation Sale

Hook & Ladder

"THIS IS NOT JUNK!" shouts the ad for this one-day sale of 8,000 CDs that once populated the now-shuttered Minneapolis record shop Treehouse Records (né Oar Folkjokeopus). Owner Mark Trehus is unloading 'em Saturday for $0-$3 each to benefit the Hook & Ladder Theater & Lounge, which is where the blowout sale will take place. Names like Leonard Cohen, Guided By Voices, Lucinda Williams, and Yo La Tengo are dropped to entice buyers to the Hook, where they'll also encounter a vast selection of blues, soul, jazz, indie, avant-garde, garage, psychedelia, and shoegaze. "This ain’t about making money, folks," organizers write. "This is mostly an excuse to get some music back out into the community at bargain prices and gather together some old faces. And to say thanks for 32 great years." Free. 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. 3010 Minnehaha Ave., Minneapolis; find more info here.—Jay Boller

Palmfest 2023

Palmer’s Bar

This is such a classic, no-brainer way to spend a glorious Minneapolis weekend. At 96, West Bank legend Cornbread Harris has mercifully been given the rare 1 p.m. headliner slot on Sunday, and he’ll be sandwiched by indoor and outdoor sets from Front Porch Swingin’ Liquor Pigs, Union Suits, Cindy Lawson, Supportive Parents, the Sex Rays, Pit Stop, American Cream, Theyself, and many, many others. Drink specials, including ones on pick-me-up bloodies, are promised; grub from The Angry Line Cook Food Truck (purveyors of the one of the best smash burgers in the city) and Wrecktangle Pizza (purveyors of the country’s best pizza) will be for sale on Saturday and Sunday, respectively. $10 per day. Noon to 11 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. 500 Cedar Ave, Minneapolis; find more info here.—Jay Boller

Last year's 'The Magic Flute: A Pickup Truck Opera'

Romeo and Juliet: A Pickup Truck Opera

Various Locations

For the past 15 years, Mixed Precipitation has brought accessible opera shows to parks, community gardens, and wineries throughout the metro and beyond. (The “pickup truck” in their name is a nod to the 2011 Ford Ranger pickup that serves as their ride and, often, as part of their stage.) This year, they’re reimagining Romeo and Juliet via Vincenzo Bellini’s 1830 opera, I Capuleti e i Montecchi (The Capulets and the Montagues) for the modern day. In 2023, Juliet is a social media guru, helping folks live their best lives with DIY videos, recipes, and reviews while banished Romeo is sharing his carefully curated van-life from the road. Will the two manage to elope without creating a wave of murders and suicides? (We all know how this thing ends.) Despite the name, this isn’t an opera-only operation: Tunes will include hits from the Fugees, the Pixies, and Fleetwood Mac. Make reservations at mixed $10-$20 suggested donation. July 29-September 10—Jessica Armbruster

ArtCar + ArtBike Parade

Bdé Umáŋ / Lake Harriet

Retro cars are cool and it’s fun to spot brand-new models on the street, but there’s something especially cool about ArtCars. Their make, model, and year are irrelevant; it’s their individuality that makes them special. This weekend, a parade’s worth of ArtCars (and ArtBikes!) will convene at the lake to create the best damn traffic jam of the summer. You never know what kind of vehicle is going to show up at these events, and that’s part of the fun. Past guests (and likely returnees) include cars covered in stuff like wine corks, dominoes, and baby dolls; cars that have been given new paint jobs, from giant peace signs to tiny little skulls; and even cars that are most likely not street legal, but are definitely parade legit (hey there, couch car). No matter who shows up, it’s going to be a wholesome and delightful time. You can follow the ArtCars and their shenanigans at Free. 5-7 p.m. 4135 W. Lake Harriet Parkway, Minneapolis.—Jessica Armbruster

Inside Out 2

Pillsbury House + Theatre 

Last year, Pillsbury House celebrated its 30th year with a big ol’ block party. This year, the party returns. Festivities this time are inspired by local actress/author Junauda Petrus's new children's book, Can We Please Give the Police Department to the Grandmothers? “[Junauda] visited Pillsbury House as a toddler, and we’re excited to continue to support her and her artistic work all of these years later,” says PH+T Senior Director Noël Raymond. Featured fun includes a roller rink hosted by Twin Cities Skate, an interactive photo booth, a bounce house, and food from Public Functionary Cafe. Friend of Racket KRSM 98.9 radio will provide tunes; the Phillips neighborhood-based station celebrated its 10th year at last summer’s party. Free. 1-5 p.m. Chicago Avenue, between 35th and 36th Streets, Minneapolis.Jessica Armbruster

MN Salsa Fiesta

Mill City Museum

“This July 29th event at Mill City WILL SELL OUT!” organizers promise on their website, and we’re inclined to believe them—last year more than 350 people came out to dance, drink, and dine at the MN Salsa Fiesta. This year, they’ll have two elevated stages in the courtyard: one for the musicians, including the 20-piece Gran Charanga orchestra and Yolanda ‘Yuya’ Rodriguez, and one for the dancers, including the Salsa de La Calle ensemble and McKnight Fellowship winner Yeniel ‘Chini’ Perez. From 10 p.m. to midnight, the festivities head indoors, where DJONE will spin merengue, bachata, timba, and cumbia until the party ends. And there are dance lessons from René Thompson, too. $30 in advance/$40 at the door. 6 p.m. to midnight. 704 South Second St., Minneapolis; find tickets and more info here.—Em Cassel


Corgi Races

Canterbury Park

Unlike Vegas, which ditched its 1990s attempt at appealing to families with the the more honest “What Happens in Vegas” tagline, Canterbury does a genuinely good job at providing activities for kiddos and their vice-seeking adults. Case in point: The zoologically diverse summertime racing series that sends llamas, ostriches, and, this week, itty-bitty corgis flying down the track for our amusement. (August 13’s Wiener Dog Races appear to be the marquee dog-based event on the calendar.) The fun isn't limited to novelty racing either, as Family Day also includes: face painting, pony rides, arts 'n' crafts, an arcade, facetime with the llamas, and the opportunity for human children to race the track (don't wager on 'em; it's wrong). $5-$8. 10 a.m. 1100 Canterbury Rd., Shakopee; find more info here.—Jay Boller     

Carina Lofgren for the Walker Art Center


Twelfth Night

Sociable Cider Werks

We’ve seen plenty of Shakespeare in the parks, but what about Shakespeare at a pub? This summer, Sociable’s patio will become a stage, as the Gray Mallard Theater Company will present a free show close to nightly over the next few weeks. You can grab a cider and some food truck eats and enjoy the antics of Twelfth Night, a comedy featuring mistaken identities, love triangles, and twin shenanigans. Click here for the complete schedule. Free. 7 p.m. 1500 Fillmore St. NE, Minneapolis. Through August 6–Jessica Armbruster

Funniest Person in Minneapolis

Sisyphus Brewing

Acme Comedy Co. has thrown its Funniest Person in the Twin Cities contest for decades, but it appears the newer comedy room at Sisyphus is only focused on the younger, better, bigger city for its contest. (Come at me St. Paul subscribers—it’s my birthright to talk this trash!) In any case, this month-long standup throwdown will feature 10 to 12 contestants performing three-minute sets that might advance ‘em in the tourney. At month’s end, a scrappy upstart will emerge from the heap with the titular honorific as their prize. Sisyphus is also booking nightly headliners to ensure this won’t be a total amateur hour. Arrive early to ensure you snag a seat at this no-cover event. Free. 8-11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. 712 Ontario Ave. W. #100, Minneapolis; find more info here. Through July—Jay Boller     

Lowertown Sounds

Mears Park

Proper, functioning cities should rock. With the annual, free, weekly, outdoor Lowertown Sounds program, St. Paul is privy to this in ways Minneapolis could really learn from. When this year’s lineup was announced, organizers noted that over half of the acts are new this summer. Non-musical offerings include great beer from Utepils and Wabasha Brewing Co., wine from Alexis Bailly Vineyard, and a rotating cast of 20 food trucks. Free. 6-9:30 p.m. 221 5th St. E., St. Paul; find more info here. Thursdays through August 24—Jay Boller

Driveway Tour Theater

Various Locations

In the summer, theater troupes take to the parks, lawns, and lakes of the cities to perform free shows for the sunburned masses. That includes productions for kids, thanks to Open Eye Theatre, which heads to your neighborhood driveways, backyards, and front lawns each year. The 2023 lineup will feature two plays: Tucker’s Robot (June 10-July 16) tells the tale of a kid facing his fears thanks to a time-traveling mechanical friend, while Molly and the Magic Boot (July 19-August 27) is about tech-free adventures on a farm. Open Eye estimates that they visited around 51 communities in 2022, and that number continues to increase. Locations vary from week to week; this weekend they’ll be popping up at Dancing Bear Chocolate on the north side and Arbeiter Brewing in south Minneapolis. Do you have a rad backyard? You can even sign up to host a show. All events are free and open to the public (donations are accepted). You can find the complete schedule at Through August 27–Jessica Armbruster

The Nicollet xChange

Nicollet Mall

Our city leaders really want us to go to work in downtown from Tuesday through Thursday. Who knows if that’s going to happen; it’s ultimately up to your corporate overlords. But, if you are one of those people who has to sit at a desk in downtown for money, it’s nice to know that this cool weekly event is returning for the summer. Every Tuesday, the Nicollet xChange will turn the Mall into a mini street fest, with a focus on swapping goods and selling sustainable fashion and home items. Bring things to trade, from art to sports equipment, and take something new (to you, at least) home. There will also be live music, a market featuring local makers, freebies, and food trucks lining the Mall. Free. 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. 901 Nicollet Mall (9th and Nicollet), Minneapolis. Through August 29—Jessica Armbruster

Wild Nights at the Minnesota Zoo

Minnesota Zoo

Imagine a zoo with nary a child, one where you can sip wine and watch animals do their thing as the sun sets. Impossible, you say? Nope! We’re talking about Wild Nights at the Minnesota Zoo, a summer series for grownups. During these events folks can explore all the trails and exhibits until 8 p.m. (hilariously, they note that food and drink is not allowed in the Llama Trek walk-through exhibit). Each installment will feature a variety of concerts, all themed that night around a specific genre–country, hip-hop, blues, ‘80s New Wave, etc. Tonight’s music is brought to you by Malamanya, which will play old-school Afro-Caribbean tunes. Upcoming highlights this summer include Chastity Brown (June 22), the Cactus Blossoms (July 6), Joyann Parker Band (July 20), Nur-D (August 3), Information Society (August 17), Frogleg (August 31), and Kat Perkins (September 14). Find tickets and more info online. 18+. $40. 6-10 p.m. 13000 Zoo Blvd., Apple Valley. Through September 14—Jessica Armbruster

Skyline Mini Golf

Walker Art Center

Are we a mini-golf town? Signs point to yes, as we have trendy bar mini golf (Puttery, Arts + Rec), campy mini golf (Can Can, Betty Danger), old school mini golf (Big Stone, Golf Zone), and, yes, museum mini golf. For over 15 years, the Walker’s Mini Golf has been a sign of spring, whether it’s popping up in the sculpture garden or its more recent home on the skyline terraces. This year’s installation features 10 holes total; highlights include a Hmong textile-inspired hole created in collaboration with the Asian American Organizing Project’s Youth Action Team, and two holes from Native Youth Arts Collective. Returning hits include the hot dog hole, the one where you have to bounce off of ping pong paddles, and the one where you become the obstacles and hazards. Find more info at $12. 725 Vineland Place, Minneapolis. Through October 1—Jessica Armbruster 

Open Streets Minneapolis

East Lake Street

Summertime road closings kinda suck… unless we’re talking about Open Streets, where the lack of traffic just means there’s more room to party. This season’s installment will feature five neighborhood locations where the main drags will be closed to cars, but open to people on foot, on bike, or on other non-motorized modes of travel. Along the way you’ll find a variety of stuff to see and do, including parking lot concerts, sidewalk sales, middle-of-the-road yoga sessions, and pop-up beer gardens. Things kick off Saturday, June 10, on East Lake Street, followed by Glenwood (July 16), Cedar Riverside (August 20), West Broadway (September 16), and Lyndale Avenue (October 8). Free. All events begin at 11 a.m. and run until 5 p.m. Find more details at East Lake Street, from 2nd Avenue South to 22nd Avenue South, Minneapolis. June 10 through October 8—Jessica Armbruster

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