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‘Drop Dead Gorgeous,’ International Day of Music, Adult Recess: This Week’s Best Events

Plus Bastille Day parties, a tattoo fest, and Scrunchies.

Miloe plays Orchestra Hall for International Day of Music.

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


David Cross

First Avenue

Last year, Cross packed the 7th St. Entry while workshopping material for his new hour. (Certain Racket staffers are kicking themselves for not trying harder to score tickets.) Now the star of Mr. Show and Arrested Development is ready to share that hour, dubbed “Worst Daddy In the World,” with the larger sister venue. “Quite often, I’ll expand the set and do, like, an hour and a half because I’m a self-indulgent narcissist,” Cross tells Vanyaland. “But I have this one pretty tight, and it’s been great.” If you’ve paid any attention to Cross’s four decades (!) in standup, you’ll have noticed that the 59-year-old comic rarely misses. He’s abrasive, dark, and political, sure, yet also disarmingly playful and silly; that’s the range you get from an entertainer who can name an album Shut Up You Fucking Baby! while also starring in Alvin and the Chipmunks movies. Simply put, Cross is one of the all-time greats. Sean Patton is set to open, as he did when Cross played the Fitz across the river earlier this year. $46.50-49. 6:30 p.m. 701 N. First Ave., Minneapolis; find more info here.—Jay Boller


Traveling Trash Film Patio Show: Drop Dead Gorgeous

Mackenzie Pub

This month, Trash Film Debauchery’s traveling summer patio series takes a break from slasher schlock and direct-to-DVD dramas to bring you one of THE GREATEST MOVIES OF ALL TIME: 1999’s Drop Dead Gorgeous. Set in the fictional town of Mount Rose (based on Rosemount, where writer Lona Williams grew up) and filmed throughout Carver County, Drop Dead Gorgeous stars Kirsten Dunst, Brittany Murphy (RIP), Denise Richards, Allison Janney, and Amy Adams (her first movie!) in a tale of a small-town beauty pageant that gets a liiiittle heated. It also sports some of the best/worst MN accents ever committed to film. Don’t let the Rotten Tomatoes score fool ya—this trash is a true treasure. Free; first-come-first-served. 8:45 p.m. 918 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis; find more info here.—Em Cassel


Fall Out Boy

Somerset Amphitheater 

Rarely do Racket’s live music recommendations take you beyond the borders of the Twin Cities, but Fall Out Boy’s “So Much for (Tour) Dust” dates don’t roll through Minnesota, which means we’ve gotta send ya east. And honestly, doesn’t a night outside on the Somerset lawn, listening to “Sugar, We’re Goin Down” and “Grand Theft Autumn/Where Is Your Boy” sound kind of perfect? Kind of like something that you, as an elder emo, would be bummed to miss? Sure, it’s a Thursday, but your boss’ll understand that you need to scoot out a little early—just tell her how much stuff they’ve been playing off Take This to Your Grave lately. With Bring Me the Horizon, Royal & The Serpent, and CARR. All ages. $26+. 6:30 p.m. 715 Spring St., Somerset, WI; find more info here.—Em Cassel

Work by attending artist Ashley Dahl.


Twin Cities Tattoo Convention

St. Paul RiverCentre

Got an itching to get more ink done? Then head over to this giant tattoo get-together to get ideas for your next piece. Over three days, artists from around the world will make their way to the city to ink clients, talk about their process, and make connections with other body mod people. Featured artists this year include folks who came from far away, like Erin Chance (New Zealand), as well as those working just down the street. While some artists expect you to book months in advance for this event, others will be taking people on a first-come, first serve basis. So whether you are looking for a thoughtful full sleeve or just a bit of flash, you’ll have options. Check out participating artists and find more info online. $30 (cash only at the door); $65 weekend pass. Noon to 10 p.m. Friday; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday; 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday. 175 Seventh St. W., St. Paul.—Jessica Armbruster

TC Summer Fest

Target Field

I'm old enough to remember 2014's short-lived, unfortunately named, yet very fun Indie Night at Target Field. This similarly booked mini fest should have a similar appeal, and thankfully utilizes one of the metro's most underused and best large-scale outdoor concert venues. Friday's lineup of the Killers, the Flaming Lips, and Death Cab for Cutie is the one to catch (baseball term), while Saturday’s bill of Imagine Dragons, AJR, and Chelsea Cutler is, uh, um, well… it’s just nice to see music outside, isn’t it folks? You might need a Carlos Correa-sized bank account to attend, however (baseball analogy). $74-$406. 2:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday. 1 Twins Way, Minneapolis; find more info here.Jay Boller

Minnehaha Falls Art Fair 2023

Minnehaha Falls

Is the Minnehaha Falls Art Fair the most scenic of the art fairs in town? It’s got our vote. Here you can order up beer from Sea Salt and make your way through about 150 artists' stalls, including jewelry makers, candle makers, local T-shirt printers, and all kinds of other cool stuff. Added bonus: Each artist will have at least a handful of items priced at $30 or less. For sustenance, food trucks will be stopping by and, honestly, the Sea Salt line during this event isn’t really any worse than a typical rush hour. Plus, if you need a break from the crowds you can visit the gorgeous falls. Free. 3-8 p.m. Friday; 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.—Jessica Armbruster

Hanif Abdurraqib's Black VHS Experience

Walker Art Center

“When I was a kid, I thought The Five Heartbeats were a real group,” poet, critic, and essayist Hanif Abdurraqib told the Walker, referring to the fictional R&B singing act that gives Robert Townsend’s 1991 film its name. That movie is the first in a series, mostly music-centered, that Abdurraqib has selected for the Walker and that together give us a picture of a Black ’90s kids’ interaction with Black movies at the time. Abdurraqib has emerged as one of the most preeminent cultural critics in recent years, with three books (his essay collection, They Can't Kill Us Until They Kill Us, the middle-school rap primer Go Ahead in the Rain: Notes to A Tribe Called Quest, and A Little Devil in America: In Praise of Black Performance) demonstrating his range and depth. Also on the docket: Spike Lee’s Mo’ Better Blues, the Whoopi Goldberg nun-on-the-run vehicle Sister Act, the Hughes brothers’ Dead Presidents, and the women’s heist flick Set It Off. Abdurraqib will be on hand Friday night to introduce the Townsend movie and provide more context for the series, which runes through August 11. $12/$15 725 Vineland Place, Minneapolis; showtimes, dates, and more info here. Through August 11—Keith Harris

12 Rods

First Avenue

Nobody wants to be remembered for what they didn’t do, and Ryan Olcott must hate to be known forever as the leader of Minneapolis’s great turn of the millennium coulda-been bands. So good for him for facing up to 12 Rods’ legacy, gussying up some old demos as a one-man-band to create If We Stayed Alive, the first album to be released under the Rods name in about two decades. Would these seven songs have sounded this fresh 20 years ago? Hard to say, and beside the point, really, though if 12 Rods had stayed alive their music likely wouldn’t have sounded just like this. Olcott’s expressive voice remains yelpy and breathy enough that you can hear why A&R folks heard money in it, but the arrangements have a more homemade feel. Anyway, who needs an alternate reality when the one we’re living in sounds this good? Don’t expect to see Olcott’s brother Ev or drummer Dave King on stage tonight—the revamped 12 Rods will consist of what the promo materials call, somewhat cattily, “new, more relevant musicians from the Twin Cities.” With Crimes. $25/$30. 9 p.m. 701 N. First Ave., Minneapolis; find more info here.—Keith Harris

Please Don't Destroy


Please Don't Destroy LIVE 

Pantages Theatre

Saturday Night Live finally found worthy heirs to Lonely Island’s pre-taped throne. Set aside your nepo-baby misgivings (John Higgins and Martin Herlihy’s dads are behind-the-scenes comedy royalty); these second-generation comedy writers do, in fact, destroy with instant classics like “Hanxiety” and “Three Sad Virgins.” PDD’s playful, smart, and self-deprecating sketches are clearly resonating, as the boys are headlining the 1,000-capacity Pantages, and, this fall, they’re starring in a film produced by Judd Apatow. $40-$50. 7 p.m. 710 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis; find more info here.Jay Boller

International Day of Music

Orchestra Hall

Want downtown Minneapolis to be “back”? Throw more events like this one! Curated by BRKFST Dance Company and Cedar Cultural Center, this free all-day music sampler platter will feature 25+ live ‘n’ local acts performing globe-spanning tunes across four downtown stages. The whole shebang culminates with a Minnesota Orchestra performance on Peavey Plaza as the sun sets—we dare you to invite your Anoka County uncle. Free. 10 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. 111 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis; find set times and locations here.Jay Boller

Adult Recess

Sociable Cider Werks

A pickier person might note that this sounds more like “adult field day” than “adult recess”—but why be so by-the-book about it? This isn’t English class. Starting at noon, Sociable will host one organized event per hour: sack races, obstacle courses, and all kinds of other schoolyard classics. It’s free to participate and fun for all ages. Meaning that, yes, the potential is there for you to be humiliated in athletic feats by a pre-teen. What’s more nostalgic than that? Free. Noon to 10 p.m. 1500 Fillmore St. NE, Minneapolis.—Em Cassel

Summer Camp Music & Beer Fest

Headflyer Brewing

The summer season is in full swing, so Heaflyer is hosting a summer beer hang. There will be lots of rock onstage, with sets from Present Company, Zippo Man, Aiden Intro, C O L I N Bracewell, and Ivers. Tap Truck Midwest will be stopping by with a beer car, aka a 1950’s Chevy Sedan equipped with four different brews on tap. A makers’ market will showcase five local creatives, and there’ll be pizza from Red Rocket and tacos by La Costenita. During the day you’ll find all kinds of ways to play, including cornhole, giant classics, and board games. At night, there will be a bonfire with s’mores roasting—or try the new s'mores-flavored beer, if you prefer. Free. 2 to 10 p.m. 861 E. Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis.—Jessica Armbruster

Say 'Scrun-Cheese!': Laura Larson, Danielle Cusack, Matt Castore


Bastille Day Block Party


It’s independence day weekend for France, and yes, we do celebrate the holiday, known as Le 14 Juillet or Fête Nationale, here in town. One such event: the Bastille Day Block Party, an annual street fest hosted by Barbette. The musical lineup is decidedly un-French but still killer, and includes punk rockers Scrunchies, singer-songwriter Aby Wolf, hip hop’s Mixed Blood Majority, and others. This is a street fest hosted by a fancy schmancy restaurant, so expect a few cocktails to be served, and there’s usually some wine and bubbly available in addition to the usual brews. Free. 3 to 9 p.m. 1600 West Lake St., Minneapolis.—Jessica Armbruster

North Loop Food Truck Fair

North Loop Pocket Park

There’s curiously little information available about this event, other than the proclamation that it will be “BIGGER AND BETTER THAN EVER!” Even the venue, the so-called North Loop Pocket Park, is a bit of a head-scratcher. (“North Loop Park is a basic lawn and green space in the densely populated North Loop neighborhood,” writes the Park Board. “It was a surface parking lot before it was converted into turf in 2021-22.”) In any case, the neighborhood association promises food trucks (lord we hope), a beer garden, live music, art, provided picnic blankets, and, crucially, "more." Beats sitting around at home. Free. 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. 751 N. Third St., Minneapolis; find more info here.Jay Boller

Paul Chan, 'Khara En Penta'


Paul Chan: Breathers

Walker Art Center

Can those inflatable tube guys used to drive people to sales be art? If it’s in the Walker Art Center then, yes, it can. But that would be oversimplifying the work of Paul Chen, a Hong Kong-born, Nebraska-raised, NYC-based writer, publisher, and artist. In the '90s and '00s, Chan garnered attention releasing videos, animations, fonts, and more, often for free on his website, These pieces explored pleasure, war, politics, and human interactions. But by 2009, he had burned out, tired of looking at a screen. Relatable. Five years later, after a brief, you know, “breather,” he found a new way to explore movement and meaning without a computer, instead using physics, fabrics, and fans to create shapes that move about in interesting ways (and, thankfully, won’t try to sell you a car).  You can see these kinetic sculptures at the Walker; the show will also include some video installations as well as pieces from his publishing company, Badlands Unlimited, which releases poetry, erotica, artists’ writings, and more. 725 Vineland Pl., Minneapolis. Through July 16, 2023—Jessica Armbruster

Much Ado About Nothing

Various Locations

Classical Actor’s Ensemble is heading back to the parks this summer to bring free Shakespeare to the unwashed masses, as it was originally intended. This year’s production is Much Ado About Nothing, a 1600’s romcom that pulls out all the greatest hits: mistaken identities, unwanted flirtations, masquerade shenanigans, raging small town gossip, and, ultimately, love. Sorry to spoil it for you, but we all know these things usually end in marriage (if it’s a comedy) or mass death (if it’s a tragedy). The plot: A group of rowdy soldiers end up in a small Sicilian town. Will the evil Don John succeed at cockblocking? Find the list of dates and locations at Through July 16—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 (technically) 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, excluding June 29 and July 6—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 Second Avenue South to 22nd Avenue South, Minneapolis. June 10 through October 8—Jessica Armbruster

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