No February Blahs in Your Complete Concert Calendar: Feb 13-20
Pretty much all the live music you can catch in the Twin Cities this week.
10:16 AM CST on February 13, 2024
Some great local music on tap for this weekend, including a band I hadn't heard of a week ago and a musician who's been rocking since the '90s.
Tuesday, February 13
- Willi Carlisle with Pop Wagner @ Turf Club—Damn straight we lefties could use some real battle songs, and on his latest album, Critterland, Carlisle is happy to oblige. “A queer and a Communist” ready to enlist “in the war that's ragin' between the haves and have-nots,” as he puts it on the title track, this folkie looks the contemporary world dead in the eye and refuses to blink, though he might occasionally give a wink and a smile. There’s real darkness here—a friend’s suicide letter that “used too many long words” and baffled the cops, the self-medicated look at mortality “When the Pills Wear Off,” and the seven-minute closer “The Money Grows on Trees,” a true crime ballad about peddling weed with police protection. But there’s hope too: If Carlisle’s ambivalent about the death of his father (“It’s still sad when bad men die”), he looks back on his humble ancestors and declares, “I won’t waste a single moment of the work that brought me here.” Me either, Willi.
- Madonna @ Xcel Energy Center—Admirably if perhaps futilely, Madonna has long refused to become an oldies act. Her tours have stressed her relevance, which is of course questionable, and her artistic vitality, which really isn’t—anyone who released Madame X would have reason to be proud and an understandable desire to perform that music live. So the Celebration Tour is her long-delayed victory lap, glancing back over her shoulder at what she’s accomplished over the past (gosh) 40 years, even if, like most pop stars, the commercial and artistic peaks are frontloaded. As if to remind us she might not be around forever, a serious bacterial infection delayed this tour (this show was originally scheduled for last July). And as dotty or problematic she might seem to online puriteens, she remains incomparable, if only because we’ve quite simply never seen what a 65-year-old dance-pop superstar can do.
Wednesday, February 14
Thursday, February 15
- Tkay Maidza with Kwey @ 7th St Entry—The dancey Zimbabwean-born Australian Tkay Maidza has been releasing music for over a decade now, always seeming to be verge of a bigger audience. That she's never quite broken through is good news for you, because you can still check her out at the Entry. And maybe it's good news for her music too—on her 2023 album Sweet Justice, she sounds more relaxed, more at home with her beats, and sings with more personable subtlety.
Friday, February 16
- Atlantis Quartet @ Berlin—Guitarist Zacc Harris helps break the new North Loop jazz club in by recording a live album over two nights this weekend. The quartet is rounded out by Brandon Wozniak on tenor sax and a rhythm section of Chris Bates and Pete Hennig.
- True Green (Album Release), with Ahem and LYSS @ Eagles 34—With True Green, novelist Dan Hornsby makes terrific lyric-drunk indie rock, lo-fi and unrushed, with shaky guitars supporting sturdy melodies. My favorite track on My Lost Decade starts "I grew up strong and plucky/On a wolf farm in Kentucky/We shot and skinned and stuffed them/For businessmen and Russians." Ahem will be releasing their first new music in quite a spell this year, and I'm guessing we'll get a bit of a preview here.
- Enrique Iglesias, Pitbull, Ricky Martin @ Xcel Energy Center—Three sexy men. One sexy hockey arena.
Saturday, February 17
- Atlantis Quartet @ Berlin—See Friday's listings.
- Christy Costello with Screamin' Cyn Cyn & The Pons, Scrunchies, and Citric Dummies @ 7th St Entry—Christy Costello is a team player. Though she's fronted high profile local bands Ouija Radio and Pink Mink, somehow From the Dark, released last month, is her first solo album. I hate to say something corny like "It was worth the wait!" but, well, it was. Costello's songs crunch with the ballroom stomp of the early U.K. punks, and occasionally feature some postpunk sax, à la the Psychedelic Furs, who she covers. And she's supported by a top-to-bottom great lineup tonight. Show up early and spend the night.
Sunday, February 18
Monday, February 19
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