Nearly three full years have passed since Rock the Garden sprawled across the Walker Art Center grounds.
But the perennial fest, co-sponsored by the Walker and 89.3 the Current, gets back into gear on June 11, with the top of the bill split between two co-headliners: revamped indie all-timers Sleater-Kinney and grooving crowdpleasers Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats.
S-K are now pared down to the duo of Corin Tucker and Carrie Brownstein, with auxiliary musicians stepping into the fill the gaps left with the acrimonious departure of drum great Janet Weiss. Their 2021 album, Path of Wellness, might be the first underrated recording of the band’s career. (I said more about it here, if you're interested.) Rateliff's brand of R&B revivalism is not personally my thing but, as my therapist is always saying, not everything is about me.
As for Low, the band hasn’t played much locally since the release of its mind-blowing 2021 album Hey What and hasn't been back to Rock the Garden since their one-song drone set in 2013. Also great to see Tuareg guitarist Bombino on the list: If Mdou Moctar blows your mind, his fellow Nigerien Bombino is the natural next step for ya. Filipino-British indie artist beabadoobee rounds out the set.
Low also chose the acts for the Garden Stage: Cali’s Dâm-Funk, whose name tells you what he’s all about, will certainly move the crowd, and doom-metallers Divide and Dissolve are an indigenous Australian duo who offer heavier fare than the RTG norm.
Tickets go on sale Thursday for MPR/Walker members, and Monday for the rest of us. Check here for details.