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Super Smash Bros., an Epic Bake-Off, Wrestlepalooza Returns: This Week’s Best Events

Get out there and enjoy our brief reprieve from Covid hell.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate|

Yep. That’s total chaos.

Welcome to Event Horizon, your weekly roundup of recommended things to do.


​​Animal Collective, L’Rain

First Avenue

It’s hardly Animal Collective’s fault that Merriweather Post Pavilion was mistaken for an era-defining masterpiece—was that really just over a decade ago? To their… credit (I guess?), they’ve proceeded to get busier and goofier rather than more tastefully experimental in the years since, lest they safely become a mere critic’s band. Now that loud guitars have reclaimed indie rock, Animal Collective are much easier to enjoy as a pleasantly trippy diversion, wavering between childlike and childish. Most of the tracks on their latest, Time Skiffs, are held together by nice little rhythmic structures as Panda Bear and Avey Tare explore their oblique lyrical occupations, and it’s got some of their sharpest “what if the Beach Boys had never heard Chuck Berry?” moments—heck, “Strung With Everything” could almost hold its own on Wild Honey. Maybe I’ll have a similar perspective on L’Rain once Taja Cheek’s critical esteem ebbs, but for now the songs on Fatigue could only have been written by someone who gets regularly ID’d as a “sound artist.” 18+. $31. 8 p.m. 701 N. First Ave., Minneapolis; find more info here.—Keith Harris

Poppy in her latest video, "Flux"
Poppy in her latest video, "Flux"Sumerian



First Avenue

When Poppy rolled up to the 2017 Streamy Awards in a plastic cage on wheels, many dismissed her as a Lady Gaga-lite for the tweens (though her early hit “Lowlife” is a lot more reminiscent of early Gwen Stefani). Turns out she was actually imitating Mars Argo, the ex-girlfriend of her then-collaborator/manager/boyfriend Titanic Sinclair. After settling a lawsuit with Argo and parting ways with Sinclair (both women have accused him of being an abusive psychopath), Poppy has dropped the “cutesy brainwashed victim” act and went for a full-on metalcore/baby-metal sound. The change up suits her; last year’s “Bloodmoney” received a Grammy nom for Best Metal Performance—a first for a female in the dude-heavy category. Her most recent album, Flux, has a softer (though still rocking) sound, and has also received critical acclaim. With Mz. Neon. All ages. $25-$30. 7 p.m. 701 N. First Ave., Minneapolis; find more info here. –Jessica Armbruster


Bright Eyes

Palace Theatre

Conor Oberst’s terrific 2017 Palace Theatre show signaled something of a baton passing. While introducing the evening’s opener, the prophetic Bright Eyes ringleader said, “This is Phoebe Bridgers. She’s going to be a big star.” Unbridled by those early “boy Dylan” comps, Oberst has settled comfortably into strong mid-career form–he can still turn a phrase, still write a hook, and those early wails and warbles are wielded with discipline. On Bright Eyes’ 2020 comeback record, Down in the Weeds, Where the World Once Was, the Omaha indie-folk band mines their familiar sound while taking smart experimental chances, including freaking bagpipes. Counter to his emo god legacy, Oberst is actually a jovial country-rock showman these days, one who leads ace bands through a catalog that’s imprinted on the millennial hearts of die-hard fans. Delicate indie-folk dude Christian Lee Hutson, who’s something of a Bridgers protegee, opens tonight’s Palace gig. $45-$80. 6:30 p.m. 17 W. Seventh Place, St. Paul; find more info here. –Jay Boller


The Great Improvised Bake Off

Strike Theater

Unless you’re a pro, cooking in front of a live audience can only end in disaster. And that’s what will make this show, the brainchild of local goofballs Mike Fotis and Shea Roberts Gyllen, so fun. Part improv set, part baking competition, this production at Strike Theater should offer some hilarity and will (hopefully!) end in cake. Think The Great British Bake-Off smashed with Iron Chef. Rita Boersma and Shanan Custer will play hosts, narrating the chaos for us. Be prepared to run if the fire alarm goes off. $15. 7:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday. 824 18th Ave. NE, Minneapolis; find tickets here. –Jessica  Armbruster

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Tournament

LynLake Brewery

Is there a better game to play while drinking a pint than Super Smash Bros.? We think not. This is a game where chaos rules. Random things are constantly dropping down from the sky, including corn dogs, roasted chicken, and tempura shrimp, because, why not? You can button smash or play with a strategy, as both are valid gameplay styles. Also, importantly, you won’t play worse if you catch a buzz. So if you want a goofy-fun gaming experience, you’ll want to sign up for this tourney, where you can inhale a pint while you suction up your enemy via Kirby’s vacuum inhale. You can sign up by texting game host Alex at 763-242-5949, or simply show up on Thursday and enjoy watching the shenanigans. Free. 7 p.m. 2934 Lyndale Ave. S., Minneapolis. –Jessica Armbruster

Sugar, We're Goin’ Up-Down: Emo Night Vol. 1

Uptown-Down Minneapolis

If you’re not immediately aware of that pun, this event is probably not for you! But for many millennials, including myself, the creeping advance of age/death has triggered the first real potent bursts of teenage nostalgia, meaning a return to emo and pop-punk. That’s the thrust tonight at Up-Down, where My Chemical Romance, Saves the Day, and Thursday will blast all night as partiers glug down drink specials, enjoy giveaways, and scarf $2 pizza slices. Slather on your black nail polish and tighten that studded belt: Our youths are finally marketable! But seriously, this sounds as fun as the 2005 Fall Out Boy single for which it’s named. Free. 8 p.m. 21+. 3012 Lyndale Ave. S., Minneapolis; find more info here.–Jay Boller

The Suburbs at First Avenue in 2017
The Suburbs at First Avenue in 2017Brian Grenz


The Suburbs 

Palace Theatre 

Happy New Year! Oh wait, well, this Palace Theatre show featuring Minnesota new wave royalty was supposed to be a 2022 New Year’s Eve concert, then another wave of Covid fucked that up. But what are dates and times when the Suburbs have been a thing for nearly 45 years? Like a friend you see a couple times a year, it’s NBD when they have to cancel at the last minute; you just reschedule. They even have new news to share: The latest album from Chan Poling and the gang, Poet’s Party, was a hit locally. With Run Westy Run and DJ Shane Kramer. 18+. $35-$50. 6:30 p.m. 17 W. Seventh Place, St. Paul; find more info here. –Jessica Armbruster

Chili Cook-Off 

Midtown Global Market

Chili fucking rules. I’m a big, big fan. Love the stuff. Now that you have a better understanding of what makes me tick (chili), lemme tell you about something else entirely: Midtown Global Market’s 16th annual chili cookoff. Only 150 tickets will be available to this year’s charity chili event, where the following restaurants with vie for spicy, chunky supremacy: Salsa a La Salsa, Arepa Bar, Andy's Garage, Grass Roots Gourmet, Indigenous Food Lab, Soul to Soul Smokehouse, Manny's Tortas, Eastlake Brewery, The Kitchen by Baked Brand, Moroccan Flavors, and Sabbai Cuisine. Once you house spoonfuls of their twists on chili, diners will vote and a winner will be crowned. Whole lotta fun. $20. Noon. 920 E. Lake St., Minneapolis; find more info here.–Jay Boller

Arez at Wrestlepalooza


Wrestlepalooza XIX

First Avenue
With COVID-19 at least sorta pinned to the mat for the moment, Wrestlepalooza XIX can finally bring high-flying mayhem to First Ave. (The locally loved indie wrestling blowout was originally scheduled for early January; those tickets will be honored.) Among the F1RST Wrestling crewmembers set to rock the Mainroom: Racket-featured Devon Monroe, Aramis, Sweetpea, Billie Starkz, Dante Martin, Arez, Free-Range Kara, and Phoenix De La Rosa. Twin Cities rap fave Nur-D—who’s also a friend to striking teachers—is booked as musical guest but "you never know" if he'll get in the ring. $30-$40. 6 p.m. 701 N. First Ave., Minneapolis; find more info here.–Jay Boller

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