What Is This World Coming To? An 8-Day Complete Concert Calendar?: June 27-July 4
Pretty much all the live music you can catch in the Twin Cities this week.
12:45 PM CDT on June 27, 2023
We're taking an extra-long weekend at Racket next week, so this calendar also includes next Tuesday, July 4. And while that's not a big music day, as you might expect, you'll find a surprise or two in the J4 listings.
Tuesday, June 27
Wednesday, June 28
- Wednesday with Tenci @ First Avenue—The most celebrated young indie-rockers of 2023 ain’t exactly a new band—on the critically acclaimed Rat Saw God, this Asheville, North Carolina quartet’s fifth album, you can hear a group that’s both worked out some kinks and fallen into some habits. At Wednesday’s mossy, humid core is the expressive drawl of singer/songwriter Karly Hartzman, whose yelps occasionally hint at Hop Along’s Frances Quinlan, though more grounded (good) and less transcendent (less good). As guitarist MJ Lenderman inflects his noisemaking with just the slightest hint of twang, they sound like they learned everything they know about Crazy Horse and Skynyrd from the Drive-By Truckers. And yet, they probably didn’t, judging by their adventurous taste in covers on their 2022 album, Mowing the Leaves Instead of Piling 'em Up. When’s the last time you heard anyone under 40 mention Gary Stewart, let alone try their hand at “She’s Acting Single (I’m Drinking Doubles)”?
- Rock Your Ride 2023 with Gully Boys and Why Not @ Hook and Ladder—The Hook’s summer Under the Canopy series is a great way to catch live outdoor music, and it continues this week with the very cool transportation justice org Move Minnesota’s annual fundraiser. Performing as part of the affair are Gully Boys, who you’ve read enough about on Racket that we needn’t go into too much detail here. Their summer tour with Destroy Boys starts out east in July so this’ll be your last chance to see them locally for a spell. They’re joined tonight by energetic guitar poppers Why Not, who’ve been friends since middle school and released a snazzy self-titled 2022 album. Their latest single is a fun remake of “Nauseous,” originally by Annie DiRusso, who they opened for last year. Oh, and if you don’t have time to grab dinner beforehand, there’ll be a food truck nearby.
Thursday, June 29
- Tink with Jacquees @ Orpheum Theatre—After making a splash in 2014 with her mixtape Winter's Diary 2: Forever Yours, Tink was inducted into XXL's Freshman Class the following year and signed with Timbaland. Then, as with too many talented female rap/R&B performers, her career has been derailed by label issues. She's regained her footing as an independent artist since, and as she shows on her latest, Thanks 4 Nothing, she's learned to protect herself, on guard against "Fake Love" and realizing "Streets Ain't for Me."
Friday, June 30
- Erykah Badu @ Xcel Energy Center—Will we ever get a new Badu album? Since she released the brilliant New Amerykah Part Two (Return of the Ankh) in 2010, all we’ve had was the playfully offhand EP Phone. But she’ll remain an unmissable live act even if she never records another note, because it’s in concert that she truly allows her eccentric spirit to range. (When I saw her at the Armory in October 2021, she led us in a chant of “Leave other people’s bitches alone.”) The title “Queen of Neo-Soul”—a sobriquet I don’t doubt she hates, preferring to be addressed by her alter egos like “Badulla Oblongata” and “Sara Bellum”—shortchanges her. Badu’s opening act, once known as Mos Def, hasn’t been prolific himself lately—his last solo album could only be heard at a Brooklyn art exhibit. But his reunion with Talib Kweli as Black Star last year, No Fear of Time, was surprisingly lively. If I’m reading the Ticketmaster visual correctly, Badu is only selling tickets for the floor and 100 level, so this could be slightly more intimate than your typical arena show.
Saturday, July 1
Sunday, July 2
- Taste of Minnesota: Day One @ Nicollet Mall—Welcome back Taste of Minnesota, the two-day free festival along Nicollet Mall that city leaders are framing as a Minneapolis-is-back victory lap. The food ‘n’ tunes bash was held outside the State Capitol through the ‘80s and ‘90s, relocated to St. Paul’s Harriet Island in 2003, and, finally, lasted for a couple of years in Waconia before shutting down in 2015. Summoning his trademark peppiness, Mayor Jacob Frey hyped the rebooted event earlier this month to reporters: “This is not getting back to the old normal, we’re attracting new events, new talent, new kinds of experiences—and that's what this Taste of Minnesota is all about.” In practice, that'll mean top-billed acts—'90s rockers Third Eye Blind and Outkast's Big Boi, plus Motion City Soundtrack and Uncle Kracker—who, in terms of draw, seem to be more like First Avenue headliners than festival ones, but who are we to quibble with a free event that'll also boast fleets of food trucks (Animales, Red Wagon, Nixta, Soul Bowl) and wrestling (F1RST Wrestling featuring Colt Cabana)? Curiously, the whole shebang will be made possible by a one-time $1.85 million stipend issued by the state to co-sponsor the Minneapolis Downtown Council, a nonprofit civic booster org. The money is being designated exclusively for Taste of Minnesota, which is expected to draw 100,000 people over two days. Organizers hope to secure a “multi-year commitment” to bring the fest back to downtown following its debut.
Monday, July 3
- Taste of Minnesota: Day Two @ Nicollet Mall—See Sunday's listings.
Tuesday, July 4
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