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The club known worldwide thanks to 'Purple Rain' is a national treasure to Twin Cities music fans, who can catch anyone from local favorites to internationally-touring veterans at this former bus depot. A spacious dance floor and a balcony with great sightlines make even the most packed shows worthwhile experiences.
This Friday marks the return of Wrestlepalooza, a wacky event that combines pro wrestling with burlesque performances in the Main Room of First Ave...
After D'Angelo became an increasingly reluctant sex symbol, he retreated from the spotlight following 2000's revered R&B classic Voodoo. The return...
Since the Yeah Yeah Yeahs' early-'00s arrival on New York's then-popping rock landscape, no band besides the one of Karen O, Nick Zinner, and drumm...
Featuring Raja (winner of RuPaul's Drag Race season 3); burlesque from Dykes do Drag, Sweetpea, Nadine DuBois, music from DJ Shannon Blowtorch; mor...
After taking a year off, powerhouse fashion event Voltage came back to First Avenue last Saturday night with a bang. Presented by MNfashion, the event combines local music and fashion for an evening f... More »
After taking a year off, Voltage, one of MNFashion's biggest fashion shows, is back for a night of local fashion and music at First Avenue. The event features 16 clothing and accessory designe... More »
After a yearlong hiatus, MNFashion's Voltage returns to First Avenue this Saturday for a night of high fashion and local music. The event will pair eight local apparel designers with eight accessories designers to best showcase hot new looks for... More »
George Lewis Jr. isn't exactly your typical '80s revivalist. Granted, his self-produced 2012 breakthrough, Confess, definitely has that intangible sheen of cocky-optimist gloss that coated the decade's best pop in breathless decadence. But true... More »
First Avenue still rules the roost when it comes to the Twin Cities' top rock-out spots. And with improved lower-level, stage-left sight lines, the same great sound system, and a formidable concert and event schedule as always, plus the welcome addition of the adjacent Depot as a pregame spot, the club Prince made famous has only gotten better in recent years. Whether you're out to headbang during a metal show or pop-and-lock to some dance music, you won't find a better-looking or -sounding... More »
"You guys sound like an arena," tUnE-yArDs maestro Merrill Garbus beamed halfway through her sold-out set in the Mainroom last fall. And Garbus was right to be impressed by the crowd's reaction -- it was one of the most joyous and shrieking receptions a Minneapolis crowd has shown a touring act in recent memory, save for the last time Taylor Swift came through town. With every ukulele strum and looped vocal melody the audience would respond in unbridled elation, and it was that give and... More »
The tagline of their seven-night love affair with the city seemed to say it all: "One whole fucking week." But the full concert experience wasn't limited to the Doomtree marathon's all-hands-on-deck performances in the Mainroom; no, the most spectacular element of last year's Blowout was that it pulled in dozens of the most talented and diverse acts the hip-hop scene had to offer, showcasing them all in a buffet-style spread over five sweaty, swirling nights in the Entry. The entire Doomtree... More »
We don't need to convince you of First Avenue's longstanding icon status in Minneapolis or that it's one of the top rock clubs in the nation. But you might not know the club has been supporting the little guy -- in this case, the electronic music community -- from the genre's early days when turntables weren't considered an ancient artifact and club music was on the fringe. It was Kevin Cole's now legendary Depth Probe radio broadcasts and the feel-good nights at Sunday Night Dance... More »
In five years, Get Cryphy has grown from a 300-person Record Room experience to a full-fledged Mainroom extravaganza at First Avenue, and for good reason. The famous local foursome composed of Plain Ole Bill, Jimmy2Times, Fundo, and LASTWORD are not only slick DJs and producers, they're also all best friends, and it comes across behind the booth. On the first Friday of every month, the storied checkered dance floor fills to its edges with kids looking for a hyped-up rap party, and that's... More »
It seemed destined to be the event of the year: Gayngs' first-ever public performance, themed "The Last Prom on Earth," on a Friday last May. As the mellowed-out sounds of the band wafted from the First Avenue stage, chatter from the audience was abruptly halted by a new buzz: "He's here! I saw him!" Those connected at the brainstem to Twitter quickly learned that the Purple One, the Artist Currently Known As Prince, had been seen walking into the club, guitar in hand, before he took up... More »
It was the most expensive concert ticket for a Mainroom show in recent memory, but Hill made it worth every penny. It took only about 30 seconds for Ms. Lauryn Hill (as she requested to be billed on the club's signage) to put to rest all the ridiculous rumors that had swelled up around her rare string of concert dates and to command the entire sweaty, sold-out room at First Avenue, singing with a kind of classic showwomanship and fierce stage presence that most contemporary performers can... More »
First Ave's 40th birthday was quite the landmark, so it's appropriate that the House That Prince Built celebrated the occasion in style, with a number of renovations and additions taking place at the legendary venue. The most prominent of those was the appearance of the Depot, a full-fledged restaurant that sprouted on the far side of the 7th St. Entry and managed to add a welcome new dimension to the concertgoing experience without sanitizing or diminishing it. The new, homogenized stars on... More »
For a long time First Avenue was the club to default to if nothing else was going on, but it has increasingly over the last decade become the spot to indulge in a wild night of drinking and dancing, especially on Saturdays. Plus, you can usually get a drink from one of the seven full-service bars without much hassle, unlike many other cramped and crowded venues in the city. From salsa to hip hop to techno, First Avenue is and has always been the mainstay. More »
Except maybe when the Quest was around a decade ago, has there ever been a better dance club than First Avenue? This year alone the place not only revamped its popular ass-shaking crevice formerly known as the VIP Room (now titled the Record Room), but it also housed the most successful dance nights in the city. Among them: Get Cryphy, Too Much Love, Ritmo Caliente, Hot Dish, Black, and more. If this club is any indication, the Twin Cities most certainly like to get down. More »
We're not sure exactly what kind of love goes down at Too Much Love on Saturday nights at First Avenue, but it's a powerful magnet for expressive twenty- and thirtysomethings in Minneapolis, and it nets an astonishing number of cuties each week, both straight and gay--a lot gay. Too Much Love is a smorgasbord of sexy guys, from skinny-jeaned queens to the sophisticated blazer-and-fedora contingency. It's easy to find a partner when you can bond over silly '80s remixes and hipster dance... More »
Minneapolis may not have the Olympian size, bottomless-budget theatrics, or front-row celebrity roster of the runway shows of New York Fashion Week, but it does have a precious jewel in Spring MNfashion Week's Voltage: Fashion Amplified. Voltage celebrates its fifth season April 24, and it stands out in the small sea of blowout fashion nights for a reason: It always thinks New York, even in the Midwest. Voltage expands on the innovative premise that fashion and music are seamlessly sewn... More »
Objects appear more vivid when set against a dark background, although it's doubtful the interior decorators at First Avenue considered that when they doused the club in practical black lacquer paint. Against that backdrop, the kaleidoscope of characters on display every Saturday at the Too Much Love dance night makes for a vivid Petri dish of a dance floor. While TML is like an ant farm of hipsters in the Mainroom, upstairs the VIP Room is like Cheers for the jaded ex-ravers who frequent... More »
Soviet Panda may travel rather light, without vinyl crates to tote to his weekly residency at First Avenue's Too Much Love dance nights. But whether holier-than-thou crate diggers like it or not, the new millennium is upon us, and the title "disc jockey" now has a secondary definition. Soviet Panda's runaway success owes much to the fact that First Avenue has opened its doors to an 18-and-up crowd, and a few moments inside the decidedly adolescent TML will have the grownups snickering and... More »
Like a medieval peasant who, barehanded, kicks the shit out of knight after mounted knight, First Avenue stays on top of its racket with intuition and finesse. Sure, the best sightlines in town help, along with the 71-year-old structure's incomparable acoustics...which maybe, as management claims, really are related to the ceiling scuzz that sometimes falls on our heads. But the 38-year-old nightclub's continued knack for fending off the slings and arrows of corporate fortunes stems mostly... More »
There's a huge gulf between the earthly bounds of the small-capacity bar/nightclub and the teeming edifice of the 18,000-seat sports arena--not just spatially, but in the type of bands that take the stage. Fortunately, it's a gap that First Avenue has been filling admirably for decades. The feat has been especially impressive in the last few years, when First Ave has had to weather a nasty booking market and competition from newer, bigger venues. Yet the club grinds proudly on. April... More »
Some concerts are meant to be happenings, be they CD-release shows, multimedia blowouts, or even treasure hunts. Others become happenings. Call it kismet, call it savvy tour planning, but when Tapes 'n Tapes scheduled this co-headlining bill with the Plastic Constellations for July 22 last summer, they probably had no idea it would end up being just two days before their appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman and the worldwide release of The Loon on XL Recordings. Both bands had... More »
Give First Avenue credit for balls: Their dance nights have been pared down, with the V.I.P. room temporarily closed, and regular Mainroom dance hours reduced to Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays (with a 21+ age restriction all three nights). But instead of establishing a surefire cheesy dance format (more '80s hits, anyone?), the big black bus station has let passionate DJs cater to specialized audiences since the change of ownership and brief closing last November. The results have been... More »
There are some who will say that deeming First Avenue "Best Rock Club" is like giving Grammys to the dead guy. It is a little too easy, but this is no sympathy vote. Like a near-death experience, the brief demise of the Twin Cities' most famous nightclub taught us not to take things for granted. For two and a half excruciating weeks, countless concertgoers would have sacrificed their unborn children just to see the mayor stage dive one more time. But a phoenix rose from those ashes, all... More »
It's a testament to First Avenue's reputation that there's at least one musician in this town who would rather play in the club's bathroom than in any number of clean, presumably non-urine-stained spaces across the Twin Cities. Anyone who was there when local techno wizard Fuckstorm staged a show among the urinals in the Ave's men's room two years ago surely understands his devotion to the venue. After all, First Ave and the Entry are filled with our rock 'n' roll histories: our first... More »
Even concertgoers have to make sacrifices. Every week, for instance, tinnitus-afflicted folks wait in a long line just to schlep through ye olde slime-coated, live-crud-harvesting vomitorium--otherwise known by its common name: the 7th St. Entry bathroom. Now that's devotion. What else can you call it when music fanatics are willing to hold both their bladders and their breath in the name of seeing some fantastic shows? Well, you can probably call it supremely unhealthy, but at least this... More »
There are only two reasons you won't get chatted up at Pastor Paul's Acoustic Garage Sale: Either all the knickknacks for sale are too ugly to be conversation pieces, or you're too ugly to be a conversation piece. Actually, even if both of the above are true, you're likely to snag a date at this annual First Avenue charity event. Stroll past the vendors hawking thrift-store items on the Mainroom floor, as local musicians pluck their acoustic guitars onstage. You'll find that the majority of... More »
In case you hadn't noticed, First Avenue is that Walkman next to the Target Center's boombox. It's that old black bus station that's been turned into a concert venue and dance hall. It's a former transfer point between Seattle and the East Coast that now serves as a transfer point between musical tastes. Inside, salsa royalty mingle with punks, weekenders spill drinks on scenesters, drag queens dance with rave kids. It's a commons. And now that commons is forever--or at least it won't be... More »
One never likes to damn with faint praise, but deciding the "Best Dance Club" in the Twin Cities is a little bit like deciding the "Best One-Hit Eighties Pop Star Named Tiffany"--an exercise rendered empty by its obviousness. The Front is fine for what it is--a bar with delusions of grandeur. Ground Zero's floor is far too large for even the weekend crowd, unfortunate souls with a predilection for dressing just beyond their level of comfort. People at the Gay 90's have a much higher comfort... More »
Okay, bad things first: The perennial torrent of grumbles emerging from the club make it sound about as convivial a place to work as your average gulag, a fact sneering staffers take out on anyone foolish enough to get in their way. Countless organizational shake-ups, a mess of an in-house mag, and endless political intrigue make the club a wellspring of scenester gossip. The schedule is cluttered with mediocre blues, reggae, and often interchangeable dance nights while smilin' Bill... More »
Event Review: The Wallflowers
Love The Wallflowers! Everyone who has seen them live says its a great performance so I'm stoked to check it out first hand. Hope they play a lot of songs off Glad All Over.
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