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This resurrected former theater is one of the best places to catch a concert in Dinkytown, whether it's a big-name touring act or some local heroes that've graduated past bar-band status. The Varsity boasts a spacious floor and an elevated seating area providing multi-level sightlines (and couches!), a high-grade sound system, vibrant lighting and the kind of art-deco decor that lends a certain swanky elegance to whatever pop debauchery might be unfurling on its wide, easily-viewable stage.
In 1973, Todd Rundgren was the producer behind the meat-and-potatoes hard-rock gem that is Grand Funk Railroad's We're an American Band LP. But he ...
With the Staves. 18+.
With Sanders Bohlke. 18+.
This year, Minnesota's April showers consist of snow and hail. Regardless of the weather, with the spring season comes a performance from Bitch Flowers. This Saturday at the Varsity, Ms. Flowers will host an evening of (pre-show) bingo, shirtless... More »
The clarion, wiry ring of Johnny Marr's guitar and Morrissey's angst-laden vocals made the Smiths one of the definitive bands of the 1980s. After the Smiths' demise late in that decade, Marr began a peripatetic existence, essentially as a guitar... More »
With a too-hot-for-the-FCC moniker like Starfucker, Portland musician Joshua Hedges clearly isn't too interested in courting the mainstream, even as his highly danceable indie-pop continues to evolve in a direction that would appear to make... More »
It might seem silly to say that John Mulaney is finally getting his own sitcom. The writer and comedian only recently turned 30, after all, but longtime fans of his work as a writer and producer on Saturday Night Live and his standup have seen... More »
Zach Sobiech doesn't have a lot of time, so he's using it wisely. In 2009, the 17-year-old singer-songwriter from Lakeland was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a cancerous bone tumor, and the cancer has since spread to his internal organs. The... More »
The Howard Jones show was both minimalist (only 3 people on stage including HoJo), and intricate. All 3 band members relied on Apple laptops to make many layers of sound. This tour revisits Jones' first two albums, Human's Lib and Dream Into Action. While "Dream" had greater chart success than its predecesor, both albums had hits and most of the 40-somethings sang along with the familiar material. Highlights included "No One is To Blame" and "Things Can Only Get Better" from Dream. "New Song", "What is Love" and "Pearl In A Shell", all from the "Human's" album, drove the crowd wild. Howard himself was talkative and conversant with the crowd. Totally engaged and engaging. The crowd was extremely enthusiastic and vocal, with their best singing on "No One is To Blame", "Things Can Only..", "New Song" and "Everlasting Love". Lots of synthesizer sounds and 80's beats, and even a KeyTar sighting. There was a short break in-between the two albums and some nice Dj work from Jake Rudh. Would HIGHLY recommend catching a stop on this tour if you can, as well as seeing almost anything that comes to the Varsity.
We in the Twin Cities are pretty spoiled for choices when it comes to quality music venues. Even so, the Varsity Theater is one spot that shouldn't be taken for granted. Simply put, it's gorgeous. The lush decor, the result of a comprehensive remodeling a few years ago, is heavy on style and color and unique for how well it encompasses the venue's nearly 100-year history, from the red velvet curtains that line the walls to the swank, lounge-like bathrooms to the disco balls that hang... More »
Though the Varsity Theater has only focused on music since 2005, the popular Dinkytown venue has been around for a whopping 94 years, operating as a theater until the 1980s, when it morphed into a concert hall. The new Varsity debuted four years ago with a Feist concert, wowing Twin Citians with its great sound, spacious main room, and sophisticated but easygoing character. The Varsity is the pin-up girl of music venues, with its lipstick-red decor and a sassy vintage style that shows off... More »
To be honest, the Varsity could've won a number of categories, including Best Place to Have a Wedding, Best Bar-Mitzvah Venue, maybe even Best Place to Watch a Movie That's Not an Actual Movie Theater (which, of course, it was in its original incarnation). But the multipurpose venue is ideal for concerts. Resurrected just over two years ago, the Varsity boasts a spacious floor, an elevated seating area that provides multilevel sightlines, a high-grade sound system, and a certain swanky... More »
Those who hadn't set foot in the Varsity since it was closed to the public in 1991 were surprised to find the art deco landmark lovingly preserved when it reopened in January. Remodeled and refurbished by Loring Pasta Bar owner Jason McLean to be a multipurpose performance, film, and art space, the current theater stands as a culmination of many renovations. It opened as a movie house called the University Theatre in 1915, with Paramount motion pictures and Friday-night amateur vaudeville.... More »
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