Let the music play - new Concert Reviews/Experiences

I won't say your opinion on 1st Ave is sacrilegious but I will say this:

- Going back to when I was only old enough to see All Ages shows in 1988, I learned if you don't have a game plan for 1st Ave about when to get there, where to stand etc, yeah it can be a huge hassle to watch a show at what is a converted Greyhound bus depot. Getting there early and having safety in numbers can really help if you are one that needs to make a beer or bathroom run.

- I've talked about this before, but what makes it special is how much the artists revere the old gal and put on special performances at the House that Prince Built. Jason Isbell played a show there in 2022 even though he could sell out a venue 5X the size, just because the were painting name on the wall.

Artists just love the room.

This weekend he is playing in St Paul (more on that later). He felt the need to stop by just to pay his respects and posted this on the Gram. I find that unbelievably cool.

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Definitely better with a larger group. But cramped regardless....which is my main problem. When a show is sold out there......for everyone to actually have a decent sightline......things get tight to the point where you may only have room to breath. Two of the last three shows I've seen there (just that I could see) have had someone go down.....maybe because they drank too much.....but more likely because they were stuck motionless for a couple hours and circulation was cut off.

It's really my only complaint. Don't care at all about the amenities or anything of that sort. Just find that I get less enjoyment at shows there because I'm almost always super uncomfortable.
 

Definitely better with a larger group. But cramped regardless....which is my main problem. When a show is sold out there......for everyone to actually have a decent sightline......things get tight to the point where you may only have room to breath. Two of the last three shows I've seen there (just that I could see) have had someone go down.....maybe because they drank too much.....but more likely because they were stuck motionless for a couple hours and circulation was cut off.

It's really my only complaint. Don't care at all about the amenities or anything of that sort. Just find that I get less enjoyment at shows there because I'm almost always super uncomfortable.
It helps to go with those who are the athletic type. Friends/family that can clear paths, block, set picks and run interference are true assets.
 

It helps to go with those who are the athletic type. Friends/family that can clear paths, block, set picks and run interference are true assets.

I understand that crowds and space constraints are something that you have to deal with at (standing room) concerts. I prefer GA. But I've never been overly uncomfortable at The Armory, Fine Line, Turf Club, Fillmore, Varsity Theater, etc. I just expect to be uncomfortable at First Avenue now.
 

Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit Night 1. I saw him just under 6 months ago for the Weathervanes tour in Moorhead, but now the time is here for a proper 2 night stand in the Twin Cities market at The Palace in St Paul.

During that time to recap in the Isbell world:

- His bass player Jimbo Hart left the band permanently and has been replaced by Anna Butterss.
- New choppers.
- He had a key supporting role as Bill Smith and went head to head Leo DiCaprio in Best Picture Nominated, Killer of the Flower Moon.
- Divorced from his talented wife and now former band mate, Amanda Shires.
- Picked up 2 Grammys for Weathervanes.

In Moorhead he played all but 1 of the 13 songs on Weathervanes. Last night only 8. Either way all good in my book, it's perhaps my favorite album by any artist so far this decade, so I love hearing any song from it but also more time for previous crowd hits are also great.

Stockholm was the opener and This Ain't It was the closer and no complaints about anything in the nearly 2 hour set. Decoration Day and Alabama Pines were highlights as well as a solo version of Cover Me Up which takes on a different tone give the now announced divorced.

It was incredibly crowded in the GA section, giving credence to the overselling theory as they were vigilant about only letting those with GA tix in the area.

Twice a couple of fans hit the deck causing Isbell to stop. Once the commotion had settled down he restarted the songs from the beginning, which I appreciated. I don't think either of the fans had serious medical issues, dehydration or drinking too much. Perhaps they enjoyed the early spring a bit too much.

Fortunately I got there early enough and staked out a spot on the rail just in front of the bar. All good. Fun night.
Was at this show as well, sounds like we viewed it from the same area also. It was so much damn fun, looks like he just added some more Midwest dates around the time of Basilica. I’m hoping….
 

Was at this show as well, sounds like we viewed it from the same area also. It was so much damn fun, looks like he just added some more Midwest dates around the time of Basilica. I’m hoping….
Looks like Dubuque, IA is the closest to the TC.

It actually crossed my mind to drive up to Duluth for yet a 3rd Isbell/400 Unit show last night. Checking the Setlist this morning sort of softened the FOMO though, because he did not play anything that was not also played at least once in St Paul.
 


I understand that crowds and space constraints are something that you have to deal with at (standing room) concerts. I prefer GA. But I've never been overly uncomfortable at The Armory, Fine Line, Turf Club, Fillmore, Varsity Theater, etc. I just expect to be uncomfortable at First Avenue now.
I have been to shows at the Fine Line and Turf Club that are every bit as uncomfortable/challenging as 1st Ave. The Palace, ditto.

The Armory I have only been to once, which was great, but I know was not Sold Out. The Varsity the handful of times I have been there were fine, but I am not sure there was overwhelming ticket demand for any of the shows I went to. I have yet attend a show at the Fillmore (Mpls).

I really think it's based on how many tickets are sold and how big the fan following is of the act. If there are very few no shows in which fans with extras are easily able to sell their extras it's going to be challenging at any of these Twin Cities GA venues.

Same goes for the places I have seen shows at in Chicago such as The Metro, Riv, & Vic.
 

I have been to shows at the Fine Line and Turf Club that are every bit as uncomfortable/challenging as 1st Ave. The Palace, ditto.

The Armory I have only been to once, which was great, but I know was not Sold Out. The Varsity the handful of times I have been there were fine, but I am not sure there was overwhelming ticket demand for any of the shows I went to. I have yet attend a show at the Fillmore (Mpls).

I really think it's based on how many tickets are sold and how big the fan following is of the act. If there are very few no shows in which fans with extras are easily able to sell their extras it's going to be challenging at any of these Twin Cities GA venues.

Same goes for the places I have seen shows at in Chicago such as The Metro, Riv, & Vic.
I saw Courtney Barnett at the Varsity right as she was blowing up. It was so crowded that I offered to help with crowd flow if we were allowed to stand on the steps leading to the back bar. Security accepted my offer. We became a wall of sorts that divided people into two lines. We were set, but the rest were packed in as tight as possible. It looked horrible. Courtney was so overwhelmed by the crowd that she cried when telling us how that was the most people they played in front of before.
 

Saw Beth Orton last night at the Parkway. I always wanted to see her and I felt like this might be my last chance. I still am not a fan of sitting for music, but it was fine. She was funny and very personable, but I felt the absence of a backing band for sure.
 

Good news, Dinosaur Jr is coming to St Paul with the Flaming Lips.

Bad news, it's as openers for headliner Weezer who I not only dislike musically but also have a distaste for them personally.


I hope J, Lou and Murph get a nice paycheck out of deal as well as Coyne & crew.
 



Good news, Dinosaur Jr is coming to St Paul with the Flaming Lips.

Bad news, it's as openers for headliner Weezer who I not only dislike musically but also have a distaste for them personally.


I hope J, Lou and Murph get a nice paycheck out of deal as well as Coyne & crew.
Weezer sucks. Flaming Lips play music for about 1/2 their shows since Wayne won't shut up. Dinosaur Jr. is the best band by miles.
 







I saw The Boss on Tuesday night here in Phoenix, his first concert since he took a 4 month health hiatus during this current tour. It's the second concert I've seen of him during this current tour (the first was in Atlanta, his second concert of the entire tour) and I'd say his voice was a bit stronger the first one in Atlanta than it was this week, but wow he still crushed it. He starts exactly at 7:30 on the dot, plays for nearly 3 hours and just rocks it! Great night and I can't wait to see him again.

Go Springsteen!!
 

Martin Zellar has his first album out in 12 years. It had been about that long since I had seen him play with the Hardways, which now includes his son Wilson on lead guitar.

Last night they played at the Chateau Theater in downtown Rochester. It was previously a movie house later converted into a Barnes & Noble, but is back to being a performing venue/event hall.

In addition to a few new songs that sound great, it was a typical mix of Gear Daddies & Solo with of course a few Neil Diamond songs sprinkled in. Fun night.

He indicated that he hadn't planned to play Zamboni but a former Austin classmate was in attendance. This guy happened to be the starting goalie for the HS team, which relegated Zellar to the backup, thus dashed his NHL dreams and inspired the song.

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Last night Mumford & Sons performed at a free "Concert in the Park" as part of the Final Four here in Phoenix. Last year I had tickets to M&S that I had to eat at the last minute as I came down with bad COVID, so it was nice to balance that out with a free M&S concert. First time I've seen them live, they were fantastic.

The downside to a free concert is there is no attendance cap, I bet there were at least 30,000 people there in a space that probably shouldn't have more than 20,000.

Charles Barkley jumped up on stage and got the crowd going at one point.

Go Gophers!!
 

Last night Mumford & Sons performed at a free "Concert in the Park" as part of the Final Four here in Phoenix. Last year I had tickets to M&S that I had to eat at the last minute as I came down with bad COVID, so it was nice to balance that out with a free M&S concert. First time I've seen them live, they were fantastic.

The downside to a free concert is there is no attendance cap, I bet there were at least 30,000 people there in a space that probably shouldn't have more than 20,000.

Charles Barkley jumped up on stage and got the crowd going at one point.

Go Gophers!!
Did Charles have a fiddle battle with one of the Mumford boys?
 

Last night Mumford & Sons performed at a free "Concert in the Park" as part of the Final Four here in Phoenix. Last year I had tickets to M&S that I had to eat at the last minute as I came down with bad COVID, so it was nice to balance that out with a free M&S concert. First time I've seen them live, they were fantastic.

The downside to a free concert is there is no attendance cap, I bet there were at least 30,000 people there in a space that probably shouldn't have more than 20,000.

Charles Barkley jumped up on stage and got the crowd going at one point.

Go Gophers!!

Did they play anything from the Marcus Mumford solo (self-titled) album? I really dig that record.
 

Caugh the Semisonic show at The Palace on Saturday. Not a huge fan but I enjoyed it.
 




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