After missing out on the Replacements last year, Rock the Garden organizers managed to nab another influential Minneapolis band's heavily anticipated hometown reunion gig this summer: Babes in Toyland will perform for the June 20-21 music festival outside Walker Art Center. The internationally celebrated roar-rock trio is on RTG 2015's Sunday lineup before "Float On" hitmakers Modest Mouse, billed as co-headliners alongside Scottish indie-pop vets Belle & Sebastian, who will top off Saturday's bill.
The rest of Rock the Garden's Saturday lineup will feature Omaha indie-folkie Conor Oberst, Australia's buzzing songwriter Courtney Barnett, Brooklyn harmonizers Lucius and local electro-erotic hip-hop quartet the Stand4rd. Sunday's schedule also boasts Oklahoman retro-rocker JD McPherson and two offspring of deceased music legends, Seun Kuti (son of Afrobeat pioneer Fela Kuti) and Sean Lennon (son of Beatle John). Not coincidentally, Lennon — who will play with his new psychedelic band the Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger — has familial ties to the Walker via his mother, Yoko Ono, whose artwork is part of the museum's collection.
Babes in Toyland kicked off their gradually steamrolling reunion with two California gigs last month and continue with a short U.K. tour in May. Leaders of the celebrated riot-grrrl punk movement of the early-'90s, the group has not performed in 14 years in Minneapolis, which frontwoman Kat Bjelland and drummer Lori Barbero still call home. "I remember saying that Babes will never play again," Barbero told the Star Tribune last month. "Time and love heals. I'm such a happier person because of this."
Tickets for the Garden party go on sale Thursday for Walker and Minnesota Public Radio members ($100 for both days or $59 for one). Expanded to a two-day lineup for the first time last year, the event failed to sell out one day in 2014, but normally its 11,000 tickets are gone quicker than it takes to find a bathroom inside the uniquely designed Walker.