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The Twin Cities’ biggest music festival might grow even bigger this year. Soundset organizers announced a 2014 lineup this morning that includes Wiz Khalifa, Nas, 2 Chainz, Cypress Hill, Earlwolf (Tyler the Creator + Earl Sweatshirt), Chance the Rapper and Pusha T along with the usual mob of local favorites, including Atmosphere, Prof, Lizzo, Toki Wright & Big Cats and hot newcomers Allan Kingdom and Dem Atlas. The day-long bash is scheduled Sunday, May 25 (Memorial Day weekend), once again on the grounds outside Canterbury Park in Shakopee.
Here’s the full lineup:
Atmosphere / Wiz Khalifa / Cypress Hill / Nas / 2 Chainz / EarlWolf (Tyler The Creator & Earl Sweatshirt) / Pusha T / Chance The Rapper / Prof / Grieves / G-Eazy / Ab-Soul / DJ QBert / The Grouch & Eligh / Flatbush Zombies / Lizzo with Lazerbeak / Rapsody & 9th Wonder / Shad / deM atlaS / Snow Tha Product / Roc Marciano / Dosh / Jonwayne / D-Styles / Toki Wright & Big Cats / Will C / Allan Kingdom / Breakbeat Lou / Nacho Picasso / Freddy Fresh / Los Nativos / K.Raydio & Psymun / Mac Irv / Ecid / DJ Fundo / DJ Lean Rock / DJ D. Mil / DJ Sidereal.
After a memorable appearance at 2010’s Soundset, Khalifa sold out the Minnesota State Fair grandstand in 2012 and thus was a shoo-in at the top of the lineup next to hometown hosts Atmosphere this year. Nas and Cypress Hill are '90s vets still revered by many modern hip-hop fans. Nas is touring behind the 20th anniversary of his landmark album “Illmatic.” Earl Sweatshirt, Chance the Rapper and Pusha T all had 2013 efforts that showed up on year-end best-of lists.
Pre-sale ticket options will be announced Friday morning via Rhymesayers social-media channels. The general on-sale is Saturday at 11 a.m. General-admission ticket prices will start at $55 via Ticketweb.com or at Fifth Element record store in Uptown. VIP passes will also be available then for $125.
With popular out-of-towners Snoop Dogg and Mac Miller, last year's Soundset drew a record 28,000 fans despite unseasonably cool weather. Surely, Midwest fans are due ample amounts of warmth and sunshine this year. Please?
The seventh annaul installment will serve as the hometown release party for Atmosphere's eighth album, "Southsiders," details of which were announced Monday. Rhymesayers is also readying new records by its roster newcomers Dem Atlas and Prof, the latter of whom made a memorable appearance on very short notice last year just a few weeks after undergoing knee surgery (he filled in for Busta Rhymes). Conspicuously absent from the lineup are Brother Ali and P.O.S. The former is instead listed as a co-host. The latter will undergo his long-awaited kidney transplant next week and will likely still be recuperating in May. We wouldn’t be surprised to see either dude perform at some point in the fest, though.
Here's a cool wham-bam video recap of last year's festival.
Another sure sign that summer is coming, the Minnesota State Fair announced three of its grandstand concerts today, two of which feature two of the biggest rap/rock acts around, and one of which features Sunday’s Oscar winner for best supporting actor. Here are the shows:
*Linkin Park with openers Thirty Seconds to Mars and AFI on Tuesday, Aug. 26. “Dallas Buyer’s Club” star Jared Leto fronts the middle-slot band. Still in steady rotation at 93X and other hard-rock stations with such early-00s singles as “Crawling” and “Numb,” Linkin Park skipped the Twin Cities after the release of 2012’s “Living Things” album and thus could be a big draw, despite dwindling record sales. Tickets go on sale Friday at 10 a.m. for $81 (general admission and reserved seating), $71 and $51 (reserved seating).
*Kid Rock on Saturday, Aug. 23, with an opener to be announced. Detroit’s urban cowboy has been coming to town just about every year, most recently with Bob Seger at Xcel Energy Center. Still, he should also be a big draw on a Saturday night at the fair. Tickets go on sale next Saturday, March 15, for $66.50 and $51.50.
*The Happy Together Tour 2014 with The Turtles featuring Flo & Eddie, Chuck Negron (Three Dog Night), Gary Lewis & The Playboys, Mark Farner (Grand Funk Railroad) and Mitch Ryder & The Detroit Wheels on Mon., Aug. 25. What’s a Minnesota State Fair without an appearance by what’s left of the Turtles? Tickets go on sale March 15 at noon for the happy-together price of $21.
Grandstand tickets can be purchased via mnstatefair.org, etix.com, by calling (800) 514-3849 or in person at the State Fairgrounds ticket office.
Having fared well with jam-band crowds during the Summer Set Music & Camping Festival the past two summers – especially when Umphrey’s McGee played that first year – Somerset Amphitheater has wisely booked one of the grand-jam poobahs, Widespread Panic, for a big Saturday camp-out gig on June 21.
The Georgia vets will be joined by New Orleans’ great funk-rock ensemble Galactic (now featuring Living Colour’s Corey Glover on vocals) as well as Philly electro-grind quartet Conspirator. Tickets go on sale via Ticketfly.com next Friday, March 7, at 10 a.m. at three tiers of early-bird prices: $49.50for the general-admission “pit” in front of the stage, $39.50 for reserved seats behind the pit or $25 for g.a. lawn. Camping packages are also being sold via the amphitheater’s site.
Falling on the same Saturday as Rock the Garden in Minneapolis, the Somerset gig comes midway through Widespread’s month-long summer jaunt. Their itinerary also includes a three-night engagement at Red Rocks Amphitheater outside Denver, where the band already holds the record for most shows played (42).
That's not the only big outdoor concert news today, either. Minnesota's own jammy kings the Big Wu unveiled the dates for their 14th annual Family Reunion, Aug. 7-9, along with one big name that will join them there, gospelized funk-rock stalwarts Robert Randolph & the Family Band. The bash is once again happening at Camp Maiden Rock in Morristown (less than an hour south of Minneapolis). Click here for $50 "first cousin" tickets.
Fresh off Sunday’s dual concert by Paul Simon and Sting, Xcel Energy Center will host another semi-odd couple of rock legends on Aug. 10 when Rod Stewart and Santana co-headline the St. Paul arena. Tickets go on sale March 7 at 10 a.m. for $39.50-$151.50 through Ticketmaster and the arena box office.
With little in common other than their Rock and Roll Hall of Fame status, Stewart and Santana are starting an 18-city tour together in May and calling it “The Voice, the Guitar, the Songs.” The London-read, Scottish-blooded Rod the Mod has been touring behind albums of light, jazzy standards of late and has taken up residency at Las Vegas’ The Colosseum at Caesars Palace in recent years.
Santana’s Mexico-born, San Francisco-raised namesake bandleader Carlos Santana is fresh off his Kennedy Center Honors induction and has also been tearing it up in Vegas lately with a residency at Mandalay Bay Resort’s House of Blues.
It will be Stewart’s third time at the X and Santana’s fifth.
With influential ‘60s legends the Sonics and local heroes Suicide Commandos and Curtiss A & the Jerks of Fate, Saturday’s First Avenue lineup looks like a cooler-than-cool garage-rock bill that a fanatical record-store clerk might dream up. And lo and behold, that’s exactly what it is. Treehouse Records owner Mark Trehus -- who rarely dabbles in the music-booking business (running a record store is painful enough) -- put the show together after seeing the Sonics three times last year and being blown away each time.
“I couldn’t believe these guys in their 60s were as powerful as they were,” said Trehus, who first caught the Seattle area vets at the Ponderosa Stomp in New Orleans last fall and then booked a trip to the Bay Area just to see them again in San Francisco and Oakland. “I got back to Minneapolis and just started thinking, ‘I really want people here to experience them. There’s gotta be a way to get them up here.’”
Trehus then teamed with First Ave general manager Nate Kranz on working to fly the Sonics in for the show (8 p.m. Sat., $25, click here for tickets). Suicide Commandos came into the fold because the Sonics’ manager is a big fan of theirs, Trehus said, while Curtiss A “is too often taken for granted and is about as true as rock ‘n’ roll gets.” The odd man out is third opener Charlie Pickett, another cult-loved obscure legend from Miami who is the subject of a recent anthology on Chicago’s Bloodshot Records. Pickett used to record for Twin/Tone Records in the mid-‘80s and still has local ties here, which led to him wanting to return to town “just for the chance to see and play with the Sonics,” Trehus said.
So what’s the deal with the Sonics? They were a sax- and organ-laced rock quintet that landed a regional hit in 1964 with “The Witch,” but they never garnered much national attention until decades later when bands such as the Fall, White Stripes, Flaming Lips, Hives, Japandroids and, of course, homeboys Nirvana cited their influence and/or covered their songs. Land Rover used another of their minor hits, “Have Love, Will Travel,” in a 2007 commercial. FIn the interim, frontman Gerry Roslie more or less gave up the rock ‘n’ roll life for another career but dove back in upon retirement, resulting in 2008 reunion at Seattle’s Paramount Theater and then a buzzed-about show at South by Southwest in 2009. Like the similarly big-to-a-small-contingent First Ave gig by fellow '60s cult legend Roky Erickson a few weeks ago, this will be the Sonics' first time performing in Minnesota.
“In New Orleans, they absolutely destroyed the place, and everybody was talking about them afterwards,” Trehus said. “The guys in the band will tell you they think they’re playing better now than they ever have.”
Confirming what was already obvious, Trehus gushed, “For me, it really is a dream bill.”
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