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Summer Set Fest 2014 to spin with Bassnectar, Wu Tang, Chromeo

Posted by: Chris Riemenschneider under Music, Concert news Updated: April 15, 2014 - 10:14 AM
Bassnectar, aka Californian electronic music maker Lorin Ashton, has been a favorite at Coachella and other big fests. / Photo by Ceasar Sebastian

Bassnectar, aka Californian electronic music maker Lorin Ashton, has been a favorite at Coachella and other big fests. / Photo by Ceasar Sebastian

Beating the heavily anticipated Rock the Garden 2014 lineup announcement by six hours, the Summer Set Music & Camping Festival unveiled the first “phase” of confirmed acts for its third annual grooveathon, scheduled Aug. 15-17 at Somerset Amphitheater in Somerset, Wis.

 

California’s booming electronic music party-starter Bassnectar’s name was dropped as one of the 2014 headliners along with revered hip-hop troop the Wu-Tang Clan, Chicago buzz kid Chance the Rapper (who is also on this year’s Soundset lineup), Canadian funk-pop duo Chromeo (which made a splash at Coachella last weekend), perenial favorites Big Gigantic and Philadelphia jam band the Disco Biscuits. Here's the full list of names released so far:

Bassnectar / Wu-Tang Clan / Big Gigantic / Chance the Rapper / Chromeo / Flying Lotus / Schoolboy Q / The Disco Biscuits / Cherub / Datsik / RL Grime / Cedric Gervais / Claude VonStroke / Figure / Green Velvet

A Summer Set source said a poll of fans after the inaugural 2012 fest showed Bassnectar to be the most-wanted prospective headliner – which tells you something about the curious niche organizers have found among summer music fests, combining the dance, rap and jam-band scenes. It’s no small niche, either, as attendance over three days last year was around 45,000, making it the rare new festival in our neck of the woods to do well (that's around15,000 per day, compared to the 11,000 attendance cap for Rock the Garden; the RTG lineup announcement starts at 4 p.m. today on 89.3 the Current).

Tickets to Summer Set 2014 went on sale alongside the initial lineup announcement. Three-day passes start at $89.95.

Trent Moede of Madison, Wis., had a purrr-fect time at the Summer Set Fest in 2012. / Kyndell Harkness, Star Tribune

Trent Moede of Madison, Wis., had a purrr-fect time at the Summer Set Fest in 2012. / Kyndell Harkness, Star Tribune

Twin Cities rocker Kat Perkins makes top 12 on 'The Voice'

Posted by: Chris Riemenschneider under Music, Minnesota musicians, Television Updated: April 14, 2014 - 10:14 PM
Kat Perkins was originally picked in "The Voice's" blind auditions after singing Fleetwood Mac's "Gold Dust Woman.". / Courtesy NBC

Kat Perkins was originally picked in "The Voice's" blind auditions after singing Fleetwood Mac's "Gold Dust Woman." / Courtesy NBC

A dramatic version of Journey’s “Open Arms” earned Twin Cities club vet Kat Perkins a warm embrace from her coach Adam Levine at just the right moment to advance in the playoffs round on NBC’s “The Voice.”

The so-called “singing nanny” -- who left a job working for an Edina family of five children to be on the show -- was picked by Levine as one of three out of five Team Adam members to advance from Monday night’s show. Her version of the 1981 power ballad is now available as an iTunes download.

Known to local metal fans from her days fronting Scarlet Haze, the Scranton, N.D., native was the last of the three selected from Levine’s team in the episode’s tense closing moments. She was thus given a chance to make a final kiss-up comment to the Maroon 5 singer and said, “You believed in me from the get-go. That means the world to me.”

After her performance, Perkins, 33, earned praise from all four of the team coaches/judges. Usher told her, “You should be very, very proud of yourself.” Shakira added, “You’re so good with those big notes.” As for Levine, he said, “There has not been a better performance than this one.”

Perkins will perform as one of 12 contestants to advance to the live rounds starting next week.

Concert news: Ed Sheeran at Target Center, Foster the People at Myth

Posted by: Chris Riemenschneider under Music, Concert news Updated: April 14, 2014 - 11:39 AM
Ed Sheeran performed in September at the University of Delaware. / Owen Sweeney/Invision/AP

Ed Sheeran performed in September at the University of Delaware. / Owen Sweeney/Invision/AP

Another Monday morning tour announcement by a “Saturday Night Live” performer: Ed Sheeran’s first North American headlining tour will kick off Aug. 22 in Seattle and includes a Sept. 15 in Minneapolis at Target Center. Tickets are expected to go on sale April 25 at prices yet to be announced.

The 23-year-old British folk-pop star -- who got his big break opening his pal Taylor Swift’s “Red” tour -- took to “SNL” on Saturday fresh off releasing his new single “Sing,” which was co-written and produced by omnipresent “Happy” singer Pharrell Williams. A video of the performance is posted below. Swift was there on the “SNL” set to support her tourmate and made a cameo in the monologue with host Seth Rogan. Sheeran also sang another new one, “Don’t.” Both tunes are from his sophomore effort “x” – its predecessor was simply titled “+” – which isn’t due to arrive until June 23 but is already available for pre-order.

More concert news this morning: Los Angeles pop-rockers Foster the People of “Pumped Up Kicks” fame will return to town Aug. 4 to play Myth nightclub in Maplewood, part of the Chicago spillover we alluded to when that weekend’s Lollapalooza lineup was announced. Tickets go on sale this Friday at 10 a.m. at prices to be announced. Swedish buzz band NONONO with starlet-in-waiting Stina Wäppling will open the show. FTP’s own sophomore album, “Supermodel,” arrived last month and has produced another modest hit in “Coming of Age.”

Phantogram raises "Voices" in sparkling First Ave set

Posted by: Chris Riemenschneider under Music Updated: April 14, 2014 - 10:16 AM
Sarah Barthel and Josh Carter played under a bank of thin spotlights and in front of a packed crowd at Sunday's sold-out Phantogram concert at First Avenue. / Photos by Leslie Plesser

Sarah Barthel and Josh Carter played under a bank of thin spotlights and in front of a packed crowd at Sunday's sold-out Phantogram concert at First Avenue. / Photos by Leslie Plesser

With her conspicuously exposed midriff, jet-black hair, tight white jeans and fingerless gloves that were often wrapped up in a pumping fist, Sarah Barthel looked more like she was headed to a Ratt concert than headlining a sold-out, 89.3-the-Current-buoyed, hipster-heavy First Avenue show. Her band Phantogram, on the other hand, looked and sounded like it was an arena-rock band in waiting, with a light show and elements of Depeche Mode, Nine Inch Nails and “Achtung”-brand U2 spliced together.

Sunday’s 85-minute set boasted 10 of the 11 tracks on Phantogram’s new album, “Voices,” and about half of the ones off of the predecessor, “Eyelid Movies.” Despite the four-year gap between albums, the songs bled together cohesively. The extra wattage and rhythmic punch granted to earlier tunes such as “Running From the Cops” and “When I’m Small” certainly helped blend the two eras. The latter song was impressively stretched out into a climactic jam for the pre-encore finale, with Barthel’s partner Josh Carter tearing it up like the Edge getting his rocks off. He channeled his inner-guitar-god in a few of the new tunes, too, including “Nothing But Trouble” -- although Barthel emphasized another of Carter’s talents between songs.

 

“I think we can all thank Josh for creating such a great [expletive] beat,” she said after the current hit single, “Fall in Love,” drew a rabid response.

Carter didn’t make nearly as strong an impression as a vocalist. His turns at the mic in “Turning Into Stone” and “I Don’t Blame You” were reminiscent of Martin Gore’s time out front in Depeche Mode (he might be the true genius of the band, but his voice truly falls limp in concert).  However, it was one of the Barthel-led new songs, “Bill Murray,” that provided the night’s biggest lull. Otherwise, the coo-to-siren-voiced songstress stood out as a compelling frontwomen with an aloof coolness akin to Metric’s Emily Haines but more of a gangly, boyish, rowdy charm reminiscent of Sleigh Bells’ Alexis Krauss.

After “Fall in Love” reignited the crowd, the show burned nonstop until the end, reaching a feverish pitch with “Howling at the Moon” and again with a spot-on “Mouthful of Diamonds.” Saying her goodbyes, Barthel singled out First Ave as a diamond in the rough. “Every time we play here, it’s our favorite show on the tour,” she said. Let’s see if they like it enough to keep playing there in lieu of a bigger venue, which is clearly what they deserve to play next time around.

Read our interview with Barthel before the show, if you missed it. Here's Sunday's set list:

Nothing But Trouble / Running From the Cops / As Far As I Can See / Black Out Days / Turning Into Stone / Bad Dreams / Don't Move / The Day You Died / Bill Murray / I Don't Blame You / Fall in Love / Howling at the Moon / When I'm Small        ENCORE: Mouthful of Diamonds / Celebrating Nothing

Jonny Lang, Los Lobos, Jamey Johnson & Nicholas David added to MN Zoo lineup

Posted by: Jon Bream under Music, Concert news, Minnesota musicians, Tickets Updated: April 14, 2014 - 12:44 AM
Nicholas David/ Star Tribune photo by Kyndell Harkness

Nicholas David/ Star Tribune photo by Kyndell Harkness

Jamey Johnson, Jonny Lang, Los Lobos and hometown hero Nicholas David top the list of the second announcement of acts playing at the Music in the Zoo series at the Minnesota Zoo this summer.

Johnson, the country maverick probably best known for his award-winning hit “In Color,” will make his zoo debut Aug. 18.

David, a finalist on NBC’s “The Voice” who grew near the zoo in Eagan, will Aug. 15.

Lang, the blues-rock guitar hero who launched his career in Minneapolis, returns to the zoo on June 21, and Los Lobos, zoo regulars, are set for June 22.

Veterans Taj Mahal and Mavis Staples, the only Rock Hall of Famer at the zoo this year, team up on June 29. 3 Doors Down is booked for an acoustic show on June 11.

Also scheduled are the BoDeans on July 25 and Marc Cohn on July 19 – two acts that have played at the zoo's Weesner Family Amphitheater as often as some of the birds who perform daily.

And the date of the Pat Benatar & Neil Giraldo show has been changed to Aug. 24.

As noted when the first announcements were made last week, this year’s lineup -- which includes Steve Earle, Trombone Shorty and Rufus Wainwright -- is heavy on repeaters. The most noteworthy new names are the Hold Steady, Josh Turner and Jamey Johnson. (See the full lineup at suemclean.com.)

While it’s encouraging to see the zoo promoters present current mainstream country acts for the first time, Turner at $66 on Aug. 23 — which is during the State Fair – seems like bad timing and quite pricey.  Johnson, who has fared well in Twin Cities bar rooms, is a more prudent booking.

Tickets will go on sale at 10 a.m. April 26 at the Electric Fetus, etix.com, suemclean.com/zoo and 1-800-514-3849.

One new change at zoo concerts will be no smoking – period. (That includes no e-cigarettes.) That’s a Minnesota Zoo policy as of April 1. There used to be designated smoking areas by the amphitheater. 

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