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Previously advertised to open next week, the 400 Bar at the Mall of America is still a long ways off.
Next week’s concert with former Wings/Moody Blues member Denny Laine is now listed to take place at something called the 400 Gallery, which is a room inside the neighboring Midwest Music Museum. Same thing with the bar’s would-be first show by Nashville band Kate Tucker & the Sons of Sweden, also originally announced for the bar but now taking place in the gallery on Monday night.
Joe O’Brien, who partnered with co-owners Tom and Bill Sullivan at the old 400 Bar before its closing in December, downplayed the distinction between the two rooms on the MOA’s nightlife-oriented fourth floor.
“It's all one complex under the 400 Bar umbrella -- museum, venue, restaurant,” he said. “This is a listening room, offering fans a unique opportunity to experience great music close up and uninterrupted.”
Clearly, though, fans thinking they're going to see "the new 400 Bar" next week will be disappointed. The white-walled gallery space only boasts a 100-person capacity. Alcohol will not be served there, but O’Brien said fans can get a drink “steps away at the other great bars on the fourth floor.” Those include Hooters and Corona Cantina #1.
A peek through the windows at 400 Inc.’s bar and restaurant space Tuesday confirmed a lot of work still needs to be done there. In fact, it looked as if little to no work had been done in the long-vacated former sports bar space. Tables and chairs sit in dusty piles, and the old football mural is still up behind the bar. O’Brien would not provide more details on renovation plans or a projected opening date for the bar.
Thankfully, the 400 team's Midwest Music Museum opened as projected last month with the Grammy Museum-curated show "Ladies and Gentleman... The Beatles!" The $7 exhibit will be on display through Sept. 7 and was updated locally to include many photos from the Fab Four's 1964 concert at Metropolitan Stadium, where the MOA now stands. Admission to the exhibit is included with the price of next week's concert tickets (and how could it not be included?).
In related news, the 400 Bar's Bill Sullivan is dusting off some of his own old photos and stories of a different kind of legandery rock 'n' roll band and hoping to make a book out of it. The former tour manager for the Replacements just launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund "Lemon Jail: 'Mats Tour Diary 1983-1986." That, too, might make a great museum exhibit, though maybe not a family-friendly one like the Beatles show.
Two revered singer-songwriters – country giant Merle Haggard and alt-country hero Ryan Adams – are booked for October concerts in the Twin Cities.
The mercurial Adams will appear Oct. 13 at Northrop Auditorium, promoting his new album “Ryan Adams,” due on Sept. 9 on Blue Note Records. It will be his first Twin Cities appearance since 2011 at the State Theatre.
Tickets, priced at $49.50 and $38, will go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday at Northrop.umn.edu and 612-624-2345.
Haggard will return to Mystic Lake Casino on Oct. 5. Tickets, priced at $39 and $49, will go on sale Saturday at ticketmaster.com.
Intermedia Arts, the Minneapolis venue known for inclusive and sometimes transgressive performing and visual arts, has announced a fall season.
The line-up kicks with Leilani Chan’s “Global Taxi Driver,” which is drawn from the lives of the international cast of characters behind the wheel. Chan wrote and directs this show, which runs Sept. 11-21.
Next up is “Girlywood,” choreographer April Sellers’ new show that includes “Jousting,” a duet with dancer Mary Ann Wall about feminism (“the new ‘F-word’”). Sellers (right) also perf “Big Baby,” which centers on female archetypes (Oct. 9-11).
Actor, playwright and director Shá Cage (left) is now adding curator to her titles. She assembles as cast of women of color for “The Blacker The Berry,” a visual exhibit that is accompanied by performances.
The show celebrates the works of over 50 women, including Thomasina Petrus, Hope Cervantes, Eliza Rasheed, Marcie Rendon, Tish Jones, Beverly Cottman, Carolyn Holbrook, Jada Daniels, Ivory Doublette and Shavunda Horsley.
The Intermedia fall season also includes “Reconciliation,” Marisa Carr’s drama that is set in a future where indigenous people have been imprisoned for failing to reconcile. Dipankar Mukherjee directs for Pangea World Theater (Nov. 14-23).
Paul Westerberg was propped up by Billie Joe Armstrong in more ways than one Sunday night in Louisville, Ky., where the Replacements played the Forecastle Festival. / Jeff Wheeler, Star Tribune
It seems like the more shows the revamped 2013-2014 lineup of the Replacements play, the better they get at doing what the old Replacements were best at: messing around. Fortunately, Sunday night’s performance at the Forecastle Festival in downtown Louisville, Ky. – the first in a string of three summer gigs leading up to the St. Paul show on Sept. 13 -- never got too messy, and ultimately proved this version of the Replacements is even better at playing it straight. Despite whatever Paul Westerberg has to say.
“We’re the Cements, the world’s greatest Replacements tribute band,” he announced at the start of the 75-minute set, where they played to about half of the festival’s 25,000 attendees sandwiched between Jenny Lewis and Beck on the big stage (I’m guessing there wasn’t a lot of inner-band camaraderie for them backstage).
For the fourth time in the seven Replacements shows since last August, Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong once again joined in as a third guitarist, this time playing the entire set and blending in without messing up the formula – although, he did mess up. The band’s only multi-platinum musician came in at the wrong time during “Nowhere Is My Home,” much to Westerberg’s and bassist Tommy Stinson’s amusement. “Our one-day rehearsal did not pay off,” Westerberg cracked.
Armstrong made up for it by fixing one of the boss’ botches. Westerberg’s microphone slipped down its stand at the start of “Can’t Hardly Wait,” which Paul kept singing crouched over like a baseball catcher until the rookie came over and propped it back up – and then kissed the singer full on the lips.
That wasn’t the only time Westerberg sang at knee level, either. He delivered the first half of “White and Lazy” laid out on the stage after his harmonica fell. Later, he played half of “Merry Go Round” without his guitar, the head of which he inexplicably smashed hard onto the stage (and irreparably broke) – much to Stinson’s and Armstrong’s amusement.
“Billie’s gonna take that home and sell it on eBay later,” Stinson quipped.
Aside from the unplanned tomfoolery, there were two other big surprises in Sunday’s set: “Message to the Boys” was played for the first time, a mid-‘80s outtake finished on a 2006 anthology. The 'Mats nerds loved hearing it, but it hardly proved a highlight. Even bigger, Westerberg actually broke from character and let out a brag at one point in the show. After he and the crowd sang an especially lovely version of “Androgynous” together, he said, “It’s a good song, I must admit.”
Coincidentally or not, “Androgynous” was right about the time the show really turned into a seriously exhilarating rock ‘n’ roll affair alongside many of the best/best-known Replacements songs -- the ones that would take a whole lot more shenanigans than these to muck up. After a trouble-free “I Will Dare,” they tore through an especially ripping mash-up of “Love You Till Friday” and Chuck Berry’s “Maybellene,” soon followed by spirited, blaring versions of “Left of the Dial,” “Alex Chilton,” “Can’t Hardly Wait” and “Bastards of Young.”
After poking fun at how they dealt with the lack of a proper set list – “I tell [Tommy] what we’re playing and he tells everyone else one by one” – Westerberg let fly a candid zinger that would’ve raised the eyebrows of any booking agents in the crowd. “Hey buddy, can you spare a quarter of a million dollars?” he asked, probably not making up that figure.
Westerberg and Stinson will be paid even more off the instantly sold-out Sept. 13 Midway Stadium show -- and they stand to more than double the profits should they add a second show (any concert industry professional would tell them they should). Here’s hoping they earn their bread as well there as they did once again Sunday.
The Forecastle set list:
Takin’ a Ride / I'm in Trouble / Favorite Thing / I'll Be You / Nowhere Is My Home / Color Me Impressed / White and Lazy / Achin' to Be / Kiss Me on the Bus / Valentine / Tommy Gets His Tonsils Out / Androgynous / I Will Dare / Message to the Boys / Love You Till Friday (with Maybellene) / Merry Go Round / Left of the Dial / Alex Chilton / Can't Hardly Wait / Bastards of Young ENCORE: I Don't Know (with Buck Hill)
The 'Mats weren't the only Minnesotans playing to a big crowd in Louisville on Sunday. Trampled by Turtles also drew a good chunk of the attendees and a very good response for their late-afternoon set on the fest's second-largest stage, finishing up a quick East Coast run that also included a back-rubbingly good Letterman performance. Highlights included the rousing opener "Repetition" and the quieter, evocative tunes "Hollow" and "Winners," all from their album that came out Tuesday, "Wild Animals." Mandolinist Erik Berry earned a nice serenade from the crowd after frontman Dave Simonett announced it was his birthday. Even nicer was hearing the out-of-town fans sing along to "Alone" and "Wait So Long" just as verbosely as they do back home.
After being the consummate replacement sideman and fixing Paul Westerberg's collapsed mic stand, Billy Joe Armstrong planted a kiss on The Replacements leader Sunday evening. / Jeff Wheeler, Star Tribune
A few thoughts on Jackson Browne’s concert Friday night at the sold-out State Theatre:
*He may sing about “Fountain of Sorrow” (which was the night’s highlight) but he clearly visits the Fountain of Youth. He still looks the same – same hairdo (looking like he was supposed to get a haircut two weeks ago), same figure, same untucked dress shirt and jeans. Let me repeat: He looks the same at 65 as he did when he was 24 and released his first album. His voice has the same timbre, though he takes some songs in a lower key.
* He was in good voice at the State. Remember in 2011, he postponed his State Theatre gig a few weeks because of problems with his vocal cords.
* The first of two sets on Friday lasted only 55 minutes. The promised 15- or 20-minute intermission stretched to 40 minutes. The second set ran 75 minutes. He played 22 songs total.
* With a row of 20-some guitars (some acoustic, some electric) lined up behind him, Browne opted to play piano a lot. He worked without a set list and occasionally accommodated requests shouted by fans (“I’m a recovering people pleaser,” he joked). Despite the unplanned repertoire, the set had a nice flow, partly because Browne was intermittently talkative and often funny (whether making fun of himself or his stepfather).
* After giving a long explanation how he had to watch a movie 20 times before writing a song to be played over the closing credits (he never mentioned the movie’s title but it was 2009’s “Shrink” with Kevin Spacey), he started playing the song and after a few lines, he decided picking with his thumb wouldn’t work. So the Rock Hall of Famer stopped, picked up a guitar pick and started “Here” all over again.
* Browne really likes the State Theatre. He told the crowd that a couple of times and even reminisced about receiving one of the guitars he was playing in the wings of the State from the late Minnesota guitar-maker Roger Benedict (whose company carries on).
* Browne praised the MSP Airport, noting that not all airports have a French Meadow Bakery. Travel tip duly noted.
Set 1: I’ll Do Anything/ Sky Blue and Black/ Looking into You/ Looking East/ I’m Alive/ Something Fine/ Leaving Winslow (new song) / In the Shape of a Heart/ Rock Me on the Water
Set 2: For a Dancer/ Here (from the 2009 movie “Shrink”)/ Your Bright Baby Blues/ Birds of St. Mark/ Fountain of Sorrow/ The Fairest of the Seasons/ Rosie/ Shaky Town/ Doctor My Eyes (Browne on piano, Manny Alvarez on guitar)/ Late for the Sky/ I Am a Patriot (Steve Van Zandt song)/ Running on Empty ENCORE The Pretender
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