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For his U.S. tour kickoff Saturday night at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Jay Z pretty well stuck to the same set list he used throughout the European leg of the tour. Yes, that meant he still delivered seven tracks off “Magna Carta Holy Grail,” despite the tepid reception to the new record growing weaker by the week. But that certainly didn't spoil the sow. In addition to the songs cited in the full concert review, “F--withmeyouknowigotit" was another new one that offered a heavier oomph in concert than on record.
Even better, though, were the madcap “No Church in the Wild” and fan-favorite “N-s in Paris,” new-ish tracks off “Watch the Throne.” Jay stopped the latter song after a few bars and claimed he promised Kanye he would never perform it without him. The crowd cheered wildly as if his "Throne" partner was about to make a surprise appearance. Yeah, right, we can’t even get him to show up for his own concerts. Just like Ye has done a time or two (or three), Jay went ahead and broke his promise. Lucky us, in this case.
Here’s the full set list.
U Don't Know / Crown / On to the Next One / Holy Grail / F--withmeyouknowigotit / Beach Is Better / 99 Problems / Picasso Baby / Dead Presidents II / Pound Cake / No Church in the Wild / Tom Ford / Timbaland DJ & beats set / Somewhere in America / Big Pimpin' / Dirt Off Your Shoulder / Nigga What, Nigga Who / I Just Wanna Love U (Give It 2 Me) / N-s in Paris / Public Service Announcement / Clique / Run This Town ENCORE / Empire State of Mind / Izzo (H.O.V.A.) / Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem) / Young Forever
The New York Times has reported that Erin Keefe, concertmaster at the Minnesota Orchestra, is being considered for the same post with the New York Philharmonic. According to the Times, Keefe will play with the orchestra on Friday and Saturday nights, with music director Alan Gilbert conducting Mozart.
Keefe came to the Minnesota job in September, 2011, to replace Jorja Fleezanis. The orchestra has been locked out since October, 2012, and Keefe has frequently been rumored to be in demand for other positions. She previously played with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and the Brooklyn Chamber Music Society in New York.
The Times story is here.
Don’t know but logically guessing: The Ike Reilly Assassination is rolling into town a night early for its 11th annual night-before-Thanksgiving gig at First Avenue and needed a place to drink; we all know there aren’t many better Minneapolis than Grumpy’s Northeast; and the Grumpy’s crew knows that the boys in the band aren’t exactly light chardonnay sippers, so they’re wisely making them work for their bar tab.
Do know for sure: Reilly sent word (a text) on the road from Libertyville, Ill., that he and the band will play a free, impromptu gig tonight (Tuesday) at Grumpy’s Northeast. They plan to roll into town about 8 pm and unpack their gear by 9 or so. “Gonna be loose,” he warned, obviously not wanting anyone to think Tuesday’s gig will in any way out-rock Wednesday’s affair with the Honeydogs, Communist Daughter and Clash bashers Rude Girl. Reilly is particularly excited for fans to hear songs from their just-finished new album at the First Ave show. "It's [expletive] great," he bragged/threatened.
Louie Anderson and Scott Hansen
A few weeks ago, Scott Hansen did something he’s never done in his 36-year comedy career: He walked out of his own show. Hansen has been diagnosed with arthritis in the spine, making it difficult for him to be on stage for very long.
“It’s hard to sit or stand,” said Hansen who is credited for helping make Minneapolis a major comedy player. “I don’t want to put myself in a position where I could fall or get hurt. It’s not worth it anymore.”
Hansen, 59, will do his last New Year’s Eve show at the Maple Tavern, do a few corporate gigs and then officially retire his stand-up act around April. But don’t think the ever resilient Hansen is going to stop going for laughs. He plans to concentrate on writing and developing sitcom ideas. “I’m not going to roll over and play dead,” he said.
Composer Conrad Susa, whose work was brought to life on several occasions in the Twin Cities, has died in San Francisco. Susa, who was 78, was a professor of composition at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.
Susa's best known opera is "Transformations," which had its premiere with the Minnesota Opera in 1973. Based on 10 poems from a book by Anne Sexton, the work was conducted by Philip Brunelle and directed by Wesley Balk. The poems re-imagined Grimm's fairy tales. Susa wrote the opera as a chamber piece. It has been frequently produced around the country.
"I have fond memories of conducting the premiere, and all the wildness that went along with his last-minute writing and having Anne Sexton here -- but it was magical," Brunelle wrote in an e-mail.
Susa also wrote pieces for VocalEssence and Plymouth Church, and another opera, "Black River: A Wisconsin Idyll," which was commissioned by Minnesota Opera for a 1975 debut. The libretto by Richard Street was inspired by the book "Wisconsin Death Trip."
"I will always remember the first time he came to Minneapolis and stayed with us, having morning pillow fights wiith the kids," Brunelle wrote. "Conrad was brilliant, humorous and irascible."
With the San Francisco Opera, Susa wrote "The Dangerous Liaisons," which had its premiere in 1994 with a cast that included Thomas Hampson and Renee Fleming.
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