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A festival that hews closer to the average Replacements fan’s music tastes than this year’s Coachella lineup, Atlanta’s Shaky Knees Fest announced this morning that the revamped ‘Mats have joined the schedule for their three-day bash happening May 9-11. Paul Westerberg and Tommy Stinson and their new bandmates are now listed on the festival poster under Alabama Shakes, the National and Modest Mouse and over Spoon, the Gaslight Anthem, Violent Femmes, Conor Oberst, Iron & Wine, Jason Isbell and fellow Minnesotans the Hold Steady and Trampled by Turtles.
Not only is it a great lineup for middle-age and NPR-attuned indie-rock fans, but Shaky Knees is also a lot cheaper than Coachella, with three-day passes now on sale for $150 (vs. $375 for either weekend of the big California desert fest). The festival is held at Atlantic Station in downtown Atlanta and thus not a campout kind of event like Coachella.
Shaky Knees will thus be the Replacements’ third gig of 2014 (counting two weekends at Coachella April 11 and 18) and their sixth gig since reforming for last year’s RiotFests. Word is they are looking at other dates, too – but your guess on where and when is as good as ours.
Two bands that long ago split with their heyday-era lead singers, Styx and Foreigner, will be joined at Target Center on July 17 by an Eagle who has long been in a dispute with his band’s two main singers, Don Felder. All three acts are hitting the road together starting in May for the Soundtrack of Summer Tour, a three-month trek with alternating headliners. Per the itinerary, Foreigner is scheduled to close out the Minneapolis date, which falls on a Thursday night. Tickets go on sale Friday at 10 a.m. for $25-$125 through AXS.com and the arena box office.
All three bands are also set to perform up at the Moondance Jam in Walker, Minn., right after Target Center on July 18. Those tickets are already on sale ($95 single-day). REO Speedwagon and George Thorogood are the other two big names confirmed for other days of the Moondance Jam.
More commonly seen in casinos nowadays when they’re not touring together, Styx and Foreigner were on the same bill with Def Leppard at the Minnesota State Fair grandstand in 2007. The co-writer of “Hotel California,” Felder released a solo album in 2012, “Road to Forever,” following a decade-long legal spat with bandmates Don Henley and Glenn Frey.
A grab-bag of show announcements to start off the week:
*Atlanta prog-metal thrashers Mastodon will return to First Avenue on May 7 with French favorites Gojira opening. Tickets go on sale Friday at noon for $26.50. Mastodon just released a rather killer concert album, “Live at Brixton,” and have been in a studio in Nashville working on their sixth studio record.
*Since it’s too late now for them to finally take up my idea of moving their wildly popular toddler music fest to the Metrodome, 89.3 the Current and Children’s Hospital & Clinics of Minnesota will once again host Rock the Cradle at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts and Children’s Theatre on March 2. Grammy winners the Okee Dokee Brothers and unicorn realists Koo Koo Kanga Roo will both be a part of the lineup again, as will sun-dwelling haze-popsters Gustafer Yellowgold and kiddie-music newcomers the Ericksons. The party is free as always, and registration is requested but not required.
*Part of Katy Perry’s rather perplexing performance at the Grammys, Juicy J is squarely in breakout mode right now and hitting the road as a headliner on the perplexingly titled Never Sober Tour, which stops March 28 at Myth in Maplewood. Tickets are already on sale for $26-$44. The Three 6 Mafia rapper just landed at No. 1 with Perry’s hit “Dark Horse,” and his own record, “Stay Trippy,” was one of last year’s biggest hip-hop albums.
*Myth also welcomes back Zakk Wylde and Black Label Society on the Revovler Golden Gods Tour, with openers TBA. Those tickets are also already on sale for $29.50.
Quite a bonus for fans who already bought tickets to Cher’s June 11 concert at Target Center, Cyndi Lauper has been added as the opening act. The “Time After Time” hitmaker will join the time-defying “Believe” singer for most of her Dressed to Kill Tour, just as she did on Cher’s 1999 and 2002 outings.
While Cher’s career seems stuck in farewell tours and makeup infomercials -- adding a big-name opener suggests her tour needed some help -- Lauper has been enjoying quite a career revival in recent years. She became the first solo woman to win a Tony Award for best original score last year with her work on “Kinky Boots,” which also won the best new musical Tony. She also fared well with her truly colorful autobiography, “Cyndi Lauper: A Memoir,” and hit the road last summer to mark the 30th anniversary of her biggest album, “She’s So Unusual,” including a half-great performance at Mill City Nights.
Tickets are already on sale for the Target Center concert ($27.50-$133).
After years of wearing as much makeup as Cher, Mötley Crüe is taking another page out of her book and has announced a farewell tour that will land at Xcel Energy Center on Nov. 15. Billed as the Final Tour, the outing will feature one of the band’s heroes as an opening, Alice Cooper (who shows no signs of retiring). Tickets go on sale Saturday at 10 a.m. via Ticketmaster and the arena’s box office for $20-$125.
Midwest fans hoping to get an early jump on the tour can also see it at Summerfest in Milwaukee on July 4.
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