Some newly minted rock stars are giving performances that last only about 60 minutes. Do fans feel shortchanged?
"Phoenix, I believe, is doing 75 minutes," said James DeCoursey of Mr. Chan Presents, which is presenting the show.
A fairly long set, in short. But how many newly minted pop and rock stars -- especially those with only one album -- have played much briefer shows?
Witness: the Strokes' 40 minutes at the Orpheum, Amy Winehouse's 45 at the Varsity, Estelle's 58 at First Avenue, Adele's 62 at the Fitzgerald, Duffy's 65 at First Ave and Grizzly Bear's 66 at the Cedar.
"Sixty minutes definitely seems sufficient for a band like Grizzly Bear," said First Avenue booker Sonia Grover, whose club promoted that concert. "A set is a set."
But how long should a set be?
"Ideally, I like to see 60 to 75 minutes," said DeCoursey, who promotes shows at the Varsity, Station 4 and Triple Rock Social Club.
Minneapolis überfan Deb Skolos, who goes to about 80 gigs a year, disagrees.
"I expect 90 minutes across the board," said Skolos, who felt shortchanged at recent shows she liked by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs (80 minutes), Lily Allen (70) and Santigold (60). "Yeah Yeah Yeahs have three records and an EP and could easily have done two hours. Even if a new act has only one album, they can tap into their influences and do some fun covers."
At the Dakota Jazz Club, co-owner Lowell Pickett wants a set to be "at least 65 minutes." He remembers a well-known artist who played 45 minutes at the Dakota some 15 years ago; since then, he has insisted on a discussion or even a contractual clause about the length of the performance. A recent exception: "Rickie Lee Jones' contract said 'The artist's discretion,' and we were OK with that," Pickett said.
While the Strokes, Adele, Estelle, Duffy and Winehouse had only one well-known album in the States at the time of those aforementioned gigs, other one-CD newcomers such as Lady Gaga and Katy Perry were resourceful enough to offer 75-minute performances this year.
Sue McLean, who promotes shows at the Minnesota Zoo and various Twin Cities theaters, figures "anything less than 75 minutes is considered short in my world."
She vividly recalls Al Green onstage for 51 minutes at the State Theatre in 2005. After receiving complaints from concertgoers, she protested to Green's agent, who acknowledged that the singer "has a tendency to do that" even though his contract calls for 60 minutes. Hence, his road manager usually holds up a big clock at the side of the stage.
Exceptions can be made, McLean said. For instance, blues queen Koko Taylor, who was in ill health and died June 3 at age 80, could manage only a 45-minute set in her later years. The promoter felt that was acceptable under the circumstances.
"The challenge is letting people know what to expect so they're not disappointed," McLean said.
So what do people expect from Phoenix -- a groovy band that some know only from this year's appearance on "Saturday Night Live" and others know from five albums starting in 2000?
"I think they'll do a minimum 90 minutes," said Skolos, who has already seen Phoenix twice and will be there on Tuesday. "They'll give it to us."
Jon Bream • 612-673-1719