Minneapolis’ two oldest rock ‘n’ roll institutions have made Rolling Stone’s latest lists of the best rock venues and record stores in the country.
First Avenue, in fact, showed up first on the list that went up Thursday at RollingStone.com for “10 Best Live Music Venues in America” -- technically not a ranked tally, it appears, but it’s still cool to have to scroll down further to read about other famed rock outlets such as the Hollywood Bowl and Red Rocks.
“The club where Prince filmed much of 'Purple Rain' has for decades been at the center of the Twin Cities vibrant music scene, serving over the years as the hometown venues of everyone from the Replacements and the Jayhawks to the Hold Steady and Lizzo,” writer Jonathan Bernstein enthuses, including a shout-out 7th Street Entry, too. “With great sightlines, attentive crowds, and bands that are consistently thrilled to be performing on the Mainroom stage, there’s no better venue for hundreds of miles to catch bands at the top of their game.”
(You could objectively make that “thousands of miles,” but who’s counting?)
Meanwhile, the Electric Fetus is featured alongside such collectors havens as Amoeba in Los Angeles, Reckless in Chicago and Newbury Comics in Boston as one of the “10 Best Record Stores in America.” They couldn’t resist a mention of Prince in that write-up, too.
“It’s a record store that is so cool, it was one of Prince’s favorite local shops,” writes Kory Grow, who summarizes the colorful stories also featured in our recent rundown for the store’s 50th anniversary this summer. First Ave will be celebrating its 50th in April 2020.
Rolling Stone seems to post new versions of these lists every few years as a reminder they do cooler stuff than Shawn Mendes cover stories, but these rankings definitely provide these independent businesses with some new bragging rights. As opposed to the national media list that just gave the biggest music venue in town, U.S. Bank Stadium, a high ranking.