Staff Directory 10644496

Jon Bream

Reporter | Pop Music
phone: 612-673-1719
Since he began covering popular music for the Star Tribune in 1974, Jon Bream has attended more than 7,000 concerts and interviewed the King of Pop, the Queen of Soul and Prince as well as Bob Dylan, U2, three Beatles, four Rolling Stones and all of Maroon 5. He has performed with Alice Cooper, jogged with Willie Nelson and received Taylor Swift's calls from three different cell numbers. He has written books on Prince, Led Zeppelin, Neil Diamond and Bob Dylan. But Jon has yet to satisfy a request of many Star Tribune readers: that he take a music-appreciation class.
Recent content from Jon Bream
Audra McDonald performs Friday with Minnesota Orchestra.

Twin Cities concerts of the week: Audra McDonald, Roots, Rock & Deep Blues Festival

The big gigs for July 13-19, also including Moore By Four, the Pretenders, George Clinton, X Games Pre-Party more.
Bruce Springsteen at the Tony Awards. “Springsteen on Broadway” has been extended twice and is sold out through the end of its run in December.

Visiting Bruce Springsteen backstage on Broadway: 'I'm a thespian now'

Our critic visits the Boss, the hottest ticket on the Great White Way.
Trampled by Turtles performs Saturday at Duluth's Bayfront Festival Park.

Twin Cities concerts of the week: Trampled at Bayfront, Eaux Claires, Basilica and McGraw & Hill

The big gigs for July 6-12, also including St. Paul & the Broken Bones, Panic! at the Disco, Ray Wylie Hubbard and Boz Scaggs.
Janelle Monáe took the stage before a sellout crowd Tuesday at the State Theatre. See more photos at

Janelle Monáe gives Prince-inspired performance at sold-out State Theatre

Review: It was obvious from the reaction of the worshipful crowd that the singer has gone from cult hero to cultural hero.
Jimmy Buffett brought cool island breezes to 42,000 steamy fans at Target Field on Saturday night,

Wasting away with Jimmy Buffett, the Eagles at Target Field

The doubleheader at the Twins stadium proved that parents still like to party.
Veteran R&B star Chaka Khan performed at the Minnesota Zoo on Friday night.

Chaka Khan has the same spirit, but not the same voice

Review: Her Minnesota Zoo concert was short and disappointing.
Harry Styles plays Sunday at Xcel Energy Center.

Twin Cities concerts of the week, including Harry Styles and the ever-hairy ZZ Top

The big gigs for June 29-July 5, also including Spoon with Grizzly Bear, Chaka Khan, Kesha and Old Crow Medicine Show.
Jimmy Buffett and the Eagles are headlining Target Field.

Jimmy Buffett vs. the Eagles: Which Target Field headliner is worth more money?

Jimmy Buffett's Parrotheads and fans of the Eagles have made these stars among the wealthiest in rock.
James Taylor headlined the evening and came out to cheering fans on Friday night. He opened with a fan favorite, “Carolina In My Mind”. ] ALEX KOR

James Taylor and Bonnie Raitt deliver playful, electric show at the 'X'

REVIEW: Following her surgery, they have an emotional show at the X.
Dua Lipa will be at the Armory in Minneapolis on Sunday, June 24.

Twin Cities concerts of the week: Taylor and Raitt, Brandy at Pride, Dua Lipa, Bodega

The big gigs for June 22-28, also including Frank Turner, Buddy Guy and some Allman Brothers heirs.
Steve Heckler, founder and executive director of the Twin Cities Jazz Festival, started 20 years ago with a one-day event that attracted 3,000 people.

How one man pulls off St. Paul's beloved (and free) Twin Cities Jazz Festival

Meet the one-man staff who makes the math work for the metro's biggest ticket-free music festival.
Lead singer and keyboardist Donald Fagen of Steely Dan performed Friday night at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.

Steely Dan & the Doobies reelin' in and reliving the '70s

Review: These old FM favorites pleased a crowd of 8,000 at the X in St. Paul.
Jill Scott performs Thursday at Mystic Lake Casino Showroom.

Twin Cities concerts of the week: Jill Scott, Trombone Shorty, Stone Arch Festival

Big gigs for the week of June 15-21, also including Steely Dan/Doobie Brothers, Gomez and Jackson Browne.
Bobby McFerrin performed at the Dakota in Minneapolis.

Bobby McFerrin is spontaneously spot on at the Dakota

Review: Vocalist amazes with a cappella improv extraordinaire.
Bobby McFerrin on improvisation: “It’s just a matter of opening up your mouth and singing. You just keep going.”

Returning to Minnesota, Grammy-winner Bobby McFerrin gives first interview in 4 years

Vocalist will perform for four nights at the Dakota without a script.
Paul Simon played for 140 minutes with his 16-player band at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.

The sound of Simon makes for a grand goodbye in St. Paul

Review: Paul Simon was generous, musical and crowd-pleasing at the X as he said farewell to the road.
Justin Levy of Minneapolis said a self-critique turned into an effort to challenge people to “love their own bodies as they are.”

T-shirt creator models body acceptance for Twin Cities gay community

Justin Levy is hoping to do with the T-shirts what singer/rapper Lizzo has done with such empowering, self-love anthems as "My Skin."
Paul Simon's farewell tour comes to Xcel Energy Center on Friday.

Twin Cities concerts of the week: Paul Simon, Amadou & Mariam, Dropkick Murphys and Flogging Molly

Big gigs for the week of June 8-14, also including Winstock, Diana Krall and Bobby McFerrin.
Morgan Tilgner made her way through the vinyl records section at Electric Fetus.

Electric Fetus turns 50: Fun facts about Minnesota's legendary record store

Check out these fun facts about the Electric Fetus, the head shop/record store that's celebrating its golden anniversary.
Co-owner Keith Covart, then 24, at the Electric Fetus in 1971.

Electric Fetus owner reflects on 50 years: 'I had no idea it would last this long'

Electric Fetus owner Keith Covart has some stories to tell.
Liz Phair performed at the Turf Club in St. Paul.

Alt-rock heroine Liz Phair excels in 'Guyville' concert at Turf Club

Review: Phair celebrated the 25th anniversary of her influential album "Exile in Guyville."
Paul Simon, shown at the Orpheum in Minneapolis in 2016. He plays St. Paul on Friday.

As Paul Simon says farewell, a look back at 50 years of Minnesota concerts

As he heads here Friday as part of his farewell tour, we recap all of Paul Simon's Twin Cities performances.
Cantus covered Fleetwood Mac’s “Rumours” in concert.

Cantus fails to make singing Fleetwood Mac fun

Lack of air-conditioning, imagination and bass singer mar annual pops concert.
“Paul Simon — The Life” by Robert Hilburn

Paul Simon biographer spent 100 hours interviewing the private star

Robert Hilburn spent 100 hours interviewing the private star for this definitive new book.
Los Lonely Boys plays the Minnesota Zoo on Saturday.

Twin Cities concerts of the week: Los Lonely Boys, Parker Millsap, Caroline Rose

Big gigs for the week of June 1-7, also including Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks, Liz Phair and Shawn Colvin.
Mason Jennings hosts hometown release parties Friday and Saturday at the Cedar.

Twin Cities concerts of the week: Mason Jennings, the Claudettes, Memory Lanes Block Party

Big gigs for the week of May 25-31, also including Revival Music Festival, the Klituation and Al Jardine.
Judy Collins performed at the Dakota Jazz Club on Wednesday, with Russell Walden on the piano. It was the first of a two-night stay at the club.

Both sides of Judy Collins charm at Dakota

Review: The folk legend's voice and humor were spot on.
David Byrne and his band early in their set Thursday night at the Orpheum Theatre in Minneapolis.

Rocker David Byrne artfully burned down the house

Review: Rock's Renaissance man came up with the most imaginative staging of a concert in years.
Pat McLean behind her desk Thursday.

Five years after Sue McLean's death, her Minneapolis concert biz is thriving

The longtime independent concert promoter is thriving five years after after its founder's death.
Joey Bada$$ is at First Avenue on Saturday.

Twin Cities concerts of the week: Joey Bada$$, Slayer, Freddy Cole, Becky Kapell

Big gigs for the week of Aug. 18-24, also including a Kid Dakota re-release party, the Suburbs, Wye Oak and Sum 41.
Daryl Hall performed in concert Wednesday night to a packed audience at the Xcel Center in St. Paul.

Hall & Oates struggled to ride soul train while Train was on the right track

Review: Daryl Hall's voice was off, but Train was on as they teamed up.
Shania Twain early in her show Tuesday night at Xcel Energy Center.

'90s country queen Twain delivers most rewarding Twin Cities concert

Review: Shania Twain gave her best concert performance promoting her worst album.
Tony Bennett early in his show Thursday night at the State Theatre in Minneapolis.

Review: At 91, the ageless Tony Bennett impresses at State Theatre

Review: The ageless crooner was so full of vitality, charm, warmth, humility, grace, courtliness, smiles and, of course, joy.
Minneapolis expat Lizzo performs Monday and Tuesday at the Palace Theatre.

Twin Cities concerts of the week: Haim & Lizzo, Hall & Oates, David Byrne, more

Big gigs for the week of May 11-17, also including Shania Twain, Bishop Briggs, Jennifer Hudson and Marian Hill.
Kenny Chesney performed Saturday night at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.

Kenny Chesney brings the sun to echoey U.S. Bank Stadium

Review: Despite sound problems, the country star's energy, spirit and songs thrilled 48,000.
Willie Walker, at 76, is enjoying a bit of a resurgence.

At 76, Twin Cities bluesman Wee Willie Walker enjoys resurgent music career

Twin Cities singer Wee Willie Walker heads to his native Memphis, where he's nominated for five Blues Music Awards.
Jennifer Hudson performed “The Times They Are A-Changin’ ” during the March for Our Lives rally in March.

Jennifer Hudson talks gun violence, Aretha Franklin and rare Minneapolis concert

Grammy-winning singer will perform at the PACER benefit: "My mother always taught us the importance of helping others and giving back."
Roma di Luna celebrates a reunion album Friday at Cedar Cultural Center.

Twin Cities concerts of the week: Kenny Chesney, Roma di Luna, Dr. Dog, Erik B. & Rakim

Concert spotlights for May 4-10, also including Romantica, Nellie McKay, Suzanne Vega, Ike Reilly and Tony Bennett.
Bon Jovi returns to Xcel Center following a March 2017 gig there.

Twin Cities concerts of the week: Bon Jovi, Big K.R.I.T., Boombox Cartel, Indigo Girls

Concert spotlights for April 27-May 3, also including Ike Reilly's Icehouse residency, Kitten Forever album release and Jonathan Davis's solo debut.
Outtakes of 1980s Prince concert photos by David Brewster.

Rediscovered Prince photos show the rising star in 1980s Minneapolis

Unpublished images from Star Tribune archives offer fresh proof of his love for the Twin Cities.
"I'm the king of the world!": Jon Bon Jovi at the Xcel last Spring.

The Joizy Boys: Comparing Frankie Valli and Jon Bon Jovi ahead of Minn. visits

With "Jersey Boys" and Bon Jovi coming to town this week, we compare their Garden State frontmen.
Tributes from Prince fans adorned the memorial fence outside Paisley Park in Chanhassen on Thursday.

Unfinished requiem: Enigmatic Prince leaves mystery in death

He cherished his privacy. There were a lot of things we didn't know. We certainly didn't have a clue — and maybe he didn't either — that trying to ease the pain would bring his demise.
Review of Prince: Live on the Big Screen w live band at target Center. ] Photo Jon Bream • Star Tribune Minneapolis, MN

A virtual Prince gets plenty of love in concert

Review: He appeared on a video screen accompanied by live musicians at Target Center.
A photo from Prince investigation that was taken at Paisley Park.

10 curious things we learned about Prince from the investigations

He liked Häagen-Dazs ice cream, 5-Hour Energy drinks and MAC beauty products.
Canadian Inuk singer Tanya Tagaq performs Friday at the Ordway.

Twin Cities concerts of the week: Tanya Tugaq, Record Store Day, Bon Jovi

Big gigs for April 20-26, also including Camila Cabello, Robyn Hitchcock and a co-headlining tour featuring Waxahatchee and Hurray for the Riff Raff.
Prince scholars Daphne Brooks and Jeff Chang discussed the Purple One’s legacy Monday evening at Northrop at the U.

The scholarly Prince: U symposium explores musical icon's link to Minneapolis

A three-day symposium kicked off with "wonky" speeches, but other panels feature sound engineer Scottie Baldwin, hairstylist Kim Berry and dancer Mayte Garcia, Prince's first wife.
Stephanie Hunt and Megan Mullally

'Will & Grace' star teases Minneapolis appearance with comedic musical duo

Headed for a gig in Minneapolis, this seemingly odd couple of TV actors make music — and laughs — together.
Margo Price plays First Avenue on Saturday.

Twin Cities concerts of the week: Margo Price, Kraig Johnson, L7, Lindi Ortega

Big gigs for April 13-19, also including Laura Veirs, Echosmith and Abdullah Ibrahim.
Blues singer Joyann Parker performed at the Mudd Room in Mendota Heights last month.

This midlife newcomer is the next great Twin Cities blues singer

Joyann Parker is the new Twin Cities singer you need to hear.
Accompanied by a huge projection of Prince singing, Justin Timberlake played the piano and duetted on “I Would Die 4 U” during halftime at the Sup

Creepy or comforting? Prince 'Live on the Big Screen' tribute raises questions

The late Prince will appear Friday in video footage with a live band at Target Center. Is that in good taste?
Owen Husney with Prince.

Minnesota music mogul writes about his life with Elvis, Jimi, Janis and Prince

They all figure in a new memoir by rock hustler Owen Husney.
Kimberly Schlapman and Karen Fairchild, half of Little Big Town, performed Thursday night at Target Center.

Review: Little Big Town steps up to a bigger stage at Target Center

Review: The country quartet's harmonizing shines live on tour.
Judas Priest.

Twin Cities concerts of the week: Judas Priest, Jeremy Messersmith, Soccer Mommy

Big gigs for March 30-April 5, also including Weird Al Yankovic, Little Big Town, John Maus and Margaret Glaspy.
Veteran Twin Cities jazz singer Debbie Duncan celebrates a new album this weekend at the Dakota.

'Ridiculously picky' jazz vocalist Debbie Duncan really likes her new album

The hard-to-please jazz queen will celebrate her feat at the Dakota Jazz Club.
“Hamilton” star Leslie Odom Jr. performed with the Minnesota Orchestra.

'Hamilton' star Leslie Odom Jr. triumphs with Minnesota Orchestra

Singer-actor triumphs with Broadway, jazz and pop tunes with the Minnesota Orchestra.
New Zealand singer-songwriter Lorde performs her Melodrama tour on Friday in St. Paul at Xcel Energy Center.

Lorde salutes Prince at St. Paul show and gushes about His Royal Badness

REVIEW: The New Zealand star paid tribute in her Twin Cities debut, calling Prince the "very best there is."
The Black Angels, above, join the Black Lips Friday at First Avenue.

15 Twin Cities big gigs this week: Black Angels, Black Lips, Ness Nite

Concert picks for the week of March 23-29, also featuring Leslie Odom Jr., Kristin Hersh & Grant Lee Phillips, Wolf Alice and Yo La Tengo.
Lorde performed at the Coachella festival in California last April. She’ll make her Twin Cities performing debut Friday at Xcel Energy Center.

Lorde brings her literate pop to St. Paul: 'I have a robust prescription of beta blockers'

The pop star makes her Twin Cities debut Friday at Xcel Energy Center.
Singer Graham Nash

Graham Nash dishes ahead of show: 'I'm not talking to Crosby and I don't want to'

Graham Nash talks about Crosby, Stills & Young, politics and his solo tour coming to Minneapolis.
O.M.D., the British duo more formally known as Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, plays First Avenue on Sunday.

Twin Cities concerts of the week: Glen Hansard, O.M.D., Steve Earle & the Dukes

Big gigs for the week of March 16-22, also including Jonathan Richman, Graham Nash and Buckethead.
Pink performs during a sold out show at the Xcel Energy Center.

Pink gets the party started early as she soars in tour de force at the X

She was the right mix of acrobatic daring, believable singing of meaningful pop.
Jose James said Bill Withers is “interwoven in the fabric of American music the same way Bruce Springsteen or Billy Joel are.”

José James brings Bill Withers tribute to Minneapolis: 'He gave us his blessing'

From acting in "Fifty Shades Darker" to singing a Bill Withers tribute, Minneapolis native José James keeps surprising.
Demi Lovato sings from her album 'Tell Me You Love Me,' which was released in September 2017, during her show at Target Center on Saturday, March 10,

In concert, Demi Lovato, DJ Khaled preach love but vary on how to entertain

At Target Center, the pop star was more into spreading positivity than entertaining.
John L. Nelson

Music by Prince's father featured on new album, tracking 'that DNA thing'

John L. Nelson's daughter has produced a CD of his tunes played by jazz all-stars.
Ashanti will appear with Ja Rule on Saturday.

Twin Cities concerts of the week: Ja Rule and Ashanti, Pussy Riot

Big gigs for the week of March 9-15, also including Demi Lovato, k.d. lang and Pink.
Merrill Garbus brings her experimental, worldly, New York dance-pop band Tune-Yards to First Avenue on Friday.

Twin Cities concerts of the week: Tune-Yards, MGMT, Miguel, Vince Staples

Big gigs for the week of March 2-8, also including Lila Downs, Cecile McLorin Salvant and Charles Lloyd.
Country star Chris Young performing in Delaware. He was at Target Center on Friday night.

A better man with ballads, country crooner Chris Young charms at Target Center

Review: Opening a Friday night country concert with a ballad is dicey. But darn if Young didn't pull it off.
Robert Plant performed at the Orpheum Theatre in downtown Minneapolis.

With new music, Robert Plant still pleases Zeppelin fans

Review: He pulled out some Zep classics, too, in new versions at the Orpheum in Minneapolis.
Steve Winwood plays the Orpheum on Friday.

Twin Cities concerts of the week: Steve Winwood, Steve Aoki

Big gigs for the week of Feb. 23-March 1, also including Chris Young, Ani DiFranco and husband-and-wife banjo virtuosos Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn.
Five of his alumni will pay tribute to David Bowie in Minneapolis on Wednesday.

David Bowie alumni band will ch-ch-change singers for Minneapolis show

Sidemen and vocalists bring evolving lineup for Celebrating David Bowie Tour to Minneapolis.
Robert Plant

Robert Plant on any Led Zeppelin reunion: 'You're talking to the wrong guy here'

Heading for a Minneapolis concert, Robert Plant will talk about anything but Led Zeppelin.
Las Cafeteras plays Saturday's GlobalFest Tour, an offshoot of New York’s acclaimed world-music festival.

Twin Cities concerts of the week: GlobalFest Tour, Valerie June, Robert Plant

Big gigs for the week of Feb. 16-22, also including Big Turn Festival, Galactic & Lettuce and the Celebrating Bowie tribute.
Kid Dakota celebrates a new album Saturday at Icehouse.

Twin Cities concerts of the week: Kid Dakota, Robert Robinson, Har Mar Superstar

Big gigs for the week of Feb. 9-15, also including Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Manhattan Transfer and Take 6.
Justin Timberlake performs during halftime of the NFL Super Bowl 52 football game between the Philadelphia Eagles and the New England Patriots Sunday,

Justin Timberlake gets busy at halftime – way too busy

Review: While charged with charisma, his halftime performance felt rushed.
In this Feb. 4, 2007 file photo, Prince performs during the halftime show at the Super Bowl XLI football game at Dolphin Stadium in Miami.

Plan for Prince hologram in Super Bowl halftime show apparently dropped

The Super Bowl halftime show star, Justin Timberlake, considers Prince a big influence. But the move is controversial with Prince fans, associates and even the artist. Late Saturday, a Prince friend raised the possibility of changes.
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