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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 6,000 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 has Taylor Swift on his speed dial. He has written books on Prince, Led Zeppelin and Neil Diamond. 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
Review: At Starkey gala, Katy Perry's short set fizzles

Review: At Starkey gala, Katy Perry's short set fizzles

The "Firework" singer, the foundation's biggest headliner yet, brought big buzz, but she didn’t ignite the crowd Sunday night in St. Paul.
Katy Perry shined brightest on the Starkey red carpet

Katy Perry shined brightest on the Starkey red carpet

In the pop queen, the Starkey Hearing Foundation gala nabbed one of its biggest stars to date.
Vocal group Pentatonix hits the big time as touring mates for Kelly Clarkson

Vocal group Pentatonix hits the big time as touring mates for Kelly Clarkson

Pentatonix aims to take a cappella to new heights – namely, sports arenas with Kelly Clarkson.
Country/pop queen Shania Twain beats vocal hurdles for comeback tour

Country/pop queen Shania Twain beats vocal hurdles for comeback tour

After vocal and personal problems, country/pop queen Shania Twain is back on tour, headed to Target Center on Tuesday.
Chesney throws down the country gauntlet

Chesney throws down the country gauntlet

Review: His amped-up show raises the question: Can there be two kings?
Chesney talks touring, family and two Target Field shows

Chesney talks touring, family and two Target Field shows

He's back on the road, recharged and ready for an unprecedented two-night stand at Target Field this weekend.
Sellout is sweet music at Basilica Block Party

Sellout is sweet music at Basilica Block Party

Matthew Sweet, Wilco, Weezer and others were big draws to the festival.
Who's the greatest, U2 or the Stones?

Who's the greatest, U2 or the Stones?

Our critic compares the two legendary bands after seeing them back-to-back last week.
Dr. John's New Orleans jazz comes to St. Paul's CHS Field

Dr. John's New Orleans jazz comes to St. Paul's CHS Field

Dr. John was the first to play a concert at CHS Field, and the new venue got high marks.
Luke Bryan, king of bro-country, shakes up the Bank

Luke Bryan, king of bro-country, shakes up the Bank

Luke Bryan was all wiggling butt and pickup truck machismo Saturday night at TCF Bank Stadium, and 43,000 fans approved at the first country-music concert at the U stadium.
Fans crash Luke Bryan's party at TCF Bank Stadium

Fans crash Luke Bryan's party at TCF Bank Stadium

There was no tailgating allowed in the parking lots near TCF Bank Stadium on Saturday. But that didn’t stop the party before the big Luke Bryan/Florida Georgia Line country music concert.
Florida Georgia Line talks about being bro-country firebrand

Florida Georgia Line talks about being bro-country firebrand

Anything goes for Florida Georgia Line, the hit duo that cruises into TCF Bank Stadium Saturday with fellow star Luke Bryan.
5 good places to eat and drink near the Minnesota Zoo

5 good places to eat and drink near the Minnesota Zoo

Here is a dining guide, whether you’re going for a summer concert or the animals.
Review: Bette Midler is divine in song and shtick

Review: Bette Midler is divine in song and shtick

Review: She poured her heart and soul into the ballads Sunday in St. Paul.
Review: Mick Jagger's swagger proves you're never too old to rock

Review: Mick Jagger's swagger proves you're never too old to rock

Neither rain nor age nor Mick Jagger’s hesitation about how to pronounce “Minneapolitan” could stop the world’s oldest, richest and greatest rock ’n’ roll band — the Rolling Stones — Wednesday night at TCF Bank Stadium.
Stones drummer Charlie Watts plays at Dakota

Stones drummer Charlie Watts plays at Dakota

The birthday drummer sat in with several Stones sidemen on the song “Ruby Tuesday.”
REVIEW: His guitar, not Jimmy Hall's vocals, makes Jeff Beck great

REVIEW: His guitar, not Jimmy Hall's vocals, makes Jeff Beck great

Guitar god Jeff Beck returned to the State Theatre Saturday night with the same old hairdo, same old Stratocaster and a new vocalist.Having obscure Southern…
Summer concerts: 10 shows to see, from Soundset to the Stones

Summer concerts: 10 shows to see, from Soundset to the Stones

From the Stones to Soundset and beyond, it’s a season bound to satisfy.
Review: New Kids older, but still have a lot of fun

Review: New Kids older, but still have a lot of fun

Gen-Xers got a chance for nostalgic fun with a triple bill featuring New Kids on the Block, TLC and Nelly at the Xcel Energy Center.
Summer concerts: 10 shows to see, from Soundset to the Stones

Summer concerts: 10 shows to see, from Soundset to the Stones

Our assessment of the 2015 summer concert season around the Twin Cities is there’s simply too much. Here’s a breakdown to help sort through it all.
Older Piano Man is still feisty, friendly and funny

Older Piano Man is still feisty, friendly and funny

Review: Billy Joel played his old hits to a jam-packed Target Center crowd.

Guitar legend was gracious, generous on and offstage

B.B. King was the hardest working guitarist in show business. Maybe make that the hardest touring guitarist in show business.The last few times in town,…

Terri Clark, Reel Big Fish, Andy Grammer, Home Free booked for free stages at Minnesota State Fair

The lineup is not as exciting as in past years.
Review: Brit star Jessie J a pop wonder at First Avenue

Review: Brit star Jessie J a pop wonder at First Avenue

review: The Brit showed the voice of a champ at First Ave.
American Composers Forum celebrates its 40th with a national 'Night Out'

American Composers Forum celebrates its 40th with a national 'Night Out'

The St. Paul-based American Composers Forum celebrates its 40th anniversary with a nationwide event this week.
Life imitates art with 'Nashville' TV stars at Northrop

Life imitates art with 'Nashville' TV stars at Northrop

REVIEW: Chip Esten and Clare Bowen led the TV stars onto the stage with mixed results.
'Nashville' TV stars take to Northrop concert stage

'Nashville' TV stars take to Northrop concert stage

Chip Esten and Clare Bowen lead the TV stars onto the Northrop stage with mixed results.
Brandi Carlile heads to Cabooze Plaza, LaBelle and Skynyrd set for state fair

Brandi Carlile heads to Cabooze Plaza, LaBelle and Skynyrd set for state fair

The Minnesota State Fair is turning to — surprise! — some familiar names for its grandstand lineup: Patti LaBelle, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Garrison Keillor. But favorite Brandi Carlile will be playing the Cabooze in August.
Skynyrd, Keillor added to State Fair grandstand lineup

Skynyrd, Keillor added to State Fair grandstand lineup

The Minnesota State Fair is turning to — surprise! — some familiar names for its grandstand lineup.
Cast of ABC's 'Nashville' takes to the stage in Minneapolis

Cast of ABC's 'Nashville' takes to the stage in Minneapolis

Deacon, Scarlett and company from the TV drama are headed to Minneapolis on Wednesday as part of a concert tour.
David Crosby dishes on Neil Young, pot and benefit concerts for children

David Crosby dishes on Neil Young, pot and benefit concerts for children

The boomer-rock hero is in a good place as CSN prepares for Saturday’s PACER benefit.
Review: Rhiannon Giddens is a great new American voice

Review: Rhiannon Giddens is a great new American voice

The opera-trained vocalist’s songbook Tuesday at Pantages included Odetta, Dylan and Dolly.
Rhiannon Giddens is a great new American voice

Rhiannon Giddens is a great new American voice

Review: The opera-trained vocalist’s songbook included Odetta, Dylan and Dolly.
Inside Rhiannon Giddens: A folk star's breakout moment

Inside Rhiannon Giddens: A folk star's breakout moment

The Grammy-winning singer has an unexpected solo career thanks to her “fairy godfather.”
This summer's Minnesota Zoo music lineup sounds familiar

This summer's Minnesota Zoo music lineup sounds familiar

This summer’s lineup is heavy on repeaters but includes country acts and Salt-n-Pepa.
Review: Bearded Neil Diamond shows off voice at Xcel

Review: Bearded Neil Diamond shows off voice at Xcel

The rock Hall of Famer was in great voice during a St. Paul concert Sunday.
Minnesota Zoo unleashes 2015 concert lineup

Minnesota Zoo unleashes 2015 concert lineup

This summer’s lineup is heavy on repeaters but includes country acts and Salt-N-Pepa.
Review: Neil Diamond in great voice during St. Paul concert

Review: Neil Diamond in great voice during St. Paul concert

The rock Hall of Famer was in great voice during a St. Paul concert Sunday.
Judith Hill takes unconventional path in music

Judith Hill takes unconventional path in music

Judith Hill, 31, is one of the few singers who has worked with both Michael Jackson and Prince. Asked to compare and contrast, she takes a long pause.
Minnesota's monthlong Northern Voice Festival will be a choir-palooza

Minnesota's monthlong Northern Voice Festival will be a choir-palooza

Northern Voice Festival will stretch for 30 days throughout Minnesota.
Will Wilco and Weezer headline Basilica Block Party?

Will Wilco and Weezer headline Basilica Block Party?

Both veteran rock groups are booked for a festival in Des Moines that weekend.
Will Wilco and Weezer headline the Basilica Block Party?

Will Wilco and Weezer headline the Basilica Block Party?

Wilco and Weezer will headline a music festival in Des Moines on July 10-11, it was announced Tuesday morning. Does that mean they will headline the annual Basilica Block Party that same weekend in Minneapolis?
Rolling Stones to play at TCF Bank Stadium June 3

Rolling Stones to play at TCF Bank Stadium June 3

This will be the band’s first Minnesota concert in 10 years. Tickets go on sale April 13, with American Express cardholders getting a five-day jump. Pricing information has yet to be released.
Rolling Stones to play at TCF Bank Stadium June 3

Rolling Stones to play at TCF Bank Stadium June 3

This will be the band’s first Minnesota concert in 10 years. Tickets go on sale April 13, with American Express cardholders getting a five-day jump. Pricing information has yet to be released.
It's a Wonder-ful life: Legend returns after 27 years

It's a Wonder-ful life: Legend returns after 27 years

It’s been 27 years since Stevie Wonder's last Twin Cities performance. So in honor of Sunday’s show at Target Center, we offer 27 fun facts about one of the most revered music makers of our time.
Stevie Wonder at Target Center: Just a wonderful performance

Stevie Wonder at Target Center: Just a wonderful performance

Stevie Wonder’s performance almost made up for his 27-year absence.
Stevie Wonder at Target Center: Just a wonderful performance

Stevie Wonder at Target Center: Just a wonderful performance

Stevie Wonder’s performance almost made up for his 27-year absence.
Concert review: At the Xcel, Adam Levine maroons his band

Concert review: At the Xcel, Adam Levine maroons his band

Maroon 5 was there, but in name only as the ubiquitous frontman stole the show in St. Paul.
At sold-out Xcel, frontman Adam Levine maroons the band

At sold-out Xcel, frontman Adam Levine maroons the band

REVIEW: Maroon 5 was there, but in name only as the ubiquitous Levine stole the show in St. Paul. Still, the group made the music more compelling live than on their unapologetically commercial pop/rock recordings,
Review: Grande not big enough for arena spectacle

Review: Grande not big enough for arena spectacle

Her Honeymoon Tour, at the Xcel Sunday, showed the pop star’s lack of experience.
Concert review: Grande's not big enough to pull off arena spectacle

Concert review: Grande's not big enough to pull off arena spectacle

Her Honeymoon Tour, at the Xcel Sunday, showed the pop star’s lack of experience.
A homecoming for Mr. & Mrs. Banjo

A homecoming for Mr. & Mrs. Banjo

Béla Fleck and his Twin Cities-bred wife, Abigail Washburn, bring their first joint tour (and toddler) to town Wednesday.
Riot grrrls: Babes in Toyland vs. Sleater-Kinney

Riot grrrls: Babes in Toyland vs. Sleater-Kinney

Babes in Toyland and Sleater-Kinney often get mentioned in the same sentence. Female rock trios that were part of the 1990s riot grrrl movement, both…
Pitbull, Enrique bring the Miami heat to Mpls.

Pitbull, Enrique bring the Miami heat to Mpls.

It was hot and steamy Saturday night at Target Center.
Pitbull and Enrique Iglesias bring the Miami heat to Minneapolis

Pitbull and Enrique Iglesias bring the Miami heat to Minneapolis

Pitbull and Enrique Iglesias team up for a hot night at Target Center.
Catching up with reunited Babes in Toyland in L.A.

Catching up with reunited Babes in Toyland in L.A.

The influential Minneapolis postpunk band is playing its first big gig in 18 years Thursday in Hollywood.
Influential Mpls. band Babes in Toyland reunites for L.A. gig

Influential Mpls. band Babes in Toyland reunites for L.A. gig

The influential Minneapolis postpunk band is playing its first big gig in 18 years Thursday in Hollywood.
Sam Smith wins 4 Grammys, but Beck nabs album of the year

Sam Smith wins 4 Grammys, but Beck nabs album of the year

British phenom Sam Smith got the best cure for a breakup: four Grammys, including song and record of the year.
Dylan gives speech of a lifetime at Grammys benefit

Dylan gives speech of a lifetime at Grammys benefit

After several superstars sang his words, he talked at length about his career, process and critics.
Grammys bring final fanfare for Minn. composer Stephen Paulus

Grammys bring final fanfare for Minn. composer Stephen Paulus

Four months after the death of St. Paul composer Stephen Paulus, his family hopes to pick up his first Grammy.
Grammy-nominated Sam Smith's concert wasn't as great as album

Grammy-nominated Sam Smith's concert wasn't as great as album

Smith is a rising young pop star from England, popular enough to earn six Grammy nominations and to draw a sell-out crowd on Saturday night at Roy Wilkins Auditorium in St. Paul for his Twin Cities debut.
Regrets, he's had a few: Dylan sings Sinatra on new album

Regrets, he's had a few: Dylan sings Sinatra on new album

REVIEW: Bob Dylan's new album of standards, “Shadows in the Night,” out Tuesday, brings an emotional focus that seems like an extension of his more recent personal work.
Fleetwood Mac reprises familiar flair on return trip

Fleetwood Mac reprises familiar flair on return trip

Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham injected their usual emotional energy at Xcel Energy Center in opening the second leg of the band's reunion tour.
Sept. 30 review: Full Fleetwood Mac is back

Sept. 30 review: Full Fleetwood Mac is back

REVIEW: This heyday incarnation — reassembled after some rocky years — came across as democratic, respectful, polite and mostly sparks-free.
Nicks on C. McVie: 'She brings the funny back into Fleetwood Mac'

Nicks on C. McVie: 'She brings the funny back into Fleetwood Mac'

Stevie Nicks is thrilled to be on tour again with Fleetwood Mac and singer/keyboardist Christine McVie. But she sounds daunted by the band’s schedule, which brings them back to the Twin Cities this week.
Nicks on Buckingham: 'We disagree on just about everything'

Nicks on Buckingham: 'We disagree on just about everything'

Stevie Nicks is thrilled to be on tour with Fleetwood Mac, but she sounds daunted by the band’s schedule.
What would Elvis be like at 80?

What would Elvis be like at 80?

Elvis Presley would turn 80 on Thursday. Wonder what he’d be like if he were still alive and performing?
April 1: Dakota Jazz Club to take over former St. Paul Artists’ Quarter space

April 1: Dakota Jazz Club to take over former St. Paul Artists’ Quarter space

The deal is still pending, but the proprietors plan a more eclectic music lineup.
10 best concerts, albums of 2014

10 best concerts, albums of 2014

Our critics agreed on vets Paul McCartney and St. Vincent and newcomers FKA Twigs and Sturgill Simpson.
Jon Bream: A gift guide for music lovers

Jon Bream: A gift guide for music lovers

In this digital era, give music fans a present that’s physical.
Longtime backup singer Lisa Fischer dazzles front and center

Longtime backup singer Lisa Fischer dazzles front and center

Review: The Stones and “20 Feet from Stardom” backup singer gets deeply soulful at the Dakota.
Pop goes the Jingle Ball: Ariana Grande, Jessie J and Iggy Azalea

Pop goes the Jingle Ball: Ariana Grande, Jessie J and Iggy Azalea

This year’s Jingle Ball was a seamlessly produced package of the hottest young pop stars — Iggy Azalea, Ariana Grande, Jessie J and Meghan Trainor — who have been nominated for Grammys and reached the Top 5 of the pop charts.
Ariana, Iggy lead sleek and strong Jingle Ball

Ariana, Iggy lead sleek and strong Jingle Ball

Review: This year’s Jingle Ball was a seamlessly produced package of the hottest young pop stars.
Carrie Underwood to play State Fair Aug. 29; tix on sale Saturday

Carrie Underwood to play State Fair Aug. 29; tix on sale Saturday

Tickets will go on sale this week for country goddess Carrie Underwood’s Aug. 29 concert at the Minnesota State Fair grandstand.
Grammy Awards nominees

Grammy Awards nominees

Sam Smith, the British newcomer with the ordinary name and distinctively emotional voice, tied for the most Grammy Award nominations — six — with singer/producer Pharrell Williams and the juggernaut that is Beyoncé, who has now received more Grammy nominations than any other woman ever.
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