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
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.
Justin Timberlake, “Man of the Woods”

Album review: Justin Timberlake explores flannel funk on 'Man of the Woods'

Justin Timberlake, “Man of the Woods” (RCA) Don’t be fooled by the title or the latest images with Timberlake looking like he stepped out…
FILE - In this Sept. 23, 2017 file photo, Justin Timberlake performs at the Pilgrimage Music and Cultural Festival in Franklin, Tenn. Timberlake previ

Justin, listen up: A critic's advice for Timberlake's Super Bowl halftime show

Do's and don'ts for Justin Timberlake's halftime performance at the Super Bowl.
Justin Timberlake previewed his Super Bowl halftime show during a Thursday press conference.

Justin Timberlake previews halftime show: No Janet Jackson

He said there would be no Jackson, N' Sync, Chris Stapleton or any other special guests. Just his current band, which he called the Tennessee Kids.
Diet Cig plays the Whole at Coffman Union on Saturday.

Twin Cities concerts of the week: Dieg Cig, Mary Lambert, Bob Marley Remembered

Big gigs for the week of Feb. 2-8, also including New Power Generation, Questlove, Kimbra and Pink.
Kelly Clarkson plays two private gigs for this weekend’s Super Bowl.

Super Bowl star Kelly Clarkson: 'I'm a little down-to-earth Southern girl who made it'

Down-to-earth Kelly Clarkson lands in Minneapolis for a pair of VIP Super Bowl gigs.
Florida Georgia Line’s Brian Kelley, left, and Tyler Hubbard during last summer’s show at Target Field.

Pop-country collaborators Florida Georgia Line prep for intimate Mystic Lake concert

Country stars Florida Georgia Line have scored hits with pop stars, rappers and a boy band.
Bruno Mars accepted the award for record of the year for “24K Magic” at the 60th annual Grammy Awards at Madison Square Garden. He also won for so

Bruno Mars tops Grammys, gives shoutout to Minneapolis influences

But who will get the bigger boost from the awards, Mars or rapper Kendrick Lamar?
The St. Paul Chamber Orchestra and its artistic partner Patricia Kopatchinskaja, above, won a Grammy Sunday for their "Death and the Maiden" project.

St. Paul Chamber Orchestra grabs Grammy for best chamber performance

A recording inspired by Schubert's "Death and the Maiden" led to the orchestra's second trophy.
“We’ve always had a special relationship with sports,” said Imagine Dragons bassist/keyboardist Ben McKee. The band is coming to Minneapolis to

Imagine Dragons talk special 'relationship with sports' before Minneapolis Super Bowl gig

Super Bowl week stars Imagine Dragons make an arena-size noise.
Idina Menzel took the stage before singing "Let it Go" from "Frozen" on Friday night on Nicollet Mall.

Review: Crowd lets go of irritations when Menzel sings

Jam-packed Nicollet Mall crowd gets frozen waiting.
Terry Lewis and Jimmy Jam announced the acts for Super Bowl Live on Dec. 1 of last year.

Minneapolis-bred producer Jimmy Jam talks Janet Jackson, free Super Bowl concerts

He wouldn't say whether his pal will be in Minneapolis for the festivities.
FILE - In this Thursday, June 9, 2016, file photo, singer Idina Menzel looks over her shoulder at photographers at the 2016 AFI Life Achievement Award

'Frozen' singer Idina Menzel warms up for icy Super Bowl Live gig tonight

"Let It Go" star Idina Menzel kicks off outdoor Super Bowl Live series.
Al Jardine

Beach Boys co-founder Al Jardine premieres his 'Postcard' show in Minneapolis

Al Jardine will tell stories behind the famous surf songs — and sing them — in Minneapolis.
Cannon Falls Caitlyn Smith appears Thursday at the Turf Club.

Twin Cities concerts of the week: Huun Huur Tu, Pokey LaFarge, Caitlyn Smith

Big gigs for the week of Jan. 19-25, also including Beach Boys co-founder Al Jardine and a Johnny Cash tribute.
G. Love and Special Sauce play Friday at Mystic Lake Casino.

Twin Cities concerts of the week: G. Love and Special Sauce, Jackie Venson, the Killers

Big gigs for the week of Jan. 12-18, also including Roy Hargrove, Tracy Nelson and an annual tribute to Janis Joplin.
Lana Del Rey made her Twin Cities debut and start of her first arena tour on Friday at Target Center in Minneapolis.

Review: Pop star Lana Del Rey suffers wintertime sadness

REVIEW: Emotional lyrics but little emotion at Target Center.
Del Rey makes her overdue Twin Cities debut Friday on the opening night of her first arena tour.

Twin Cities concerts of the week: Lana Del Rey, Rebirth Brass Band, First Ave's Best New Bands of 2017

Big gigs for the week of Jan. 5-11, also including Birthday Suits, Flobots, Christine Lavin and Devil Makes Three.
The cult-loved Twin Cities band Run Westy Run plays Monday at 7th Street Entry.

Twin Cities concerts of the week: Sounds of Blackness, Run Westy Run, Ike Reilly

Big gigs for the week of Dec. 22-28, also including Katie McMahon, the Klituation and Rio Nido.
The Steele family celebrates its new holiday disc, “The Best Christmas,” with concerts on Friday and Saturday.

Twin Cities concerts of the week: The Steeles, Kinda Kinky Christmas, the Bad Plus

Big gigs for the week of Dec. 15-21, also including Darlene Love, Semisonic and Cornbread Harris.
Bob Dylan, “Trouble No More — The Bootleg Series Vol. 13 /1979-1981”

What to give the music lover on your list? These 12 gifts really rock

Want to delight the music lovers on your shopping list? Try these books and deluxe reissues.
Former Jayhawks co-frontman Mark Olson and his wife, Ingunn Ringvold, celebrate a new album Saturday at Cedar Cultural Center.

Twin Cities concerts of the week: Mark Olson, Reina del Cid, Curtiss A's John Lennon Tribute

Big gigs for the week of Dec. 8-14, also including Kellis, Drivin' n' Cryin,' Nachito Herrera and a Replacements tribute.
Katy Perry performed Friday night at the Xcel.

Katy Perry just wants to have fun in arena spectacle at Xcel Energy Center

REVIEW: It was all about the props and production, not her personality or music.
The New Standards play three holiday shows at the State Theatre.

Twin Cities concerts of the week: Katy Perry, New Standards, Lennon tribute

Big gigs for the week of Dec. 1-8, also including Run the Jewels, Rufus Wainwright, Lindsey Stirling and the Staves with yMusic.
Country music star Thomas Rhett made his first Twin Cities headline appearance Wednesday at sold-out Xcel Energy Center to promote his third album.

Thomas Rhett's pop country pleasant but innocuous

REVIEW: The first-time headliner needed some Bruno Mars tunes to spice up his pleasant radio hits in St. Paul.
The historic Grand Central Band, featuring (left to right) Linda Anderson, Andre Cymone, Morris Day, Terry Jackson, Prince and William "Hollywood" Dou

Music writer traces rise of Minneapolis scene that produced Prince

MPR writer Andrea Swensson examines the music scene that produced Prince.
Lindsey Buckingham and Christine McVie.

Duo from Fleetwood Mac goes its own way with new album, Minneapolis concert

Fleetwood Mac's Lindsey Buckingham and Christine McVie bring their duo act to Minneapolis.
Charlie Parr touts a new record with two nights at the Cedar Cultural Center.

Twin Cities concerts of the week: Arcade Fire, Charlie Parr, Habib Koite and a yacht-rock icon

Your guide to the Twin Cities' must-see shows.
Bob Dylan, shown in 2012, said not a word to the Xcel Energy Center audience on Wednesday night, but he delivered a performance with authority and fer

A committed Bob Dylan brought it all back home at the X

Review: He has never sounded more versatile, passionate and musical than he did in St. Paul.
Bob Dylan performs in 2010 in London.

10 reasons you should see Bob Dylan in St. Paul

Bob Dylan doesn't sound like Bob Dylan anymore. But here's why you should go to his concert anyway.
Paul Weller plays Pantages Theatre on Friday.

Twin Cities concerts of the week: Paul Weller, Zombie Pub Crawl, Imagine Dragons, the War on Drugs

Your guide to the Twin Cities' must-see shows.
Tom Petty, shown in concert at the St. Paul Civic Center in 1985, was always a low-key performer.

A critic remembers 'reluctant rock star' Tom Petty

Petty was a terrific songwriter, superb bandleader and serious appreciator of music.
Pitbull, left, and Enrique Iglesias perform at Xcel Energy Center Friday.

Twin Cities concerts of the week: Pitbull and Enrique Iglesias, Rodriguez, Chris Stapleton

Your guide to the Twin Cities' must-see shows.
The Mavericks.

The Mavericks celebrate 'Brand New Day' with Minneapolis concert

America's greatest dance band is in town to tout a new album and a PBS documentary on Cuba.
The Weeknd brought his Starboy World Tour to Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul Sunday night, fighting some bad acoustics but rousing the sold-out crowd.

R&B-pop sensation the Weeknd underwhelms in front of 14,000 fans at Xcel

Even with 14,000 fans singing every song in St. Paul, the Weeknd's first local arena headline appearance did not wow.
The Weeknd performs Sunday at Xcel Energy Center.

Twin Cities concerts of the week: The Weeknd, Jimmy Webb, Glass Animals, Black Sabbath tributes

Also spotlights on Wynton Marsalis, Black Uhuru, SurlyFest, Joseph, Lavender Country, Dale Watson and more.
Peggy Lee

New Standards, Nellie McKay stage musical tribute to 'strange life' of Peggy Lee

Four singers and the New Standards will salute her with a musical biography at the Guthrie.
Prince's long-time photographer and art director just published a book of his intimate candids, portraits and more.

Prince's personal photographer releases new book of rare images

Steve Parke shares photos and stories of his 14 years working with the Purple One.
U2 frontman Bono (center) jammed to the music from the Joshua Tree tour at U.S. Bank Stadium on Friday in Minneapolis.

U2 inspires nostalgia and excitement at the same time

Review: Although the concert contained goosebump moments, it still wasn't as grand as the band's truly great 2011 performance.
A file photo showing Bono at the St. Paul Civic Center in 1987.

From the archives: Our review of U2's 1987 'Joshua Tree' concert in St. Paul

Before heading to Friday's enormous U.S. Bank Stadium show, relive the original "Joshua Tree" tour with Star Tribune music critic Jon Bream.
John Prine plays Northrop auditorium on Friday.

Songwriter John Prine on Bob Dylan, Justin Vernon and inventing a place called 'East St. Paul'

A new generation is saluting the revered songwriter, who returns to Minneapolis Friday.
U2 takes its Joshua Tree 2017 Tour to U.S. Bank Stadium.

Twin Cities concerts of the week: U2 revisits 'The Joshua Tree,' Joan Osborne sings Dylan

Your guide to the Twin Cities' must-see shows.
R&B group King performs Thursday.

Former Prince employees launch foundation with royal fundraiser starring R&B group King

Former Paisley Park employees launch charitable foundation to support Prince's favorite causes.
Sam Hunt (center) rocked the soldout grandstand on Monday. ] CARLOS GONZALEZ ï - September 4, 2017, Falcon Heights, MN, Min

Sam Hunt proves worthy as genre-blending headliner

The new country star raised the temperature and spirits of the 13,140 fans as soon as he hit the stage with "Leave the Night On."
R&B star Usher performed at the State Fair grandstand. For more photos from the show, go to

Yeah! Usher delivers big thrills to R&B fans at the fair

REVIEW: Playing without a band, he got a little help from his pal, rapper Lil Jon.
JD McPherson plays Friday and Saturday at the Star Fair.

Twin Cities concerts of the week: Alex Williams at Pourhouse, JD McPherson at the Star Fair

Your guide to the Twin Cities' must-see shows.
Kirstin Maldonado, from left, Scott Hoying and Mitch Grassi of Pentatonix perform at the Minnesota State Fair. ] LEILA NAVIDI ï leila.navidi@startrib

Pentatonix turns on vocal charm at State Fair

REVIEW: When PTX did covers, things got exciting at the sold-out grandstand.
The Minneapolis hip-hop and R&B group iLLism is one of four local finalists competing this week at Paisley Park.

Meet the bands set to battle at Paisley Park's Musicology event

Nine acts, including four locals, are competing this weekend to record at Prince's studio.
John Mellencamp with his band early in his State Fair Grandstand set Tuesday night.

John Mellencamp at the Fair: Art meets radio-ready music

REVIEW: He and Carlene Carter sparkled together.
Garrison Keillor, creator and former host of "A Prairie Home Companion," at his St. Paul office.

Dear Garrison Keillor: It's time to leave 'Prairie Home' behind

This fall's 28-city tour, dubbed "Garrison Keillor's Prairie Home Love & Comedy Tour," is "A Prairie Home Companion" by any other name. This is beginning to sound like Cher's third annual farewell tour.
Country superstar couple Tim McGraw and Faith Hill performed together in St. Paul on Friday, the first of two nights of shows.

Country superstars Tim McGraw, Faith Hill heat up the X

The husband-and-wife stars brought romance, fun and palpable chemistry in the first of two nights of St. Paul shows.
Kris duMonceaux of Foley, Minn., right, and friends hammed it up at Paisley Park.

For $160, you get to hold Prince's guitar on 3-hour 'Ultimate' Paisley Park tour

Is the new "Ultimate Experience" at Prince's museum worth it? We checked it out.
Full of flash, Lady Gaga performed at the Coachella music festival in April. She brought the same energy Monday to the X in St. Paul.

Review: Lady Gaga plays it big and small at St. Paul's Xcel

Her St. Paul concert had lots of big dance numbers and a few intimate moments at the piano, but didn't quite satisfy.
R&B star Usher is a fresh act at the fair.

How Minnesota State Fair is winning the battle with casinos for grandstand acts

Despite hot competition from casinos this year, the State Fair grandstand may set an attendance record.
Herbie Hancock plays for high school students at the White House in 2016.

Jazz legend Herbie Hancock talks music, recovery and partying with Prince

Jazz giant Herbie Hancock is working on an album with Snoop and Pharrell; he'll preview it at the Minnesota Zoo.
Ozzy Osbourne will perform Friday at Treasure Island Casino Amphitheater.

Twin Cities concerts of the week: Ozzy Osbourne, Pizza Lucé party, Beck

Your guide to the Twin Cities' must-see shows.
Bruno Mars played at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul on Saturday night.

Bruno Mars has it all in St. Paul — except originality

The great all-around talent was supremely entertaining in his St. Paul concert on Saturday.
Shawn Mendes, touring to support his sophomore album “Illuminate,” declares: “I’m proud to say I’m a role model for kids.”

Teen star Shawn Mendes brings 'hunky, guitar-strumming sensitivity' to Xcel

Teen star Shawn Mendes will make thousands of girls swoon in St. Paul on Sunday.
Bryan Ferry, of Roxy Music fame, plays the Palace Theatre on Saturday.

Twin Cities concerts of the week: Bryan Ferry, Shawn Mendes, HazelFest

Your guide to the Twin Cities' must-see shows.
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