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

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

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

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

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

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.
Thomas Rhett's pop country pleasant but innocuous

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.
Music writer traces rise of Minneapolis scene that produced Prince

Music writer traces rise of Minneapolis scene that produced Prince

MPR writer Andrea Swensson examines the music scene that produced Prince.
Duo from Fleetwood Mac goes its own way with new album, Minneapolis concert

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

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

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.
10 reasons you should see Bob Dylan in St. Paul

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

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.
A critic remembers 'reluctant rock star' Tom Petty

A critic remembers 'reluctant rock star' Tom Petty

Petty was a terrific songwriter, superb bandleader and serious appreciator of music.
Twin Cities concerts of the week: Pitbull and Enrique Iglesias, Rodriguez, Chris Stapleton

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

Your guide to the Twin Cities' must-see shows.
The Mavericks celebrate 'Brand New Day' with Minneapolis concert

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

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

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.
New Standards, Nellie McKay stage musical tribute to 'strange life' of 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 personal photographer releases new book of rare images

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 inspires nostalgia and excitement at the same time

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

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

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

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

Your guide to the Twin Cities' must-see shows.
Former Prince employees launch foundation with royal fundraiser starring R&B group King

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 proves worthy as genre-blending headliner

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

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.
Twin Cities concerts of the week: Alex Williams at Pourhouse, JD McPherson 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.
Pentatonix turns on vocal charm at State Fair

Pentatonix turns on vocal charm at State Fair

REVIEW: When PTX did covers, things got exciting at the sold-out grandstand.
Meet the bands set to battle at Paisley Park's Musicology event

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 at the Fair: Art meets radio-ready music

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

REVIEW: He and Carlene Carter sparkled together.
Dear Garrison Keillor: It's time to leave 'Prairie Home' behind

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 superstars Tim McGraw, Faith Hill heat up the X

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

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

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

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

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

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

Your guide to the Twin Cities' must-see shows.
Bruno Mars has it all in St. Paul — except originality

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

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

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

Your guide to the Twin Cities' must-see shows.
Florida Georgia Line blurs lines with Nelly, Backstreet Boys at Target Field

Florida Georgia Line blurs lines with Nelly, Backstreet Boys at Target Field

Review: The country hit-making duo mixed and matched their way to a soldout stadium show.
Billy Joel comes out swinging at Target Field, then adds a big shot in Axl Rose

Billy Joel comes out swinging at Target Field, then adds a big shot in Axl Rose

The Guns N' Roses frontman elevated the lively, entertaining evening of oldies.
Former Prince guitarist Donna Grantis debuts genre-bending band in Minneapolis

Former Prince guitarist Donna Grantis debuts genre-bending band in Minneapolis

Former Prince guitarist Donna Grantis will debut her new instrumental project on Friday.
Twin Cities concerts of the week: André Cymone at Turf Club, Wiz Khalifa at downtown Minneapolis block party

Twin Cities concerts of the week: André Cymone at Turf Club, Wiz Khalifa at downtown Minneapolis block party

Your guide to the Twin Cities' must-see shows.
'Bluer Than Blue' singer Michael Johnson dies at 72

'Bluer Than Blue' singer Michael Johnson dies at 72

The pop and country hitmaker spent much of his career in the Twin Cities.
Twin Cities concerts of the week: Roger Waters at Xcel, Lowertown Blues Festival

Twin Cities concerts of the week: Roger Waters at Xcel, Lowertown Blues Festival

Your guide to the Twin Cities' must-see shows.
Queen finds new king in singer Adam Lambert, as proven in St. Paul show

Queen finds new king in singer Adam Lambert, as proven in St. Paul show

Review: Xcel show offers just the right mix of bombast, camp and arena rock.
Review: Carlos Santana's smooth guitar serves his spiritual bent

Review: Carlos Santana's smooth guitar serves his spiritual bent

Review: A vision in white at Mystic Lake's amphitheater, Carlos Santana was at his most eloquent and ethereal when he let his guitar do the talking.
Twin Cities concerts of the week: Kiss at Grand Casino Hinckley, Flume at the X Games

Twin Cities concerts of the week: Kiss at Grand Casino Hinckley, Flume at the X Games

Your guide to the Twin Cities' must-see shows.
Review: Diana Ross is overjoyed in concert at Northrop

Review: Diana Ross is overjoyed in concert at Northrop

The Motown goddess celebrated her long career with an unerasable smile.
Thousands turn out on beautiful night for Basilica Block Party

Thousands turn out on beautiful night for Basilica Block Party

Church fundraiser had lots of beer, along with some lesser-known bands.
What's right – and wrong – with outdoor concerts at Twin Cities casinos

What's right – and wrong – with outdoor concerts at Twin Cities casinos

Highs and lows from this summer's many amphitheater concerts at Mystic Lake and Treasure Island casinos.
Letterman bandleader Paul Shaffer on Dylan, Prince and childhood trips to Mpls.

Letterman bandleader Paul Shaffer on Dylan, Prince and childhood trips to Mpls.

The Letterman bandleader has a new album, new tour and lots of Minnesota memories.
Twin Cities concerts of the week: B-52's at Minnesota Zoo, Bleachers at Go Fest

Twin Cities concerts of the week: B-52's at Minnesota Zoo, Bleachers at Go Fest

Your guide to the Twin Cities' must-see shows.
Fans have fun singing all night long with Lionel Richie

Fans have fun singing all night long with Lionel Richie

Review: In his first show back after knee surgery, Lionel Richie was a crowd-pleasing, singalong entertainer at Mystic Lake on Thursday.
Twin Cities concerts of the week: En Vogue at Pride, Dale Watson & Asleep at the Wheel at the zoo

Twin Cities concerts of the week: En Vogue at Pride, Dale Watson & Asleep at the Wheel at the zoo

Your guide to the Twin Cities' must-see shows.
Don Henley delivers fun, satisfying concert with plenty of Eagles songs

Don Henley delivers fun, satisfying concert with plenty of Eagles songs

Despite a smaller crowd, this show was more satisfying than his 2016 State Fair gig.
Revolution keyboardist shares untold stories from Prince's soon-to-be reissued 'Purple Rain'

Revolution keyboardist shares untold stories from Prince's soon-to-be reissued 'Purple Rain'

Revolution keyboardist Lisa Coleman talks about the expanded reissue coming Friday.
After all these years, New Kids on the Block still have the right stuff at Xcel

After all these years, New Kids on the Block still have the right stuff at Xcel

REVIEW: The breakthrough boy-band knows how to be entertainers in a show down one headliner with Paula Abdul's absence.
Did Bob Dylan crib his Nobel Prize lecture from SparkNotes?

Did Bob Dylan crib his Nobel Prize lecture from SparkNotes?

When he references "Moby Dick," the passages apparently were taken from SparkNotes summary of the book, not the novel itself, a Slate writer asserts.
Willie Nelson comes up short on music, big on traffic jam at Treasure Island Casino

Willie Nelson comes up short on music, big on traffic jam at Treasure Island Casino

REVIEW: Traffic jam, aging legend, short concert mar Treasure Island show.
Willie Nelson comes up short on music, big on traffic jam at Treasure Island Casino

Willie Nelson comes up short on music, big on traffic jam at Treasure Island Casino

Treasure Island Casino must have been offering some kind of treasure. Why else would Nik Johnson of St. Cloud have waited more than two hours…
Second time around, NPG hits the right notes in Prince tribute

Second time around, NPG hits the right notes in Prince tribute

Former backing band started strong at a weekend-long birthday salute at Fine Line.
Twin Cities concerts of the week: Old Crow Medicine Show at the Palace, Willie Nelson at Treasure Island

Twin Cities concerts of the week: Old Crow Medicine Show at the Palace, Willie Nelson at Treasure Island

Your guide to the Twin Cities' must-see shows.
John Legend makes lovers swoon

John Legend makes lovers swoon

Review: His Northrop concert was heavy on songs from "Darkness and Light," but eventually he connected with the sold-out crowd.
Review: Learning to party the laidback Tom Petty way

Review: Learning to party the laidback Tom Petty way

With mid-tempo favorites and a run of rockers, the Heartbreakers delivered on Saturday in St. Paul.
How bluegrass singer Sarah Jarosz became a 'Prairie Home' favorite

How bluegrass singer Sarah Jarosz became a 'Prairie Home' favorite

A favorite of Garrison Keillor and Chris Thile, Sarah Jarosz is headed to the Dakota this week.
Twin Cities concerts of the week: Rodrigo y Gabriela at First Ave, Norah Jones at Northrop

Twin Cities concerts of the week: Rodrigo y Gabriela at First Ave, Norah Jones at Northrop

Your guide to the Twin Cities' must-see shows.
'Women find us irresistible': Tom Petty guitarist dishes on longevity, St. Paul concert

'Women find us irresistible': Tom Petty guitarist dishes on longevity, St. Paul concert

Mike Campbell previews the band's 40th anniversary tour coming to St. Paul's Xcel Energy Center on Saturday.
Twin Cities concerts of the week: Memory Lanes Block Party, Michael Kiwanuka, Regina Marie Williams

Twin Cities concerts of the week: Memory Lanes Block Party, Michael Kiwanuka, Regina Marie Williams

Your guide to the Twin Cities' must-see shows.
In St. Paul, it was a Neil Diamond in the rough

In St. Paul, it was a Neil Diamond in the rough

REVIEW: He was in good voice, but lacked energy and spirit in St. Paul concert.
Chris Blue wins 'The Voice,' with homeboy Jesse Larson fourth

Chris Blue wins 'The Voice,' with homeboy Jesse Larson fourth

As they say, Chris Blue blew them away. The 27-year-old worship leader from Knoxville was named the winner Tuesday on the 12th season of NBC’s…
Twin Cities finalist on NBC's 'The Voice': Prince 'taught me to believe in myself'

Twin Cities finalist on NBC's 'The Voice': Prince 'taught me to believe in myself'

The burly, bearded, bespectacled dude who's never had a voice lesson or sung in a choir is trying to find his singing voice. And he's going about it in a rather novel way.
Summer Fun 2017: GNR, Coldplay and Bieber make it the summer of the stadium concert in the Twin Cities

Summer Fun 2017: GNR, Coldplay and Bieber make it the summer of the stadium concert in the Twin Cities

Fans are pumped for five blockbuster concerts at U.S. Bank Stadium and Target Field. But are the venues ready?
Twin Cities concerts of the week: Tina & the B Sides at First Ave, Toki Wright at Nomad Pub

Twin Cities concerts of the week: Tina & the B Sides at First Ave, Toki Wright at Nomad Pub

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