Two mainstays of the 89.3 the Current playlist era from out-of-town, two Minnesota-bred veteran indie-rock acts and one rowdy dancefloor ringleader are lined up to play this year’s Rock the Garden concert June 15 outside Walker Art Center.
Canadian electro-whir quartet Metric of “Youth Without Youth” and “Help I’m Alive” fame will return to town to headline the outdoor bash following another band with indie cred and mainstream radio success, Los Angeles rockers Silversun Pickups (of “Lazy Eye” fame). Locally rooted music heroes Bob Mould and Low -- neither of whom have ever played RTG despite years of support from RTG co-sponsor 89.3 the Current – will round out the bill along with Baltimore electronic wiz Dan Deacon.
Mould will perform with the killer trio he brought on tour last year, which he has been playing songs from his old bands Hüsker Dü and Sugar alongside tunes from 2012's great "Silver Age" album. Metric's core members Emily Haines and James Shaw will perform a night earlier as a duo for "Wits" at the Fitzgerald Theater, but the full band will take the RTG stage.
This is the second year in a row RTG has featured five acts instead of four. It's also the third year in a row ticket prices have gone up by about $5, making it to $55 this year. Tickets go on sale to members of Minnesota Public Radio and Walker Art Center starting Friday at 11 a.m. If any are left over Saturday, they go on sale to the general public. Don’t expect any to be on sale Saturday, though. Get the full details at RocktheGarden2013.com.
A little critical assessment of the lineup: All five names are reliable, electrifying live acts. Combined, they make for a good halfway point between the Current's sometimes overly trendy playlist-making and its dedication to more classic "alternative" artists. Of course, the lineup is sorely lacking in diversity and/or anything from the hip-hop/R&B realm, which has been a frequent shortcoming since the Current signed on to produce the event with the Walker. At least women rockers will be well represented this year (by Low and Silversun Pickups, in addition to Metric). And on a personal note: Anybody up for a trip to Vegas this weekend?