Amy Jarrard of Minneapolis:
1 Aretha Franklin tributes. Her death rocked my world. I watched old videos, etc. Check out her performance of “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” at the Kennedy Center Honors for Carole King. Your eyes will not stay dry.
2 Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats, the Palace. Their live show never, ever disappoints. Incredible energy from the band and the crowd left me smiling for weeks.
3 Bandshell Tonight, State Fair. Have you noticed how good the shows have gotten over the past few years here? Whoever is booking these is doing a phenomenal job.
Jon Bream of the Star Tribune:
1 Earth, Wind & Fire, State Fair. After 45 years (three original members plus newer ones), they have terrific musicality, vibrancy and showmanship. At 67, lead singer Philip Bailey still has a stunning, heavenly voice.
2 Taylor Swift salutes Aretha Franklin at Detroit concert. She didn’t cover one of the Queen of Soul’s songs. She just offered these unscripted words: “She was one of those people where no matter what you said, no matter what glowing, positive thing you could say about her, it would be an understatement. Words could never, ever describe how many things she did in her lifetime that made the world a better place.” Then Swift asked for a moment of silence to reflect.
3 En Vogue, State Fair. This ’90s soul/pop trio (two originals, one newcomer) was in great shape, good voice and grand spirits, especially on “Free Your Mind” and “Hold On.”