Bill DeVille, 89.3 the Current:
1 Blue Ox Music Festival, Eau Claire. A great spot for a music festival. Even the heat and a Friday afternoon storm didn’t hamper fine sets from Blitzen Trapper; Del McCoury Band featuring Preservation Hall Jazz Band members; Nikki Lane, and Shovels and Rope.
2 The Cure, Xcel Energy Center. This band has been around almost 40 years, and its live show is still getting better and longer — a Springsteen-like three-hour-plus set. Keep on keeping on, Robert Smith!
3 Car Seat Headrest, “Fill in the Blank.” This might be my summer jam. It makes misery sound pretty great. Guitar rock isn’t dead yet!
Jon Bream, Star Tribune:
1 Home Free, Minnesota Zoo. This country-centric Twin Cities a cappella quintet has become sharper, funnier, cuter, more inventive and more sophisticated. Highlights: Adam Rupp’s beat box solo, the “Butts” medley and “Champagne Taste.”
2 Kanye West coming to Xcel Energy Center Oct. 10. Can’t wait for the second coming of Yeezus. His last local arena production way back in 2008 was a classic.
3 Blondie, Minnesota Zoo. With three original members and three newer players, the band sounded terrific and Debbie Harry had the iconic look and presence to make for feel-good new-wave nostalgia.