A half-dozen cool things in music, from two points of view:
LP Tour, Friday, Target Field. I've seen Soul Asylum, Big Head Todd & the Monsters, Gear Daddies and Matthew Sweet many times, but the attraction of all of them together outside in the Twins ballpark is hard to resist. Looking forward to seeing how the smaller stage setup along the third baseline works.
The 1975. I was turned on to this English electronica alternative rock band recently and became an instant fan. Great hooks and fantastic vocals make me look forward to their full-length release in the fall and live show Oct. 21 at the Varsity Theater in Minneapolis.
Experiencing music with my daughter. I gave Kortney, now 23, a thorough schooling in her youth, and as she got older she started pointing me to music I would like. This month, I took her to three great live acts for the first time: Alice Cooper at the State Theatre, Pearl Jam at Wrigley Field and Tesla at House of Blues in Chicago. I'm sure she'll return the favor down the road.
Steve Rood, Prior Lake
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Alice Cooper, State Theatre. At 65, he remains a remarkably timeless master of shock-rock theater, trotting out the same old props (guillotine, straitjacket, etc.), outfits (leather jackets, belt buckles) and killer songs. The band is newish (four of the five players joined in the past three years) but they held up as well as Alice's leathery lungs. He and the players asserted their chops on fun covers of the Doors, Jimi Hendrix, the Beatles and the Who.
Basilica Block Party's video screens. For the first time, the main stage featured TWO live video screens. The organizing committee finally approved adding the second HD screen (there had been just one screen for years). Hallelujah! Now the powers-that-be should opt for bigger screens for the 20th annual event next year; that was an awfully big crowd watching Matchbox Twenty last weekend.
Jeanne Arland Peterson funeral. Stories, laughter and, of course, lots of music — from guest Oleta Adams to the hometown Steeles and the Petersons themselves. Plus a eulogy by retired broadcaster Don Shelby, a family friend who provided poignancy and humor. What a joyous way to celebrate the life and legacy of the 91-year-old matriarch of Minnesota music.
Jon Bream, Star Tribune