Between the different eras and genres represented, the musicians intermingling on stage, the big “Little Red Corvette” finale and the gorgeous weather, last year’s Minnesota Music-on-a-Stick gig at the State Fair grandstand wound up being the feel-good concert of the year. This year’s second installment should have all that except, of course, the perfect summer night. It looks as if things should at least cool off a bit by Friday afternoon, when the show returns to the grandstand with a 5 p.m. kick-off. Tickets are available for $28.
Here’s a rundown of the all-local lineup and set times:
THE CHALICE (5:00) – After winning City Pages’ Picked to Click Poll last fall, the hard-grooving, all-female hip-hop trio hit South by Southwest in the spring and made the most of its summer locally, with gigs including Soundset, Summer Set and the Walker’s Movies & Music. They’ve been working on new songs individually and collectively to show off Friday.
P.O.S. (5:45) – The Doomtree/Rhymesayers rap star – who showed up at last year’s MN Music-on-a-Stick show as Dessa’s surprise guest -- has been working his way back from hiatus after abruptly canceling his tour last fall due to ongoing kidney trouble. The lengthy medical leave left his latest record, “We Don’t Even Live Here,” one of the most underrated records of the decade so far. He played a few festival dates this summer and is doing a short road trek this fall. If you thought the dude had some pent-up energy before this all happened… . You can also catch a free mini-set by him today at the fair, 4p.m., airing live on 89.3 the Current from the MPR booth (corner of Judson and Nelson).
MASON JENNINGS (6:50) – Also somewhat M.I.A. of late, one of the Twin Cities’ most revered singer/songwriters is ramping back up for a September-October tour that will take him to such folkie havens as the Troubadour in Los Angeles and the World Café Live in Philadelphia.
THE SUBURBS (8:20) – One of the scene’s all-time best live bands, the ‘80s dance-pop/New Wave/party-rock quintet also just happen to release one of the best albums of its discography this past Tuesday, “Sí Sauvage.” Click here for our story on the album and the ‘Burbs well-deserved resurgence.
TRAMPLED BY TURTLES (9:45) – Aside from their lovingly received three-song appearance with My Morning Jacket at the Bob Dylan-led Americanarama concert in St. Paul, this will be the Duluth-bred acoustic string band’s first Twin Cities gig since their sold-out, three-night, 10th anniversary marathon at First Ave in April. It’s hard to believe an all-acoustic band could top the Suburbs for energy, but only if you’ve never seen Trampled play before. They have a history at the State Fair, too, going back to when they produced bulging crowds at the Leinie Lodge Bandshell back in 2008.
Special, tacky, self-promotional note: Yours truly will be appearing again at the Star Tribune’s fair booth before Friday’s concert from 4-5 p.m., at the end of the grandstand ramp. For incentive to come visit, I’m hosting a Minnesota music trivia contest, with a little giveaway for the nerdiest local music fan. Hey, it beats the “Thrift Shop” dress-up contest they wanted me to host before Saturday’s Macklemore gig.