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Robert Plant to grace us with his presence again Feb. 22 at Orpheum

Robert Plant at the Bonnaroo festival in 2015. / Wade Payne, Invision/AP

Robert Plant at the Bonnaroo festival in 2015. / Wade Payne, Invision/AP

After skipping the Twin Cities on his recent tours, Robert Plant has finally set another date at the Orpheum Theatre in Minneapolis on Feb. 22 with his ongoing solo group of late, the Sensational Shape Shifters.

Tickets to the show – one of only a dozen on the relatively road-shy Led Zeppelin frontman’s U.S. itinerary so far next year – will be sold under the Ticketmaster Verified program to combat scalpers. Fans should register now to try to get a seat via robertplant.tmverifiedfan.com. Pre-sale offers start Thursday at 2 p.m., and the general on-sale is Friday at 11 a.m. Prices are $79, $89 and $100. It will be Plant’s first show in town since 2011, when he also played the Orpheum.

Concurrent with the tour news, Plant posted a new song from his upcoming album “Carry Fire,” which comes out Oct. 13. The tune, “Bluebirds Over the Mountain” (posted below), is an old rockabilly nugget that the Beach Boys also covered. Plant’s version features Chrissie Hynde of the Pretenders on backup vocals.

While he usually focuses on his latest material while touring for a new album, Plant always drops in enough Zeppelin tunes to whet fans’ whistles, though often with reinvented arrangements. Recent set lists have included “What Is and What Should Never Be,” “Rock and Roll,” “The Rain Song,” “Whole Lotta Love” and "Black Dog" (the latter posted below from "Austin City Limits").

Phil Solem of "Friends" TV theme fame leaving Minnesota for Nashville

No other current Twin Cities resident has written a song heard around the world as widely as Phil Solem has, but that title will soon change along with his local residency status. 

The Duluth native and Rembrandts co-founder – who co-wrote and recorded the 1994 megahit “I’ll Be There for You,” aka the theme song to the kinda-popular TV sitcom “Friends” – is moving to the city where many professional songwriters eventually land, Nashville. Solem also happens to have family and friends in Tennessee’s capital city, so the move makes extra sense.

Some of Solem’s Minnesota family and friends will be there for him tonight (Tuesday) at the Cabooze in Minneapolis to give him a musical send-off. His buddies the Melismatics are anchoring a farewell party dubbed Phil-a-Palooza, which will also feature a performance by Solem’s own jam band Thrush! with Michael Bland (Soul Asylum, NPG) and John Fields (producer and Greazy Meal member), plus Joey Molland of Badfinger and various other Prince alumni and all-star players in town. The show starts at 8:30, and tickets will be $10 at the door.

Solem and his longtime collaborator Danny Wilde still perform off and on as the Rembrandts, who hit Billboard’s top 20 four years before the “Friends” theme with “Just the Way It Is, Baby.” They will forever be tied first and foremost to “I’ll Be There for You,” though, and with TV reunions popular again and the constant talk of a “Friends” reboot, that connection could be retied in the coming years.

Solem's talent beyond the somewhat fluky was well known here in Minnesota, as evidenced by the top clip below. Nashville, take note.

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