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Palace Theatre amps up with Pixies, At the Drive-In, Old Crow Medicine Show

The Pixies' Frank Black, right, and Joey Santiago at Coachella in 2014. / Photo by Chris Pizzello, Invision/AP

The Pixies' Frank Black, right, and Joey Santiago at Coachella in 2014. / Photo by Chris Pizzello, Invision/AP

First Avenue representatives promised the city of St. Paul and Twin Cities music lovers a steady string of shows at the newly renovated Palace Theatre, and so far they’re more than keeping their end of the bargain. In fact, some fans are already starting to complain about the new old venue tapping heavily into their budget.

New shows announced this week include the Pixies, At the Drive-In and rootsy favorites Old Crow Medicine Show, in addition to the July 29 gig by Ryan Adams that goes on sale Friday at 10 a.m. for $45 through eTix.com and First Ave outlets.

The Pixies (Oct. 11): Thirteen years since their first reunion gig (2004 at the Fine Line in Minneapolis) and four since Paz Lenchantin took over Kim Deal’s bass/vocal duties, Black Francis & Co. are back on the road with a so-so new album, “Head Carrier,” and about 80 other songs they’re promising to pull out on this tour. Those tickets also go on sale Friday at 10 a.m. for $50. Brooklyn-via-Japan singer Mitski opens.

At the Drive-In (July 17): The experimental art-punk band from the wilds of El Paso broke up in 2001 but gained more widespread fame in the interim as an influencer of many younger bands, à la the Velvet Underground. They started playing reunion gigs last year and are carrying on without original guitarist Jim Ward to release a new album and play more dates this summer. The date here might present a conflict for fans also hoping to attend the Eaux Claires festival that weekend. Tickets are on sale March 3 at 10 a.m. for $43. Mexican rockers Le Butcherettes open.

Old Crow Medicine show (June 10): An added incentive for Minnesota music lovers who haven’t yet gotten into these bluegrassy Nashville pickers, they are going to perform Bob Dylan’s entire “Blonde on Blonde” album at this show along with plenty of their own tunes. Tickets go on sale Friday at 11 a.m. for $35-$40.

All told, 15 concerts have been announced so far for the Palace, also including the inaugural concerts with Atmosphere, the Jayhawks and Phantogram, plus Jason Isbell, the XX, Regina Spektor, a two-nighter with the String Cheese Incident, Greensky Bluegrass, Tycho and Slowdive.

   

J. Cole, Chris Brown each announce 2017 Xcel Center dates

J. Cole topped off the lineup at the Soundset festival in 2015. / Mark Vancleave, Star Tribune

J. Cole topped off the lineup at the Soundset festival in 2015. / Mark Vancleave, Star Tribune

Chart-topping rap star J. Cole and comeback-baiting R&B singer Chris Brown each announced upcoming Xcel Energy Concerts on Tuesday, giving fans till next week to save up their ticket money or choose between them.

Brown’s concert is coming up very quickly, April 9, so he will have to come up with a better excuse than “scheduling conflict” should he cancel the show like he did his last date in town at Target Center in 2015. To help with ticket sales this time, he is bringing mid-‘00s rap hitmakers 50 Cent and Fabolous for opening acts, along with O.T. Genasis, Kap G. Tickets go on sale Feb. 24 at 10 a.m. through Ticketmaster and the arena box office for $30-$200.

Still best-known as the guy who assaulted his former girlfriend Rihanna -- and accused of abusing another woman more recently -- Brown has managed to rack up several modest hits in recent years, including “Ayo,” “Back to Sleep” and “Party.” He has also been a popular choice for a “featured artist” guesting on hits by DJ Khaled (“Do You Mind”), Nicki Minaj (“Only”) and Pitbull (“Fun”).

J. Cole has been steadily working his way up the local concert ladder from Myth nightclub in 2013 to the Soundset festival in 2015 to his first arena headlining date at the X on July 21. His tickets go on sale Feb. 25 at 10 a.m. for $30-$110. The slow-stewing North Carolina rapper has not yet announced opening acts for his 57-city 4 Your Eyez Only Tour. Last year’s album of the same name holds the distinction of landing all 10 of its tracks on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart, thanks in large part to streaming.

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