Kyle Heino of Minneapolis:
1 Jesse Malin, 7th Street Entry. The New York rocker offered an energetic performance with classic stage banter, a few new tunes and a band with a horn section.
2 Hook and Ladder Theater. Sept. 8 marks the first anniversary of the Minneapolis community-based nonprofit venue’s hosting intimate performances from stellar local and regional musicians in the Longfellow neighborhood.
3 No Depression magazine. The longform publication is back with in-depth stories, photographs and illustrations about American roots music. The fall edition spotlights stories about the “foremothers” of Americana.
Jon Bream of the Star Tribune:
1 Kendrick Lamar, Xcel Energy Center. The combination of arty visuals, potent raps and I’ve-arrived attitude made for the second most compelling hip-hop show of the year (behind Chance the Rapper’s).
2 Alex Williams, “Better Than Myself.” He suggests Waylon Jennings and Merle Haggard with a rock pedigree. Country music has found its next Chris Stapleton.
3 Beck, the Palace. Essentially a greatest hits show, this reminded us how clever, resourceful and cool Beck was back in the day — and how much we pine for more from him.