Staff Directory 6370586

Chris Riemenschneider

Columnist/Reporter | Local Music
Phone: 612-673-4658

Chris Riemenschneider has been covering the Twin Cities music scene since 2001, long enough for Prince to shout him out during "Play That Funky Music (White Boy)." The St. Paul native authored the book "First Avenue: Minnesota's Mainroom" and previously worked as a music critic at the Austin American-Statesman in Texas.


Riemenschneider has also written for Rolling Stone, the Los Angeles Times, Dallas Morning News and Billboard and won awards from the Society of Professional Journalists, Society for Features Journalism and Society of American Travel Writers.
Recent content from Chris Riemenschneider
Jon Batiste, who performed at the Grammy Awards on Feb. 4 with Minnesota legends Jimmy Jam and Ann Nesby behind him, wanted to play First Avenue for h

The Big Gigs: 10 best concerts to see in Twin Cities this week

Highlights for Feb. 22-28 include Jon Batiste, BeauSoleil, Jamecia Bennett, Silversun Pickups and Maddie Zahm.
Juliet and the Montagues performed at the Anoka Hardware Store in Anoka.

4 hidden Twin Cities music bars to warm you up this winter

One's under a brewery. Another's beneath a restaurant. Two are located off back alleys. Each is worth finding for live music.
Fans lined up early to watch Remo Drive at the Basilica Block Party in 2021, when attendance dwindled as COVID-19 fears lingered.

Basilica Block Party is returning in 2024, but moving to a new site and weekend

Construction plans near the basilica dictated the festival's move to Boom Island Park, but organizers are staying on mission.
The view from the hill overlooking the Lake Harriet Bandshell Tuesday night.

Local musicians feeling no love from Minneapolis Park Board over unpaid gigs

An online petition and calls for a boycott have started for performing at Lake Harriet Band Shell and other parks stages.
Pitbull, left, and Enrique Iglesias perform during their encore at the Target Center on February 21, 2015.

The Big Gigs: 10 best concerts to see in Twin Cities this week

Highlights for Feb. 15-21 include Rachael & Vilray, Matthew Sweet, Big Turn Music Fest and Pitbull, Ricky Martin and Enrique Iglesias.
Vince Neil and one of Mötley Crüe's heavily used backup singers last appeared in town at U.S. Bank Stadium in 2022 with Def Leppard.

What's left of Mötley Crüe will hit the Minnesota State Fair grandstand in 2024

The band and its replacement guitarist will appear Aug. 29, the first big concert announced for this year's grandstand lineup.
Christy Costello posed for a portrait atop the piano at Palmer’s Bar, were she works as a booker, on Feb. 2 in Minneapolis.

The hardest working woman in the Twin Cities music scene steps out

After years serving as a sidewoman, talent booker and advocate, Christy Costello returns to the mic with her first solo album.
Usher roller-skated across the stage at the Super Bowl halftime show in Las Vegas.

And now comes Usher's tour, including two November concert dates in Minneapolis

The R&B star will return to Target Center after wrapping a long run in Las Vegas at the Super Bowl.
Madonna teams with Twin Cities Pride on a new LGBTQ initiative at her St. Paul concert

Madonna teams with Twin Cities Pride on a new LGBTQ initiative at her St. Paul concert

TC Pride volunteers will be taking clothing and personal care donations for their Rainbow Wardrobe program Tuesday at Xcel Center.
Kills frontwoman Alison Mosshart at First Ave last year with the Dead Weather. / By Carlos Gonzalez, Star Tribune

The Big Gigs: 10 best concerts to see in Twin Cities this week

Highlights for Feb. 8-14 include Madonna, the Kills, Sarah Jarosz, Talk and an annual Bob Marley tribute.
The interior of Minneapolis' new music bar Berlin, an 85-seat venue in the North Loop modeled after European jazz clubs.

Minneapolis' new North Loop bar Berlin hopes to create a music vibe akin to its namesake city

Sound engineer Alex Proctor and restaurateur Jamie Malone are curating the intimate venue where Askov Finlayson was housed.
Guitarist and vocalist Dan Wilson of Semisonic early in their show at Icehouse in Minneapolis Wednesday night. Locally beloved rockers Semisonic warme

Minnesotan Dan Wilson is coming home 'extra appreciative' of Oscar and Grammy noms

The Semisonic frontman's weekend solo gigs precede awards show appearances with Jon Batiste and Chris Stapleton songs.
Lisa Fischer, who's toured with the Rolling Stones and Tina Turner, returns to the Dakota on her own this week.

The Big Gigs: 10 best concerts to see in the Twin Cities this week

Highlights for Feb. 1-7 include gospel and Indigenous music showcases at First Ave, Lisa Fischer, Joshua Redman and Roe Family Singers.
Alanis Morissette and Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers will set sail to St. Paul in July for the Minnesota Yacht Club festival.

Chili Peppers, Alanis top '90s-heavy lineup for first Minnesota Yacht Club Festival in St. Paul

Gwen Stefani, Black Crowes and Offspring will also play the event from Lollapalooza promoter C3, scheduled for July 19-20 on Harriet Island.
Barry Manilow

Barry Manilow confirms his 'last St. Paul concert ever' at Xcel Center in August

The Aug. 2 date will be the 80-year-old pop music hero's first time in town since his last "last" concert in 2016.
Michael Shannon, left, and Jason Narducy have teamed up before to perform classic albums in Chicago bars.

Actor Michael Shannon is 'gobsmacked' to sing R.E.M. at First Ave with indie-rock vets

The "Shape of Water" star teamed with Bob Mould bassist Jason Narducy to celebrate "Murmur's" 40th anniversary.
Lake Street Dive singer Rachel Price and Pixies frontman Black Francis each performed in recent years at Xcel Center.

Surly Field's concert run back on track in 2024 with Andrew Bird, Lake Street Dive, Pixies dates

After a downturn last summer, the brewery and partner First Ave already have five concerts booked this year, and more to come.
Alice Cooper performs at Xcel Energy Center Saturday, Nov. 15, 2014.

Rob Zombie and Alice Cooper's 'Freak' show coming Aug. 25 to the X in St. Paul

The famously macabre rock vets will be joined by openers Ministry and Filter.
Lucius singers Holly Laessig and Jess Wolfe will settle in for two nights at First Avenue marking the 10th anniversary of their debut, "Wildewoman."

The Big Gigs: 10 concerts to see in the Twin Cities this week

Highlights for Jan. 25-31 include Lucius, Cecile McLorin Salvant, Digable Planets and DJ Shadow.
Brothers Page Burkum, front left, and Jack Torrey led another warm Monday night gig at the Turf Club with the Cactus Blossoms, including guitarist Jak

Review: Cactus Blossoms' Turf Club residency remains one of the Twin Cities' best music traditions

The vintage twangers' weekly January shows at the old St. Paul watering hole still have a fresh vibe.
The Ocean Blue's lineup for the past decade features (from left) Bobby Mittan, David Schelzel, Oed Ronne and Peter Anderson.

Late '80s alt-pop band the Ocean Blue is making waves again from Minneapolis

Frontman David Schelzel found a new rhythm (and rhythm keeper) after moving to Minnesota.
Travis Scott rebounded from the tragedy of 2021's Astroworld Music Festival in Houston to land one of the biggest albums and tours of the past year.

Review: Travis Scott leans into pyro, Auto-Tune and mayhem in circus-like St. Paul gig

Saturday's sold-out Xcel Energy Center show was the Houston rapper's first in town since tragedy struck his 2021 hometown festival.
FILE - Travis Scott performs at the Astroworld Music Festival in Houston, Nov. 5, 2021. A Texas grand jury has declined to indict Travis Scott in the

The Big Gigs: 10 best concerts to see in the Twin Cities this week

Highlights for Jan. 18-24 include Travis Scott, Keb' Mo', Shelby Lynne and a tribute to Dolly.
Fans packed Avenue of the Saints Amphitheater near Des Moines last year for Hinterland, when the festival featured Zach Bryan and Bon Iver.

Iowa's Hinterland lineup may be the Upper Midwest music fest to beat in 2024

Hozier, Vampire Weekend and Noah Kahan top the schedule for the Aug. 2-4 festival near Des Moines.
The long-anticipated "Janet Jackson" features TV appearances and concerts along with interviews and home movie snippets.

Janet Jackson's Together Again Tour coming again to Xcel Center in June 2024

Nelly will fill the opening slot on the St. Paul date, which falls just a year after her previous stop there.
Eau Claire's Blue Ox Music Festival announces 2024's 10th anniversary lineup

Eau Claire's Blue Ox Music Festival announces 2024's 10th anniversary lineup

Band of Horses, Sierra Ferrell, Molly Tuttle and Leftover Salmon are on deck for the June 27-29 camp-out.
Minnesota music hero Charlie Parr announces new album, 'Little Sun,' with new collaborators

Minnesota music hero Charlie Parr announces new album, 'Little Sun,' with new collaborators

Tucker Martine produced the album, which Parr will promote with a May 3 release party at First Ave.
The Big Gigs: 10 best concerts to see in the Twin Cities this week

The Big Gigs: 10 best concerts to see in the Twin Cities this week

Highlights for Jan. 11-17 include Arcwelder, Zeitgeist, Rebirth Brass Band and Best New Bands featuring Ber.
Garrison Keillor to stage 'Prairie Home' at its old St. Paul home for 50th anniversary in July

Garrison Keillor to stage 'Prairie Home' at its old St. Paul home for 50th anniversary in July

Minnesota Public Radio is not involved in the July 13 show at the Fitzgerald Theater, one of 12 scheduled around the U.S.
Meet the other six entries in First Ave's Best New Bands of 2023 showcase

Meet the other six entries in First Ave's Best New Bands of 2023 showcase

The grab bag of buzzy newcomers in Friday's Mainroom lineup includes Ber, L.A. Buckner, Clare Doyle and Barlow.
First Ave's Best New Bands star Laamar proves you can come home again

First Ave's Best New Bands star Laamar proves you can come home again

After 14 years in New York, the folky North Side songwriter returned to Minneapolis at a pivotal time.
Trampled By Turtles during the first song of just their third show since their return to touring post-pandemic. They are, from left, Erik Berry, Ryan

Trampled by Turtles' summer love fest at Bayfront Park scheduled again for 2024

A Duluth tradition since 2013, the acoustic sextet's harborside gig also will feature Houndmouth this year.
Taylor Swift soared at U.S. Bank Stadium on June 23.

What were the best concerts you saw in 2023? Our critics name their top 20

Big-wow stadium shows by megastars ruled, but there were fireworks in smaller venues, too.
Yung Gravy, Taylor Swift and Beyoncé provided some of the most memorable moments of the year for our music critics.

Concerts wrapped: Our music critics' year-end stats for 2023

How many concerts does a professional music critic see in a year? Which venues do they frequent the most? We dove into the numbers to find out.
This image released by Geffen Records shows "Guts" by Olivia Rodrigo. (Geffen Records via AP)

What were the best albums of 2023? Our critics name their top 10

Highlights included Olivia Rodrigo, Lana Del Rey, Mitski, Paul Simon, Son Volt and Jelly Roll.
Clay Aiken and Ruben Studdard posed for a photo before a show on their concert tour, which celebrates the 20th anniversary of their “American Idol�

The Big Gigs: 11 best concerts in the Twin Cities in the next two weeks

Highlights for Dec. 28-Jan. 10 include Ruben Studdard and Clay Aiken, Soul Asylum, Rosanne Cash and Zakk Sabbath.
Cornbread Harris, Davina & the Vagabonds and Motion City Soundtrack all have New Year’s Eve gigs in town this year.

8 live music picks for New Year's Eve around the Twin Cities, depending on your mood

The mix for ringing in 2024 includes Cornbread Harris, Motion City Soundtrack, Davina and more.
Scenes from the music scene in 2023, clockwise from left: Mayyadda outdoors, Ber going “Halfway,” Run Westy Run having fun, First Ave amping up, C

Best albums and signs of life from Minnesota music scene in 2023

New venues and young talent mixed with old favorites and a post-COVID energy to keep the scene alive and well this year.
Caitlyn Smith

The Big Gigs: 10 best concerts to see in the Twin Cities this week

Highlights for Dec. 21-27 include Caitlyn Smith, the Bad Plus, Trailer Trash, Peabo Bryson and Andrew Walesch.
Fans lined up on a recent Record Store Day outside the Electric Fetus, which has been one of Minneapolis’ top record stores since 1968.

What were the Electric Fetus' top-selling albums of 2023 (besides Taylor Swift)?

Hozier and Gracie Abrams topped the list after appearing at Minneapolis' best-known record store on tour.
The inaugural River's Edge Music Festival continued for it's second day Sunday, June 24, 2012 under sunny skies on Harriet Island in St. Paul, Minn. M

Lollapalooza backers announce two-day music festival in St. Paul

C3 Presents will produce the Minnesota Yacht Club festival July 19-20 on St. Paul's Harriet Island.
Nelly headlines a bill featuring Ashanti, Ja Rule and T.I.

The Big Gigs: 10 best concerts to see in Twin Cities this week

Concert highlights for Dec. 14-20 include Nelly, Robert Glasper, Kristin Chenoweth and the Jayhawks.
Minneapolis' Armory criticized for taking 25% of bands' sales of merchandise

Minneapolis' Armory criticized for taking 25% of bands' sales of merchandise

Saturday's headliner Falling in Reverse criticized the venue over the practice, common in the concert industry.
Who's laughing now? Sibling band Durry sells out First Ave to top off 'dream come true' year

Who's laughing now? Sibling band Durry sells out First Ave to top off 'dream come true' year

Burnsville's Austin and Taryn Durry report back from a tour for their debut album, "Suburban Legend."
Review: Doja Cat dresses up in 'Scarlet' with a red-hot Ice Spice at Target Center

Review: Doja Cat dresses up in 'Scarlet' with a red-hot Ice Spice at Target Center

The "Need to Know" hitmaker sold out her first arena show in town, and proved worthy of it.
Target Field flashback: Def Leppard and Journey returning to Twins ballpark in 2024

Target Field flashback: Def Leppard and Journey returning to Twins ballpark in 2024

The Steve Miller Band will open the Aug. 19 gig, the third big rock show at the Minneapolis stadium next summer.
The Big Gigs: 10 best concerts to see in Twin Cities this week

The Big Gigs: 10 best concerts to see in Twin Cities this week

Highlights for Dec. 7-13 include Doja Cat with Ice Spice, Curtiss A's Lennon tribute, Arlo Parks, Los Lobos and Lukas Nelson.
Minneapolis power trio Arcwelder wields its first new music in 24 years

Minneapolis power trio Arcwelder wields its first new music in 24 years

The two new songs were posted Friday ahead of a Jan. 3 album release and Jan. 13 Turf Club concert.
An image from Beyoncé's concert at Allegiant Stadium on Aug. 26, 2023, in Las Vegas. (John Katsilometes/Las Vegas Review-Journal/TNS) ORG XMIT: 96569

Review: Beyoncé's 'Renaissance' might be the best superhero movie of 2023

The pop star directed the film based off her 2023 concert tour and did all the action scenes herself, too.
Taylor Swift performs Friday, June 23, 2023, at US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn. ] AARON LAVINSKY • aaron.lavinsky@startribune.com

Ready for it? Spotify names Minneapolis' most-streamed artists and songs of 2023

Taylor ruled, but Minneapolis listeners also drooled over Morgan Wallen in the streaming service's Wrapped lists.
Barbaro will promote its new album Friday at the Cedar Cultural Center. From left: Rachel Calvert, Kyle Shelstad and Jason Wells.

Out of the bluegrass: Minnesota band Barbaro crafts ethereal new LP with Bon Iver associate

"About the Winter" features a warm new sound from the band, using the same fiddle and banjo as before.
Nashville’s rising finger-picking star Sunny War hits Hopkins Center for the Arts on Saturday touting her album, “Anarchist Gospel.”

The Big Gigs: 10 best concerts to see in the Twin Cities this week

Concert highlights for Nov. 30-Dec. 6 include Sunny War, the New Standards, Luke Grimes and Pert Near Sandstone.
Micheal (Eyedea) Larsen rehearsing at his home studio in St. Paul in 2006.

Mom of late St. Paul rapper Eyedea sets up auction 'because he'd have wanted it'

Handwritten lyrics, stage passes and show flyers are among Mikey Larsen's items for sale starting Saturday.
Rapper Dwynell Roland photographed outside First Avenue and Target Center on Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2023 in Minneapolis, Minn. ] RENEE JONES SCHNEIDER •

North Minneapolis rapper Dwynell Roland rolls out new album after crucial Timberwolves call-up

His high-charged collaboration with producer Lazerbeak comes after he nearly gave up on music.
Some of First Avenue's brand new speakers hang from the ceiling during the Ike Reilly Assassination's sound check before their annual Thanksgiving Eve

Goes to 11? First Avenue quietly amps up a powerful new sound system over Thanksgiving

Fans and audio geeks praised the new L-Acoustics system, previously used by Coachella but a first for a club.
Angel Olsen performs at the 2015 Coachella Music and Arts Festival on Sunday, April 12, 2015, in Indio, Calif. (Photo by Rich Fury/Invision/AP) ORG XM

The Big Gigs: 10 best concerts to see in the Twin Cities this week

Highlights for Nov. 23-29 include Angel Olsen, Pentatonix, Atmosphere, Leo Kottke and Kat Perkins.
Annie Humphrey lives on 22 acres of Leech Lake Indian Reservation land near Deer River, Minn.

Northern Minnesota's Native folk music star Annie Humphrey comes into 'The Light'

The activist and former U.S. Marine from the Leech Lake Reservation performs Friday in Minneapolis.
The Jonas Brothers, from left, Nick Jonas, Joe Jonas and Kevin Jonas, who rocked the Minnesota State Fair in September, will return at Xcel Energy Cen

The Big Gigs: 10 best concerts to see in the Twin Cities this week

Highlights from Nov. 16-22 include Jonas Brothers, Dessa, the Eagles, Liz Phair and Dierks Bentley.
Billy Gibbons played with ZZ Top at the Minnesota State Fair grandstand in 2019 but opted to hit Treasure Island Casino during the fair’s 2024 run.

ZZ Top and Lynyrd Skynyrd to double down at Treasure Island Amphitheater next August

Both of the Southern rock bands are flying on despite losing key members in recent years.
Taylor Swift accepts the award for album of the year for "Folklore"at the 63rd annual Grammy Awards at the Los Angeles Convention Center on Sunday, Ma

Taylor Swift bejeweled again with Grammy nominations, but SZA leads the 2024 pack

Minnesotan Dan Wilson was among the nominees for his work with Jon Batiste, who also showed up in major categories.
Kesha returns to Mystic Lake Casino.

The Big Gigs: 10 concerts to see in Twin Cities this week

Highlights from Nov. 9-15 include Kesha, Billy Joel/Stevie Nicks, Jose Gonzalez and Del McCoury.
Kenny Chesney performed Saturday night at US Bank Stadium. ] AARON LAVINSKY • aaron.lavinsky@startribune.com

Kenny Chesney's No Shoes Nation returning to U.S. Bank Stadium in May with Zac Brown Band

Chesney's 2024 stop in Minneapolis will also feature "When the Sun Goes Down" collaborator Uncle Kracker.
Darius Rucker with Hootie & the Blowfish perform during the Jason Aldean: High Noon Neon Tour 2018 at SunTrust Park on Saturday, July 21, 2018, in

A Hootie summer forecast: Somerset Amphitheater and Surly Field announce first shows of 2024

Hootie & the Blowfish will hit Somerset's revamped venue in August around the same time Mt. Joy takes on Surly.
JEFF WHEELER • jwheeler@startribune.com MINNEAPOLIS - 6/9/08 - Cyndi Lauper brought her True Colors tour to Target Center in Minneapolis Monday nigh

Cyndi Lauper, Karen Carpenter docs lead the pack in this week's Sound Unseen film fest

The 24th annual movie marathon for music lovers runs Wednesday through Sunday in Minneapolis.
Wolfgang Van Halen has been a touring musician since joining his dad’s band at age 16.

Wolfgang Van Halen discusses his guitar-giant dad and Mammoth Minneapolis gigs

The newlywed son of Eddie Van Halen is fronting his own band now and coming to town twice.
Billie Joe Armstrong, lead singer of Green Day, opened with "American Idiot" as Green Day performed at the Hella Mega Tour at Target Field in Minneapo

Green Day returning to Target Field in 2024 with fellow '90s bands Smashing Pumpkins and Rancid

Billie Joe Armstrong and his band will hit the Minneapolis ballpark again Aug. 17 with a new album and a big 30th anniversary.
Minneapolis’ Tyler Burkum, second from right, is now a full-time member of Needtobreathe, led by Bear Rinehart, center.

Needtobreathe's newest band member hails from Minnesota (and the Cactus Blossoms)

Guitarist Tyler Burkum joined the Nashville-based, Armory-bound Needtobreathe before its new, Minnesota-made album, "Caves."
Lil Yachty is headed to the Fillmore Minneapolis.

The Big Gigs: 10 best concerts to see in the Twin Cities this week

Highlights for Nov. 2-8 include Lil Yachty, Judy Collins, Audra McDonald, Abraham Alexander and Mammoth WVH.
Singer Maynard James Keenan of Tool during the band's first song of their concert Tuesday night, October 31, 2023 at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.

Review: Tool sells out, fans light up as spooky metal gods hit St. Paul on Halloween

Packing Xcel Center again, Maynard James Keenan's band benefited from the holiday; and more.
Bassist John Munson, drummer Jacob Slichter, and guitarist and vocalist Dan Wilson, from left, of Semisonic early in their show at Icehouse in Minneap

Semisonic offers 'some kind of consolation' on Minnesota trio's first new LP in 22 years

"Little Bit of Sun" arrives Friday with guests including Jason Isbell and a newfound appreciation for the old band.
Scott Stapp, left, and his band Creed have been  cited by the Vikings’ Kirk Cousins as an inspiration.

As if on cue, Kirk Cousins' favorite band Creed announces Minnesota gig in 2024

Credited for the Vikings' recent surge, the "Higher" rockers will hit Treasure Island's Amphitheater in August.
Singer Bruce Dickinson with bassist Steve Harris early in Iron Maiden's set. ] JEFF WHEELER • jeff.wheeler@startribune.com

Eddie's ready again! Iron Maiden returning to St. Paul on fall 2024 tour

The British metal vets and their mascot will stop in Oct. 22 for their third Xcel Center show in seven years.
Matty Healy of The 1975 performs during the second weekend of the Austin City Limits Music Festival, Saturday, Oct. 14, 2023, at Zilker Park in Austin

Review: Matty Healy makes sense of his band the 1975 in lively Minneapolis showing

Thursday's Target Center concert by the Brits wasn't highly attended but was high-concept at times.
Chris Stapleton performs at Bourbon and Beyond Music Festival at Kentucky Exposition Center on Sunday, Sept. 18, 2022, in Louisville, Ky. (Photo by Am

Chris Stapleton taking the 'Higher' road to U.S. Bank Stadium in April

Lainey Wilson and Marcus King will open the Minneapolis concert, tickets for which go on sale Nov. 3.
Queen + Adam Lambert (whose at left, with Brian May) return for two nights in St. Paul.

The Big Gigs: 10 best concerts to see in Twin Cities this week

Highlights for Oct. 26-Nov. 1 include Queen + Adam Lambert, the 1975, Faye Webster and Ashley McBryde.