After calling off their popular Blowout concerts last December, members of the Twin Cities hip-hop farm team Doomtree are calling on fans to head out to St. Paul’s new minor league ballpark on Oct. 3 for a one-day festival they hope will become another annual get-together.
Dubbed the Doomtree Zoo, the eight-hour affair will be the second concert held at CHS Field – the St. Paul Saints’ new home in Lowertown – after a well-received Dr. John performance there during last month’s Twin Cities Jazz Festival. Unlike at the Dr. John show, though, fans will get to spread out on the ballpark’s cush new grass and spend a good chunk of the day there.
Other acts scheduled to perform include fellow indie-rap stars Aesop Rock with Rob Sonic and Open Mike Eagle, Los Angeles hardcore band Trash Talk, experimental Sub Pop hip-hop act Shabazz Palaces and Twin Cities cohorts Aby Wolf, Anonymous Choir and Koo Koo Kanga Roo. Doomtree, of course, will headline, topping off a steady year of touring behind their third all-crew album, "All Hands."
Tickets go on sale Saturday at 11 a.m. via Doomtree.net for $35. Diehard fans can also buy into the $100 “Baller Passes,” which provide access to Doomtree’s sound check, a Q&A with the group and the stadium’s VIP area.
Doomtree producer/beatmaker Lazerbeak -- who has been planning the event from the home office while the rest of the group toured Europe and America in recent months – said the crew looked at several prospective sites to host the big bash in St. Paul but immediately fell in love with CHS Field, which just opened in May at a price tag of about $62 million.
“When we walked into the stadium, it was just kind of a ‘ta-dah!’ moment,” said Lazerbeak (Aaron Mader), who pointed to Anonymous Choir, Koo Koo Kanga Roo and Heart of the Beast Puppet Theater for plans to “spread the fun all over the ballpark with pop-up shows and other clever ways to incorporate the different areas.”
Joe Spencer, cultural liaison for St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman, took the Doomtree members around the other possible fest sites but agreed the new ballpark would be best. The stadium can hold up to about 15,000 fans, but the layout is such it could also work great for a turnout of 5,000-8,000. Last year’s three sold-out Blowout concerts at First Avenue sold about 7,000 tickets in the end.
“They were looking at more DIY parcels of land, but at CHS Field they have all the infrastructure already in place and can focus more on the creative side of things than the mundane details,” Spencer said. “I think it’s going to work very well, and we certainly all hope it’s going to become an annual event.”
Of course, the one quotient the ballpark leaves unknown is how the weather will turn out for what will daringly now be the last major outdoor music event of the year. It could be gorgeous the first weekend of October, or it could be – well, a blowout.
Remembering the year fans showed up to the Blowout at First Avenue when a snowstorm shut down the city, Lazerbeak said, “We certainly hope it’ll be a nice day, but I think our fans can handle whatever is thrown at them.”