After announcing more than 50 new concerts last week, the First Avenue team is still on a tear and just unveiled two extra-noteworthy shows Tuesday that are only a couple months off:
*Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Patti Smith will play her first scheduled post-quarantine concert at Surly Brewing Festival Field in Minneapolis on Aug. 7. One of her favorite young songwriters, Colorado's Gregory Alan Isakov, will serve as an opener. The $50 general-admission tickets go on sale Friday, with pre-sale options already under way — including early access for fans who had tickets to last year's canceled State Theatre gig.
Smith and her longtime guitarist Lenny Kaye have a long history with First Ave going back to the early-'80s when the place was still called Sam's. Their last show in town was a First Ave co-promotion at Northrop Auditorium in 2017 to perform the landmark "Horses" album in full. Smith, 74, stayed active during quarantine with a steady string of virtual performances, often for good causes. Her last one was a tribute to Bob Dylan two weeks ago for his 80th birthday.
First Ave also still has Ween booked to play outside Surly on Aug. 21, but its August date there with the Decemberists was canceled. The brewery recently reopened after being closed since November following a dispute with employees over unionization.
*Also a first post-pandemic gig (though much less surprising it's in Minneapolis): Semisonic will return to the performance ring with a two-night stand in the First Ave main room Sept. 9-10. The "Closing Time" hitmakers haven't played inside their old hometown haunt since 2017. Those tickets also go on sale Friday for $42.50.
Although spread between Los Angeles (singer/guitarist Dan Wilson), New York (drummer Jacob Slichter) and somewhere in between (bassist John Munson), the trio has remained close over the decades and finally put out its first new music in 19 years last year, a hopeful and discernibly joyous five-song EP titled "You're Not Alone."
Chris Riemenschneider • 612-673-4658