Doug Myren of Minneapolis:
1 Midnight Oil and X, First Avenue. Boomers and Gen-X-ers alike basked in the nostalgia of two outstanding shows from two iconic bands at our iconic club.
2 Marty Stuart, “Way Out West.” This Mike Campbell-produced disc is a towering achievement I can’t stop playing.
3 Grant Hart. His passing leaves a huge hole in the Hart of the Twin Cities art and music scenes. RIP to a remarkably unique and creative genius.
Jon Bream of the Star Tribune:
1 Rhiannon Giddens, the O’Shaughnessy. Her performance of American roots music was purposeful and illuminating. Highlight: her Aretha-like rendition of Patsy Cline’s “She’s Got You.”
2 “Aladdin,” the Orpheum. As the Genie, Anthony Murphy steals this delightful show by channeling Madea, RuPaul and Luther Vandross.
3 ZZ Top, Mystic Lake. Those beards, blues and humor ruled.