Louisa Castner of Minneapolis

1 Love TKO: Tribute to Teddy Pendergrass, Cowles Center. This was a special evening fronted by Johnnie “JB” Brown with a 14-piece orchestra and great backup vocalists, especially Roslyn Harmon.

 

2 The Rio Summer Olympics. We get uplifted by the trumpet-driven fanfares by Leo Arnaud (“Bugler’s Dream”) and John Williams (“Olympic Fanfare and Theme”).

 

3 DavidByrne.com. This blog showcases his thoughtful reflections on wide-ranging topics — from the current election and gun control to his newest musical.

Jon Bream of the Star Tribune

1 Metallica, U.S. Bank Stadium. It wasn’t just the pulverizing, tension-and-release music but the magnificent five-section video screen and all the designed-for-Minnesota merchandise.

 

2 Kandace Springs, the Dakota. The jazz-soul singer-pianist, 27, was a knockout, with a friendly, excitable personality and musical chops and instincts beyond her years.

 

3 Shemekia Copeland, the Dakota. She’s a powerful blues/rock singer but what elevated her show to delightful was her big personality.