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Vince Staples

Saw a lot of live music this year, with well over 100 different bands represented.  These were the best of the bunch:

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25

May

2015

Photo Review: Soundset 2015

By Craig McManus. Posted in Concert Review, Hip Hop, Rap | No Comments »
Ice Cube

Ice Cube

On May 24, 2015, Soundset again brought together a fantastic combo of up and coming artists and hip hop’s OGs (as well as the genre’s biggest seller at the moment) for one day in Minnesota.  It’s remarkable how huge Soundset has become over the last several years (Sway Calloway, on hand once again to host the main stage, even noted without pandering it’s become the biggest hip hop festival in the world), and this year once again saw a 30,000+ sell out.  Unfortunately, the weather didn’t cooperate as much as last year with a light rain falling almost all day, but it never fell hard enough to be more than an irritant and the crowd didn’t really seem to mind too much.  Check below the fold photo highlights, and our Facebook page for more shots.

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facadeWhat good fortune! How many of us – whatever kind of music we listen to – ever get the chance to hear two of our favourite recent albums performed in their entirety, live, on the same evening, in a single venue? And this as just part of a two-day event with plenty more wonderful music, from brand-new pieces to beloved classics. Bang on a Can came to Dublin, and the weather improved too.

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Chance the Rapper

Chance the Rapper at Soundset 2014

I love live music.  There are few things in this world I enjoy more than going to a show and seeing an artist interpret their music in a live setting, so I get to as many shows as I can.  In 2014 that means I’ve seen 88 different sets of music (with several more on the calendar before the year changes).  Of those 88 sets, these are the 15 best:

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27

May

2014

Photo Review: Soundset 2014

By Craig McManus. Posted in Concert Review, Hip Hop, Rap | No Comments »

Soundset 2014

Once again, Sunday of Memorial Day weekend meant Rhymesayers Entertainment’s Soundset festival at Canterbury Park in Shakopee, Minnesota.  2014 saw Soundset sell out its 30,000 tickets for the first time through advance ticket sales, and the massive crowd was treated to a perfect day of hip hop both with regards to the weather (highs in the upper 70s and partly sunny) and the music (from classics like Nas and Cypress Hill to a fresh from jail Wiz Khalifa).  Head below for a photo review of the day (more photos are available on MiG’s Facebook), and check back in the next couple of days for MiG interviews with Lizzo w/Lazerbeak and Allan Kingdom.

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Lucius in Minnesota Public Radio's UBS Forum

Lucius in Minnesota Public Radio’s UBS Forum

Indie pop band Lucius has been on a long tour in support of their debut album Wildewoman, which has brought them to the Twin Cities on a couple different occasions (if they perform near you…GO).  This trip through they are playing a sold out show at The Cedar this evening, but found time this afternoon to stop by The Current for an in studio performance in Minnesota Public Radio’s UBS Forum.  I was lucky enough to get to go and I brought my camera.  More photos are available on MiG’s Facebook page.

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SONY DSC

There are only a few things in this world I love more than seeing live music.  I’ve actually kept a list of every artist I’ve ever seen (the first entry is for Dino), along with a grade for the performance and a few words about the show.  While I don’t get to as many shows as I’d like, I was able to see 48 different sets by 46 different artists in 2013.  So I thought I’d give a Top 5 live performances for this year.

Before getting into the Top 5, though, here are some other performances that I want to highlight:

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Savages

Every year the Twin Cities benefits from Pitchfork Music Festival being in Chicago when several of the bands add a stop on their way to or from Chicago.  This year that meant the first local date for the ferocious post punk buzz band of the moment Savages.

The show was at the 400 person capacity Triple Rock Social Club in Minneapolis, and sold out so quickly (despite shows at the Triple Rock selling out rarely enough that a sign on the door announced “Tonight’s show is completely sold out.  Seriously.”) that a return date has already been added at the 1,500 capacity First Avenue Mainroom in September.  If you read nothing else of this review, read this: See them now before the rooms get even bigger.

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27

May

2013

Photo Review: Soundset 2013

By Craig McManus. Posted in Concert Review, Hip Hop, Rap | No Comments »

SONY DSC

Memorial Day weekend in the Twin Cities brings independent hip hop label Rhymesayers Entertainment’s Soundset festival to Canterbury Park in Shakopee.  This year’s festival promised to be the largest yet with headlining act Snoop Dogg supported by Rhymesayers’ artists Atmosphere, Brother Ali, Aesop Rock, and P.O.S, plus national acts Mac Miller, Tech N9ne, Juicy J, and Schoolboy Q among others.  Also on the bill was the great Busta Rhymes, but for reasons as yet unexplained, Busta did not show for the festival.  Neither that disappointment nor the unseasonably cool weather and strong winds, though, failed to dampen the spirits of the 28,000+ hip hop fans who turned out for the show.

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Prince Tickets

As Atmosphere noted in their song “Shhh”, there isn’t a lot to brag about in Minnesota.  It’s cold, there aren’t really any tourist destinations (sorry Mary Tyler Moore statue) and the popular sports teams are varying levels of terrible.  One thing we do have, though, is the Purple Yoda himself: Prince.  Prince Rogers Nelson was born in Minneapolis and while he has lived outside the state, Minnesota has always been his home.  That said, Prince hasn’t performed in Minnesota since a run of three shows at various venues in 2007.

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