The official start of Spring may be less than a month away, but these are truly the dog days of what’s turned out to be a pretty frigid winter season. Even W♥M Head Ringmaster Vu, mostly refuses to venture out for these months, and the bands that are daring to tour, are dramatically less in number than in the warmer months.
So with that, we optimistically look ahead at just a few of the upcoming season’s highlights:
This month means SXSW or the South by Southwest Festival in Austin, TX, which brings together multitudes of bands March 17-22. Thankfully, several of these bands decide to make a short tour out of getting-to, and going-from SXSW, meaning many of them book an area performance.
Just a few of these acts include The Church, The Twilight Sad, Gang of Four, and The Ting Tings, among the almost 1,000 acts playing in Austin for those few days and are also making a local appearance in March.
Promotional-related appearances have even reached this far north, with SXSW-bound Delta Spirit headlining a free but invite-only intimate show sponsored by Lagunitas beer on March 12, and upstart alternative station Go 96.3 holding their first station-sponsored concert the next night (March 13) with New Politics, Banks, and K Flay.
April means Coachella, a massive music festival in the desert of Indio, CA that has recently expanded to two separate weekends. Like SXSW, many bands schedule touring coming or going to the West Coast and Minnesota benefits from some of that. Clean Bandit, George Ezra, Glass Animals, Father John Misty and Milky Chance are just a few of the bands making a local stop en route.
Northern Invasion (09 May 2015)
Local hip-hop collective Rhymesayers bring its more-successful-than-ever Soundset back to Canterbury Park on May 24, with act details announcing soon.
Bonnaroo is a growing music festival in Manchester, TN happening June 11-14, and like Coachella and SXSW, fingers are crossed that MN gets a few of those key acts in transit.
Blue Ox Music Festival (11-13 June 2015)
Rock the Garden returns to the Walker Art Center as a two-day affair June 20/21, with acts to be announced on-air March 31st. Wishful thinking says Alabama Shakes, Run the Jewels, and Florence + the Machine would be great additions, though it’s all pure speculation.
Twin Cities Jazz Festival (25-27 June 2015)
Taste of Minnesota recently decided to return to last year’s site of Waconia and will be held July 2-5, with a roster of acts expected to be announced soon.
The annual Basilica Block Party is scheduled for July 10/11 and typically features a diverse range of alternative acts over its two main stages, with local acts on a third stage. Jason Isbell was briefly listed as a performer (an artist the sponsoring radio station doesn’t even play), but the listing was removed with full announcements expected late next month.
Eaux Claires Music & Arts Festival (17-18 July 2015)
The annual Vans Warped Tour returns on July 26 at Canterbury Park, with Blessthefall, Splitbreed, and Family Force 5 among the dozens of bands performing.
Lollapalooza happens in Chicago on July 31- August 2nd, and with its close proximity to Minneapolis, expect several of the bands playing there, to make a stop here. Acts to be announced.
Summer Set (14-16 August 2015)
Chipotle recently announced its free Cultivate Festival is returning on August 22, headlined by Walk the Moon, who has a two-night already upcoming in March at First Avenue, with other acts to be announced.
The end of the month brings the last days of summer and the glorious twelve days of the Minnesota State Fair, running August 27-Sept 7. In addition to the Grandstand evening shows (some already announced include Carrie Underwood, Def Leppard, and Alan Jackson, with more TBA) most of the artists on the free Leinie Lodge Bandshell have leaked out. Look forward to two-night stands from Pine Leaf Boys, Sonny Knight and the Lakers, ex-Foreigner vocalist Lou Gramm, swamp blues guitarist Kenny Neal, and just maybe, Merle Haggard.
TBD (and rumors)
Will this finally be the year the First Avenue Festival gets off the ground, after a couple years of delays due to bookings and logistics?
Rumors are that Target Field is working on a non-country show to be booked in sometime this summer. As much as I’d like it to be AC/DC and/or The Rolling Stones, who have both announced summer stadium tours, it will more likely be along the lines of Jimmy Buffet, who’s heading out this summer as well.
We ended up loving the first Festival Palomino experience, held last September as a Trampled by Turtles curated festival, and despite the bad weather that chased 10,000 people indoors for two hours we hope it returns again.
Prince has had two new albums out for some time (with no real tour that followed), and a deal with Warner Brothers that returned his masters of the classic songs to him. 2015 is perfect timing to re-establish himself on the concert stage and fingers are crossed that he does something completely memorable locally.
Could 2015 mark the long-awaited return of Jack White (who hasn’t come to town since a two-night stand in 2005 with The White Stripes)?
With this just being the tip of the concert iceberg ahead (expect the unexpected shows too) and warmer days within sight, it’s hard NOT to get excited about live music in the upcoming months.
♥♥♥We Heart Music will do our best to bring you all the details and reports! ♥♥♥