Nine Inch Nails @ Xcel Energy Center



Sometimes when you go to see a band that you loved in high school 20 years ago, your expectations aren't high.  They have a tendency to not have the same power and impact.  This wasn't the case Saturday night at the Xcel Energy Centerfor Nine Inch Nails.  Touring in support of their new album 'Hesitation Marks' they played unlike a band that released their first album 24 years ago.  

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Zed's Dead / Paper Diamond @ Mill City Nights



As much as I was looking forward to this show, it ultimately was a let down.  We spent very little time listening to the main acts and spent more time down stairs listening to the local djs.  Oh well.  


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Empire of the Sun @ The State Theater



I've been hooked on Empire of the Sun since their newest album 'Ice On The Dune' came out. Then I saw a live show of theirs that was broadcast on the Palladia network, and I knew I had to see them myself. Between the poppy electronic songs and the over-the-top costumes, Empire of the Sun has the ingredients for a great live show.

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Setlist:



Pictures:
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Washed Out @ First Avenue



Washed Out made his first appearance in Minneapolis this past Thursday telling us he's not sure what took so long. He kicked off the hour long set with "Entrance" off his newest album "Paracosm". While Washed Out, real name Ernest Greene, himself played acoustic guitar, keyboard, and a drum machine, his band had all the same instruments, which included a drummer, a bass player, and keyboardist, and a guitarist. Although it seemed like everyone had a mixer or keyboard for themselves, it ended up blending very well together with each musician adding a subtle layer to each song.

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Pictures:
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Icona Pop @ Varsity Theater



My expectations were pretty low coming into this show on Tuesday night.  I had missed Icona Pop at Lollapalooza back in August, but heard the show was good, except for the huge number of teenagers making out everywhere.  I assumed, incorrectly after all, that these 2 Swedish ladies were all fluff, and riding high on a single pop hit.  Thankfully, I was wrong.

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CHVRCHES @ First Avenue



Here I thought it was strange, a band with one album, was able to play 2 sold out nights in a row at First Ave [alt-J].  Along comes Chvrches, who play a sold out night with only a couple EPs (their official full length ‘The Bones of What You Believe’ is due in a couple weeks).  However, as soon as the show started, it was easy to see why the trio from Scotland were able to pack the First Ave mainroom on a Monday night.  In fact, Lauren Mayberry (lead singer) mentioned that this was their largest headlining gig yet.  Also to note, this was actually their second time in Minneapolis, previously playing a sold out Fine Line gig.

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alt-J @ First Avenue



On one hand, it seems unusual that a band with only 1 album to their name is playing 2 sold out shows at First Avenue.  However, when you take into consideration that alt-J has already been here twice, selling out the Triple Rock, and selling out the Varsity Theater, it's doesn't seem that unreasonable.  Even more insane were the number of people still searching for tickets to either of these sold out shows.

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Flume @ First Avenue



"It's a Tuesday, what the fuck are you guys doing?!" asked Harley Streten, better known as Flume. That question perfectly sums up the unusually large and lively crowd this past Tuesday.

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Setlist:

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