Jan 19

Dark Tranquility @ Triple Rock Social Club 1/16/14

Shredding Swedes

Friday night was another great evening for Twin Cities metal heads. The Triple Rock was packed to the brim for the return of the Swedish group Dark Tranquility featuring support from Insomnium. By the time I entered the venue Insomnium was already hard at work shredding up room to the delight of their fans. There were minimal amounts of maneuvering room so most of the set was enjoyed from the side of the sound board in the back. Dark Tranquility 1

If you’ve never been to the Triple Rock you probably don’t know how difficult it can be to see the stage from the back of the room. You actually have to walk down a few steps to get to the area in front of the stage, which isn’t much more than knee high off the ground when you’re standing in front of it. This gives the first few rows of people on the main floor a decent view but then the sight lines diminish fairly quickly from there.

This happened to be the first sold out Triple Rock show I’ve attended so I knew I had to get down in the front if I was to have any chance of actually viewing any of the members of the band. With the conclusion of Insomnium’s set the crowd began its usual circulation; hot, sweaty and thirsty patrons file out leaving room for the rest of us to post up for the headliner.

Dark Tranquility took the stage about 10:30 to a crowd of eager fans. There was no special introduction to the band walking on stage but it did appear as though they were genuinely happy to be on stage in front of us. Frontman Mikael Stanne greeted us enthusiastically before the band kicked off their set with ‘The Silence of Noise’ off their latest album Construct. The crowd got fired up quick starting a mosh pit straight away.

As the band moved through their catalogue, it was nice to hear the contrast between their melodic pieces and the hard riffing metal ones. This is something that Dark Tranquility does amazingly well. It was also quite interesting watching the mosh pit react to these transitions. It’s not every day you get a crazy pit going in front of a band that has such a melodic presence to their music. Dark Tranquility 2

One thing I had not realized until watching this performance was the lack of a live, touring bassist. One of the earliest things I remember about listening to this band was the bass lines that are present on the album Damage Done, particularly on the breakdown of the title track, which actually came fairly early on in the set. From that point on I was scoping out each instrument trying to figure out the exact setup. What confused me more is there were 2 songs that I distinctly remember hearing a bass part on. After a bit of research it seems that guitarist Martin Henriksson has taken over double duty as guitarist and bassist in the studio, and he certainly can’t be playing both while on tour. The lack of a bassist was hardly an issue though and never seemed to detract from the quality of the show.Dark Tranquility 3

In addition to the excellent set they treated us to, it was made explicitly clear multiple times how much the band appreciated the crowd. It’s one thing to say “this crowd is the best on the tour so far!” and it’s a completely different thing to actually mean it. I’ve never toured with a metal band so I don’t know for sure but I do believe that we do have a special music scene here and Dark Tranquility recognizes that. I can only imagine what it’s like to be from Scandinavia and tour across our huge, extremely diverse country. I can’t imagine they get that warm of a reception consistently across the entire nation.

Article by: Eric Severson
Photos by: Eric Severson

Dec 31

The Beat MPLS 2014 Year in Review

2014 was another huge year for music in the Twin Cities. It was also a big year for The Beat MPLS. It is with great pride that we will continue to bring you quality coverage of the Twin Cities’ music scene in 2015. First, let’s look back at 2014. Following you will find our core contributor’s picks for top five songs, albums, shows, and festival performances of 2014. Also included is a listing of all the interviews we conducted over the course of the past year – feel free to reminisce!

Best of 2014 Playlist

(featuring contributor’s favorite tracks of 2014)


Beat Banner Album

Top Five Albums of 2014

Alex Stahlmann (Editor-in-Chief)

  1. Love Death Immortality by The Glitch Mob
  2. How to Run Away by Slow Magic
  3. In Return by ODESZA
  4. Art Official Age by Prince
  5. Lazaretto by Jack White

Honorable Mentions: White Women by Chromeo and Year of the Caprese by Cherub

Anna Britta (Assistant Managing Editor)

  1. Lazaretto by Jack White
  2. Art Official Age by Prince
  3. BEYONCE by Beyonce*
  4. Worlds by Porter Robinson
  5. St. Vincent by St. Vincent

*Officially a 2013 end of year release.

Eric Severson (Assistant Editor)

  1. Love Death Immortality by The Glitch Mob
  2. St. Vincent by St. Vincent
  3. Lazaretto by Jack White
  4. Run the Jewels 2 by Run The Jewels
  5. Art Official Age by Prince

Dan Crittenden (Writer)

  1. Two Fold Pt. 1 by Haywyre
  2. Meraki by Opiuo
  3. The Age of Reason by Gramatik
  4. Setting for Mediocrity by Mr. Bill
  5. Recess by Skrillex

Lauren Dargus (Writer)

  1. BEYONCE by Beyonce*
  2. Take Me When You Go by Betty Who
  3. Queen of the Clouds by Tove Love
  4. ZABA by Glass Animals
  5. White Women by Chromeo

Honorable Mention: Do It Again EP by Röyksopp and Robyn

* Officially a 2013 end of year release. but with only 18 days of the year left, so this totally counts.

Ross Louwagie (Writer)

  1. Art Official Age  by Prince
  2. The Age of Reason by Gramatik
  3. Love Death Immortality by The Glitch Mob
  4. Year of the Caprese by Cherub
  5. White Women by Chromeo

Honorable Mentions: Proportions by Exmag and Who Gibbz a F#@$! EP by Gibbz




Beat Banner Song

Top Five Songs of 2014

Alex Stahlmann

  1. “Weightless” by Vaski ft. Beak Nasty
  2. “Skytoucher” by The Glitch Mob*
  3. “FUNKNROLL” by Prince
  4. “Save the Day” by College
  5. “Girls” by Slow Magic

Anna Britta

  1. “i” by Kendrick Lamar
  2. “Left Hand Free” by alt-J
  3. “High Ball Stepper” by Jack White
  4. “Uptown Funk” by Mark Ronson ft. Bruno Mars
  5. “Flawless” by Beyonce*

Honorable Mentions: “Turn Down for What” by DJ Snake and Lil Jon, “Ultraviolence” by Lana Del Ray, “Blank Space” by Taylor Swift, and “Fancy” by Iggy Izalea

*Released at the end of 2013. I added four other good ones to compensate, but let’s be honest, you can’t leave the Queen Bey out!

Eric Severson

  1. “FUNKNROLL” by Prince
  2. “Uptown Funk” by Mark Ronson ft. Bruno Mars
  3. “Oh My Darling (Don’t Cry)” by Run The Jewels
  4. “Skull Club” by The Glitch Mob
  5. “Figure it Out” by Royal Blood

Dan Crittenden

  1. “Hakuna Matata” by Vaski
  2. “Permutate” by Haywyre
  3. “It’s Just a Ride” by Gramatik
  4. “Snorkle” by Opiuo
  5. “Light Years Away” by Oliver

Lauren Dargus

  1. “Prince Johnny” by St. Vincent
  2. “Froot” by Marina & The Diamonds
  3. “Sad Machine” by Porter Robinson
  4. “Talking Body” by Tove Lo
  5. “Lost on the Way Home” by Chromeo ft. Solange

Ross Louwagie

  1. “Torture” by Gramatik ft. Eric Krasno
  2. “FUNKNROLL” by Prince
  3. “Obviously” by Gramatik ft. Cherub and Exmag
  4. “Jealous (I Ain’t With It)” by Chromeo
  5. “The Night is Young” by Big Gigantic ft. Cherub



Beat Banner Show

Top Five Shows of 2014

Alex Stahlmann

  1. Prince @ Paisley Park 3/29/14
  2. DJ Shadow and Cut Chemist @ Skyway Theatre 9/24/14
  3. The Glitch Mob @ Myth 10/16/14
  4. Widespread Panic @ Somerset Amphitheater 6/21/14
  5. Unlimited Gravity @ Minnesota Saloon 5/9/14

Anna Britta

  1. Prince @ Paisley Park 3/29/14
  2. The Glitch Mob @ Myth 10/16/14
  3. Porter Robinson @ Myth 9/25/14
  4. Betty Who @ 7th Street Entry 1/18/14
  5. Phantogram @ First Avenue 4/13/14

Eric Severson

  1. Shpongle Live @ Red Rocks Amphitheater 5/10/14
  2. The Glitch Mob @ Myth 10/16/14
  3. The Flaming Lips @ First Avenue 7/15/14
  4. Creature Carnival Tour ft. Shpongle and Beats Antique @ Myth 10/17/14
  5. Last Doomtree Blowout Ever @ First Avenue 12/13/14

Dan Crittenden

  1. DJ Shadow and Cut Chemist @ Skyway Theatre 9/24/14
  2. Grizmatik @ Myth 10/30/14
  3. Haywyre @ The Loft 2/22/14
  4. Odesza @ First Avenue 10/12/14
  5. Vaski @ First Avenue 12/20/14

Lauren Dargus

  1. On the Run Tour: Beyonce and Jay-Z @ Soldier Field 7/24/14
  2. Betty Who @ 7th Street Entry 1/18/14
  3. Porter Robinson @ Myth 9/25/14
  4. A-Track @ Muse 6/12/14
  5. Bruno Mars @ Xcel Energy Center 6/21/14

Ross Louwagie

  1. Grizmatik @ The Myth 10/30/14
  2. Prince @ Paisley Park 3/29/14
  3. Capital Cities and Cherub @ First Avenue 11/9/14
  4. Cash Cash and The Floozies @ First Avenue 7/1/14
  5. Dillon Francis @ Skyway Theatre 12/6/14


Beat Banner Festival

Top Five Festival Performances of 2014

Alex Stahlmann

  1. Jack White @ Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival
  2. Elton John @ Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival
  3. Cut Copy @ Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival
  4. Janelle Monae @ Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival
  5. Kanye West @ Made in America LA

Honorable Mentions: Classixx and Imagine Dragons both @ Made in America Festival LA

Anna Britta

  1. Jack White @ Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival
  2. Elton John @ Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival
  3. Kanye West @ Made in America Festival LA
  4. Robert DeLong @ Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival
  5. The Glitch Mob @ Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival

Eric Severson

  1. Damon Albarn @ Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival
  2. Elton John @ Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival
  3. Pretty Lights @ Voodoo Music + Arts Experience
  4. Janelle Monae @ Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival
  5. Claude Vonstroke @ Voodoo Music + Arts Experience

Dan Crittenden

  1. Gramatik @ Summer Set Music and Camping Festival
  2. Mala @ Infrasound Equinox Festival
  3. Moon Boots @ Summer Set Music and Camping Festival
  4. Mr. Bill @ Infrasound Festival
  5. ill.Gates @ Infrasound Equinox Festival

Lauren Dargus

  1. Bassnectar @ Summer Set Music and Camping Festival
  2. Chromeo @ Summer Set Music and Camping Festival
  3. Flying Lotus @ Summer Set Music and Camping Festival
  4. Cherub @ Summer Set Music and Camping Festival
  5. Big Gigantic @ Summer Set Music and Camping Festival

Ross Louwagie

  1. Elton John @ Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival
  2. Gramatik @ Summer Set Music and Camping Festival
  3. The Glitch Mob @ Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival
  4. Disclosure @ Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival
  5. Omar Souleyman @ Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival



2014 Interviews

We were honored to land and publish a several Interviews throughout 2014. Revisit our conversations:

Bass Violator

Beak Nasty and Foxy Dope

Big Poppa (video)

Bionic Motion




British Dependency (video)


Dani Deahl

Dappa Dan


Flux Pavilion


K Theory

Krooked Drivers

Late Night Radio

Mike Daum




Porter Robinson

Pot Roast




The Al Gore Rhythm Method

Uh Huh Her

Unlimited Gravity




2014 Beat MPLS Events

Throughout 2014 we collaborated with 10K Lakes Entertainment to bring four exceptional concerts to the Twin Cities. Immeasurable gratitude goes out to the artists, vendors, visual artists, venue staff, and those who attended. It was amazing gettin’ down with y’all. We have some big plans in the works for 2015!

Haywyre @ The Loft 2/22/14

Unlimited Gravity @ Minnesota Saloon 5/9/14

TAGRM + Bokken @ MInnesota Saloon 6/20/14

Filibusta @ The Loft 9/6/14

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Related Article: The Beat MPLS presents “The Best of 2013.”


Article by Alex Stahlmann

Dec 23

Bringing in 2015

2014 has been a year for the books, but it’s not over yet! If you still don’t know where you’ll be when the ball drops, we have a few suggestions. Following are the biggest and best concerts happening in the Twin Cities this NYE. Choose wisely!

riff raff nyeAn Iconic New Year’s Event

Riff Raff with Very Special Guests

Tickets: $35 GA floor / $50 GA VIP balcony / $250 Ultimate Neon New Year VIP

9PM – 2AM // 18+

Fine Line Music Café – 318 North 1st Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55401



Datsik NYE

Firepower New Year’s Eve

31st Datsik, Terrivita, Mayhem, Fox Stevenson, Bear Grillz, and more TBA

Tickets: Start at $25

7PM – 2AM // 18+

Skyway Theatre – 711 Hennepin, Ave Minneapolis, MN 55403



First Ave NYEFirst Avenue’s New Year’s Eve Danceteria

Get Cryphy, Roy Freedom, DJ Smitty, and more

Tickets: $5 before December 25th / $10 December 25 – 30th / $20 day of show

8PM – 2AM // 18+

First Avenue Mainroom – 701 North 1st Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55403



fourfistsNYEFour Fists New Year’s Eve

Four Fists (P.O.S. and Astronautalis) with Mike Mictlan and Tender Meat

Tickets: $30

8PM – 2AM // 18+

Triple Rock Social Club – 629 Cedar Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55454




Infrasound NYE 2015

30th Love and Light, Rogtrotter, Profresher, and Toffler

31st VibeSquaD, Hecka (Grimblee), Mumukshu, and Pleasure

2 day pass = $20 advance / $25 day of show

12/30 pricing = $10 advance / $15 day of show

12/31 pricing = $15 advance / $20 day of show

9PM – 2AM // 18+

The Loft – 711 Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55403



naughtyNYE-tickletortureNaughty NYE

Music by Tickle Torture and TAWST

Hosted by Lizzo

Tickets: $20        

9PM – 2AM // 18+

7th Street Entry – 701 North 1st Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55403



POLICANYEPoliça @ Turf Club (sold out)

Poliça with Marijuana Deathsquads and Allan Kingdom

Tickets: $20 (sold out)

8PM – 2Am


Turf Club – 1601 University Ave, Saint Paul, MN 55104



throdownNYEThrowdown 2 Motown

Music by Useful Jenkins, Circle of Heat, and DJ Elsewhere

Hosted by Heatbox, Alex Steele, and Reed Grimm

Tickets: $20 advance / $25 day of show

8PM – 2AM // 21+

Nomad World Pub – 501 Cedar Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55454



wookNYEWookiefoot NYE

Wookiefoot, John Wayne and The Payne, and The Limns

Tickets: $20 advance / $25 at the door

8PM – 2AM // 18+

Cabooze – 917 Cedar Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55404



Article by Alex Stahlmann


Dec 18

Vaski [Preview]

Vaski Fbook Event

Hometown hero and EDM staple, Vaski, will be hosting his final First Avenue residency show this coming Saturday (12/20). For the past nine months the Record Room residency has boasted some exceptional talent – the last will be no exception. The final “Christmas Blowout,” hosted in the Mainroon, will include the support of New York natives eSenTRIK and BENZI, aka TWRK. Also on the bill are Boombox Cartel, World Class Art Thieves, and Cfans. Simply put, the lineup is STACKED!

With his move to LA, the release of Weightless EP, his appearance at Target field, and of course his First Avenue Residency, Vaski has been busy. Saturday’s Blowout will not only be a celebration, but yet another accomplishment in a monumental 2014.

Read our March 19th “Vaski, Drunk at SXSW” Interview HERE.


Vaski Mainroom Holiday Blowout

First Avenue

701 North 1st Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55403

Tickets available HERE


vaski flyer


Article by Alex Stahlmann

Photos compliments of Hydrive

Music compliments of Vaski

Music compliments of Vaski and TheSoundYouNeed


Dec 15

Jingle Ball @ Xcel Energy Center 12/8/14

Guilty Pleasures

Jingle Ball: where the Twin Cities youth show off their sequined tops and matching braces in selfies while being sound tracked by 2014’s biggest pop hits. While that may not sound like a pleasant time for most, sometimes one must brave these brace-toothed youths for the chance to enjoy 2014’s biggest guilty pleasures in pop music.

IMG_20141208_222651058Once I discovered that both Ariana and Iggy were a part of this year’s line-up, I couldn’t refuse. A good friend and I decided to purchase the “Worst Seats in the House” behind the stage, grateful to be able to hear what these talented artists had to offer, although we might not have the luxury of actually, ya know, seeing them. When we arrived at the Xcel Energy Center we were actually blown away by our seats! Sitting high above the stage gave us a similar view to what the artists see, which was a unique and overwhelming perspective; luckily they had big screens facing our way in an attempt to make us feel less poor and more included.

Having arrived about 45 minutes late, we ended up missing the first three artists: Meghan Trainor, Becky G, and Kiesza. Lesson learned: being older and thinking you’re cool when you show up late for things can lead to missing out.

The rest of the line-up proved to be a speedy, powerhouse affair, providing short and sweet sets, giving the young crowd every pop hit they could have asked for.

Nico & Vinz: They performed their two songs featured on the radio, and sounded quite good! But I will probably never think about these two ever again. Thanks for the memories!

OneRepublic: First off, I was surprised at how early in the night they played! Their career has spanned many years with countless hits and I figured they would perform closer to the end of the night. I have never been a fan of their music, finding it overplayed and underwhelming, but I discovered that Ryan Tedder has an incredibly moving voice that truly is infectious. I caught myself singing along, thinking multiple times, “What is happening to me??” “Counting Stars“ and “Apologize” got the whole arena screaming, but nowhere near the volume that their Sam Smith “Stay with Me” cover got. Overall, I have a new-found appreciation but will not be going out of my way to listen to them.

At this point in the night we were handed lower level seat tickets behind the stage. Poor person upgrade! We went from “Holy Shit, if I fall down these stairs I’m gonna die” territory to “If I fall, there will be more people to cushion my fall; I feel safe” territory.

Shawn Mendes happened, which means bathroom and beers happened. I don’t know him and don’t intend to ever care about him.

IMG_20141208_220134681Demi Lovato: Besides glimpses on the radio, I couldn’t name a single song by her. Demi’s set ended up showcasing her strong, beautiful voice and charismatic personality, which is impressive considering how short the set was. The crowd favorite was her “Let It Go” cover, which I didn’t know was a thing before that night. Let me guess, you’re now singing “Let It Go.” You’re welcome.

Rita Ora: What a beautiful human being with a talented voice! Wait, I only blinked, she’s done now? Ok…

Jessie J: Lovin’ the outfit and the energy and the….COME BACK YOU ONLY SANG ONE SONG AND I WANNA LOVE YOU!!!

Ariana Grande: Cue my freak out. One of the benefits of sitting so close behind the stage was having the opportunity to see the artists do their pre-stage pump up stuff. I got to watch Ariana do a silly “I’m so small and adorable and silly and everyone is gonna love me” dance as Jessie J performed her one track. Donning small cat ears and a faux-fur lined skirt, Ariana took the stage with her tiny-person pep. She opened with “Problem” and I was expecting Iggy to come out and share in the fun, but her ass was nowhere to be seen. She followed up with “Love Me Harder,” minus The Weeknd, which made me realize that The Weeknd is my favorite part of that song. Apparently the sound guy REALLY loves that song, because it started two more times before the correct track “Break Free” began and the youth rejoiced. She finished up with “Bang Bang” which Jessie J returned for, and the crowd went wild. In summary, Ariana’s voice is absolutely spectacular and I was not disappointed with her performance.

I-G-G-Y: The crowd was definitely ready, if not a little sleepy, as it was nearing (my) bedtime. At first I was confused and scared she wouldn’t even perform, as Ariana was slated as the headliner during Jingle Ball promos. But do not fret! Iggy opened with “Bounce” and proved that her booty can do just that. “Problem” was performed shortly after, but wait, didn’t we just hear that from Ariana? Maybe that’s why it’s been stuck in my head for the past week. Iggy continued with “Iggy SZN,” “Beg For It,” and “Black Widow” in which Rita Ora graced us with her presence yet again and the fun they had on stage was palpable. A few more tracks and the night closed with “Fancy,” allowing all the 14 year olds the opportunity to show off they knew all the words to her pop-rap song. Iggy’s set was full of gyrating, fast words and my continual hitting the dad’s head in front of my with my dance-y hands. Sorry, Dad.

Overall, Jingle Ball 2014 was a huge night for pop music in the Twin Cities and a most enjoyable Monday night. Now excuse me, my mom is picking me up outside, I gotta go!!!


Article by Lauren Dargus

Photos by Lauren Dargus


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