Candytopia at MOA – INFO
Photo Credit: Joel Pitra
For anyone who’s ever dreamed of scoring a Golden Ticket or nibbling their way through Candyland, Candytopia transports guests to an imaginative confectionery wonderland with a one-of-a-kind immersive experience. It has amassed a huge following among guests of all ages and A-list celebrities alike including: Drew Barrymore, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jessica Biel, Bruce Willis, Adam Sandler, Kevin Durant, Josh Duhamel, Christina Aguilera, James Corden, Wiz Khalifa, Hilary Duff and Alessandra Ambrosio. Guests are treated to candy samples throughout the entire experience including sours and gummies, chocolate treats, nostalgic favorites, and many sweet surprises.
Candytopia is a peek inside the sweet and twisted world of famed celebrity candy artist, Jackie Sorkin, and it was created in partnership with her co-founders, events and production design expert Zac Hartog, CEO of ZH Productions, and retail veteran John Goodman.
Gaelic Storm at the Varsity – TICKETS
It’s hard to imagine a band just coming into their own after 20 years of success, but that’s exactly what makes a true anomaly. This multi-national, Celtic juggernaut grows stronger with each live performance, and as you can imagine, after two decades and over 2000 shows, it is a true force to be reckoned with. With their latest release, Go Climb a Tree, their music has never sounded more representative of themselves as musicians and as live performers. The band attributes their continued success to their fanatic audience, and it’s a well-diversified crowd for sure. The country-music folks adore the storytelling, the bluegrass-heads love the instrumentals, Celtic fans love their devotion to tradition, and the rockers simply relish the passion they play their instruments with. Each band member, in their own way, expresses a deep gratitude for their fans, but it’s best summed up in the words of Patrick Murphy: “The fans are the ones that have given us this life. We’re here for them.”
International Women’s Day Celebration at Hook & Ladder – TICKETS
The Hook & Ladder Theater & Lounge is proud to announce a special International Womenʼs Day Celebration featuring Sawyers Dream, Joyann Parker, Annie Mack, and Mae Simpson.
Minneapolis based Sawyers Dream is an all original band with amazing 4-part vocal harmonies. Mark Twain inspirations combine with vocal harmonies similar to those of groups such as the Mamas & the Papas, ABBA and Bread to create a unique crossblending of Americana, Folk, Soul, Pop and Rock. They will take you back to simpler times, a time of dreams, nature and human kindness. Comprised of complex instrumental arrangements and intricate four-part harmonies, this daydream trip is an echo of the past and a glimmer of hope for the new day.
“Joyann Parker is the best Twin Cities female singer youʼve never heard. Imagine a sober Janis Joplin. And thatʼs a good thing. Imagine a taller Shemekia Copeland without the my-dad-was-a-blues-star pedigree. And thatʼs a really good thing. Thereʼs pain in Parkerʼs heart – and in just about every song she writes and sings. And, onstage, the grimace on her face, the clenched fists and the ache in her roar let her listeners know that she knows hurt…Whatever she plays, Parker owns it. Sheʼs a powerful, animated blues-rock singer, capable guitarist and pianist, and a writer of praiseworthy originals.” Jon Bream – Minneapolis Star-Tribune
Annie Mack has built a reputation for writing meaningful, relate-able and inspirational songs. Live, she delivers her songs with power, soul and conviction. A dynamic vocalist and charismatic performer, she takes the audience on a journey; from velvet lined melodic depths to exciting, gritty, full bodied church hollers. A regional Powerhouse with national recognition, Annie has performed at many top festivals and venues, including The John Coltrane Jazz Festival, The Lancaster Roots and Blues Festival, The Thunder-Bay Music Festival, The Minnesota State Fair, The Twin Cities Jazz Festival, The Bayfront Blues Festival, and Buddy Guys Legends in Chicago.
Originally from Beaufort, South Carolina, Mae Simpson spent her formative years knowing that there were plans to do bigger things in life. Mae set out from the South at young age and began her musical career in Omaha, Nebraska. At the age of 21 Mae headed north to Minneapolis. By November of 2017, Mae joined her vocal and guitar talents with Jorgen Wadkins on guitar and Ricardo Romero on percussion. Influences by blues, soul, funk and folk, the trio quickly realized their collaborative efforts had a sound worth pursuing.
Yonder Mountain String Band at First Avenue – TICKETS
Yonder Mountain String Band has always played music by its own set of rules. Bending bluegrass, rock and countless other influences that the band cites, Yonder has pioneered a sound of their own. With their traditional lineup of instruments, the band may look like a traditional bluegrass band at first glance but they’ve created their own music that transcends any genre. Dave Johnston points out “What could be more pure than making your own music.” Yonder’s sound cannot be classified purely as “bluegrass” or “string music” but rather it’s an original sound created from “looking at music from [their] own experiences and doing the best job possible.” The band continues to play by their own rules on their new record The Show.
The Colorado-based foursome has crisscrossed the country over the past eleven years playing such varied settings as festivals, rock clubs, Red Rocks Amphitheater in the band’s home state, and recently the Democratic National Convention in Denver at Mile High Stadium opening for Barack Obama. Their loyal fanbase has been built from this diverse setting of music venues as fans latched on to their genre-defying original sound.
In between tours the band spent time this last year working on its fifth studio album. Set for a September 1 release on the band’s own label, The Show is the second album with rock producer Tom Rothrock (Beck, Elliott Smith, Foo Fighters). While some might scratch their heads as to why a string band would want a rock producer, this decision was a natural choice for the band. “We don’t have a lot of nostalgia for the past,” says banjo player Dave Johnston. “You shouldn’t try to recreate the 1940s. I like to think of us as informed by the past and all the great performers before us. But we also want to look forward rather than give people something that has already been perfected.”
Black Market Brass at the Entry – TICKETS
Founded in Minneapolis during the spring of 2012, BMB came together when two guitar players discovered each other’s almost identical craigslist ads aimed at starting a funk band influenced by among other things, the sounds of Fela Kuti, K Frimpong, and King Sunny Ade.
Over the next 3 years the band would relentlessly rehearse, fine tune, and develop their deeply powerful sound. What started as a funk band playing obscure covers eventually blossomed into a creative collective of musicians writing, arranging, and performing original music that builds on the sound of Nigerian Afrobeat by tastefully blending it with other styles. As time went on, the band cycled through players and material before arriving at what would become the permanent lineup and their signature sound.
Cheap Trick at Mystic Lake – TICKETS
The show will feature many of Cheap Trick’s hits including “I Want You to Want Me” and “Surrender.” The music icons will also perform “Long Time Coming,” their first single from 2017’s album We’re All Alright!
Cheap Trick has earned more than 40 international Gold and Platinum certifications, making them as vital today as ever.
All Them Witches at the Fine Line – TICKETS
By most fifth LPs, the band’s sound is pretty set. Parameters established. Refinement dissipated. You get a to-formula execution of what’s worked in the past. Fair enough. All Them Witches go a harder route. In 2017, the Nashville four-piece offered what might’ve otherwise become their own template in their fourth album (second for New West), Sleeping Through the War. It brought a larger production value thanks to oversight from producer Dave Cobb (Jason Isbell, Shooter Jennings, etc.), found them using choral vocals, expanded arrangements, bigger sounds than anything they’d done before.
They could’ve easily fallen into a pattern of watered-down clones of that record. Easily. So naturally in a year they’ve thrown it all to the Appalachian wind, turned the process completely on its head and gone the other way: recording in a cabin in Kingston Springs, about 20 miles outside of Nashville on I-40, with guitarist Ben McLeod at the helm. Self-produced. Take that, expectation. The result, mixed by Rob Schnapf (Beck, Elliott Smith, Kurt Vile), is the most intimate, human-sounding album All Them Witches have recorded and another redefinition of who they are as a band. Introducing keyboardist/percussionist Jonathan Draper to the fold with McLeod, bassist/vocalist Charles Michael Parks, Jr., and drummer/graphic artist Robby Staebler, All Them Witches’ ATW isn’t self-titled by mistake.
And if that’s not enough, the opener? Plague Vendor! The band whose music and acrobatics impressed me at Rock the Garden a few years back.