Night Two At Basilica Block Party with Nooky Jones, Julia Brennen, WALK THE MOON, and more!


Sunshine, a cool breeze, a cold drink and loud music – pretty much the only ingredients needed for a perfect Saturday afternoon in the Twin Cities. Once again the second day of the Basilica Block Party kicked off with a bang – there was no shortage of beautiful weather and good vibes on Saturday. There was a palpable energy in the air on Saturday around the Basilica. Summer might be short in Minnesota, but Minnesotans damn sure know how to make the most of our warmer months.

Saturday, like Friday, featured a slew of local talent like up-and-comer Julia Brennen as well as the likes of mega-stars WALK THE MOON and Gavin DeGraw. Whatever stage you found yourself hanging by on Saturday, there was guaranteed to be some great music blasting from the speakers. There was really no better way to spend a Saturday, and by the droves of people flooding through the gates of Basilica at 5:00 pm – it’s safe to say that was a shared sentiment in the Twin Cities this weekend.

Great Clips Stage

Julia Brennen

Local up-and-comer Julia Brennen kicked things off at the Great Clips Stage with a knock out performance. Her sweet & mellow voice is enough to make anyone fall in love. That paired with her pure, unabashed talent on the piano was enough to stop anyone in their tracks. This was Brennen’s first time playing with the full band but she commanded the stage and crowd with a poise beyond her years. Check TCM later this week for our interview with this up and coming star.

Ben Rector

Nashville-based Ben Rector kept the feel-good piano driven tunes going on the main stage. Rector seemed to have a special connection and energy with the crowd. Rector has always been known for his connection to his fans and that was definitely felt on Saturday. His set included Let The Good Times Roll, Loving You Is Easy and a cover of Whitney Houston’s I Want To Dance With Somebody.

Gavin DeGraw

One Tree Hill fans united around Gavin DeGraw’s set on Saturday evening. DeGraw is another one of those artist you don’t realize you probably know at least a handful of his songs. He played the infamous I Don’t Want To Be, Chariot, In Love With A Girl and newer hits such as She Sets The City on Fire. DeGraw also praised Minneapolis as a music-loving city and how great it feels to be in front of a crowd like the one as Basilica. Minnesotans known Minnesota is a damn-good state for music, but hearing from Gavin DeGraw doesn’t hurt.


WALK THE MOON has come a long way from when I first caught them playing a barely full First Avenue five summers ago. WALK THE MOON’s set was big – from the sound to the production to the energy. They came out on stage to the Circle of Life, yes as in from The Lion King. WALK THE MOON’s set included Tightrope, Lisa Baby, Lift A Car and newer hits like Shut Up and Dance and Different Colors.  Frontman Nicholas Petricca is a true showman and the crowd was eating up every bit of it.

PeferredOne Stage

Enemy Planes

The local love was strong on the PreferredOne stage for Minneapolis-based Enemy Planes. This six-piece dawned in all white had that solid rock sound that had the crowd dancing and bopping along. 

Walk Off The Earth

Walk Off The Earth is a band that we can’t quite seem to pin down. In recent years they’ve gained a massive internet following for their infectious, poppy,  partially a cappella covers of Top-40 hits. They brought their quirky and off the wall vibes to the Basilica and were truly a force to be reckoned with. Their high-energy pop rock is reminiscent of the early Black Eyed Peas (whether any of us want to admit this or not).


Best known for their smash-hit Sail, AWOLNATION also drew one of the largest crowds of the weekend. Emo, pop, rock – whatever you want to call it, there’s an undeniable mass appeal to this group. Whether or not AWOLNATION is your cup of tea, there is no denying they can rock. After one song, our photographer was out of the pit and onto the next set!

StarTribune Stage

American Housewives

Like the name implies, a bunch of 40-50 year-old rockin’ mamas. American Housewife is  Maureen Rudd and Stephanie Paquin – formerly of Space Heater. There was an undeniable charm to American Housewives’ live set – tight harmonies, catchy hooks – the perfect kickoff to Saturday at the Basilica.

,Jackson & The Roosters

The epitome of Americana Alt-Country, Jackson and The Rooster was also a solid local act rounding out Saturday’s lineup. Jackson & The Roosters have been generating some buzz on the local circuit with their feel good, stomp along tunes. After Saturday – we can hope we will see plenty more from this infectious 5-piece. Oh and if their tunes weren’t charming enough, bassist Alex Glasenapp told the most adorable about proposing to his now fiance the night before the show (she said yes).

Nooky Jones

There was really nothing not to love about Nooky Jones, Minneapolis-based six-piece. R&B funk with a dash of Motown. Nooky Jones had one of the most tangible chemistry’s, both among themselves and with the crowd. And hey – a little trombone is never a bad thing!