MUSIC REVIEW | Usher's #URXTOUR elicits fun at the Xcel Energy Center

Photos By: 
Patrick Dunn

Photos by Patrick Dunn

When I sit down to try to gather my thoughts to describe last night’s Usher show at St. Paul’s Xcel Energy Center, only the most idiotic exclamations come to mind.

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Garth Brooks: Well worth the hour wait

Country music star Garth Brooks and his stunning wife Trisha Yearwood came to Minneapolis with a boom.

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Sergei Rachmaninoff's interdenominational concert "All-Night Vigil" rocks the pews

Teri Larson (center podium) and Sara Ann Pogorely lead the combined choral ensemble in Rachmaninoff's All-Night Vigil. Photo by Emily Pilacinski

More than a hundred choristers gathered on Nov. 16 for two performances of Sergei Rachmaninoff’s All-Night Vigil in Minneapolis. This renowned but rarely heard choral masterwork packed pews and was brought to life through a joint venture between the city’s (Catholic) Basilica of Saint Mary and St. Mary’s Orthodox Cathedral.

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Ars Nova performs at Mill City Nights, Covenant shares his passion for music

(Photo by Gino Terrell) Covenant, member of Ars Nova, performing at Mill City Night on Nov. 8 at the  "Long Live the Empire: Feed the People Show."

Ars Nova performed at Mill City Nights in Minneapolis on Saturday, Nov. 8, and a member of the group, Covenant, shared his passion for making music.

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MUSIC REVIEW | Richard Goode tickles the ivory at Schubert Club's International Artist Series

Photo courtesy Richard Goode

The measure of music and musicians is not just in the notes that are played, but also in the spaces between. A melody rendered with too much space becomes clunky and stilted; an Alberti bass line with too much, smeared and lost in a cloud. When just the right balance is found for a passage, piece, or repertoire, though, the notes begin to sing. How much space is appropriate depends on the instrument, the hall, the dynamics of a passage, and even the articulation of a phrase or a single note—but it is artistry that makes all the difference. This intricate attention to detail suffused Richard Goode’s piano recital at the Ordway on Tuesday, November 11.

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MUSIC REVIEW | St Paul Chamber Orchestra's "For Love of Nature" an awakening of cheerful feelings for kids and parents

Photos by Ann Treacy

I like orchestra music—about once every three years. The music is beautiful. It’s very relaxing. But I always feel like maybe I’m not quite getting it. And to be fair, I rarely like entertainment where you're expected to sit quietly for hours. But I happened to get an email invitation to the St Paul Chamber Orchestra's (SPCO) free family concert, For the Love of Nature. I looked at the calendar and realized, it’s been about three years. It’s a perfect chance to get my healthy dose of grownup music spun for kids.

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Warm welcome for Open Mic at The Nicollet

Taking the stage to share a song, poem, joke or story with a room full of strangers can be quite intimidating. But there has been no shortage of willing participants at The Nicollet’s Open Mic Nights that I’ve attended. The talent has been plentiful, colorful, and as eclectic as the art adorning the café’s walls.  

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Father and son give the audience at Honey a sweet tooth with their live performance in Minneapolis

(Photo by Gino Terrell) Ellis Cleve (front) performing with his father John Richardson (behind) at Honey in Minneapolis on October 25, 2014.

“One more, one more, one more,” the crowd at Honey chanted after music artist Ellis Cleve performed his final song, which was a cover to Montell Jordan’s classic hit, “This Is How We Do It.”

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Jillette Johnson opens for Mary Lambert at the Fine Line Music Cafe on Saturday, November 1

Saturday, November 1st, burgeoning singer-songwriter Jillette Johnson will be opening for Mary Lambert at the Fine Line Music Cafe in Minneapolis. Johnson's debut album, Water in a Whale, was released in June 2013 on Wind-up Records. The album features catchy pop songs like "Torpedo" and "Heathen," as well as the poignant "Cameron" which tells the story of a young boy grappling with his transgender identity. Johnson's lyrics are honest and self-reflective, which sets the stage seamlessly for Mary Lambert's fearless authenticity.

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MUSIC PHOTOS | Mayda at New Century Sessions

Photos by Emmerlee Sherman

The New Century Sessions on October 29 opened with Mu Daiko, an innovative Japanese-style taiko drumming ensemble based in the Twin Cities. The ensemble plays new compositions, and infuses traditional melodies into its ever-expanding repertoire. Different members of the ensemble performed with Mayda for a few songs throughout the evening.

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