Now that summer classes have kicked in, many of us find ourselves looking for inexpensive ways to enjoy the music culture Minneapolis has to offer. Why not save money and soak up this season’s tunes, by attending the Summer Music Festival at Northrop? The first concert of the 2012 series kicks off on June 8, atop the good ol’ Northrop Plaza, with headliner Haley Bonar. If you’re in the know about the Minneapolis folk/indie/alternative scene, then you’ve already seen the redhead around town and know of her poetic lyrics (after all, she did study to be an English teacher). Gear up for this night by checking out the opening groups Brute Heart, who City Pages voted best female vocalist in 2012, and Reina del Cid and the Cidizens, another local folk/pop band, made up of recent University of Minnesota grads.
The next Friday night show is Latin themed, so shine your dancin’ shoes for the nights’ main attraction, Salsa del Soul, playing on June 22. This eight-person orchestra has been known to show off their Caribbean roots in their performance, which makes for upbeat, high-energy entertainment. Michael Hauser & A Touch of Spain will steam things up at the beginning of the night by demonstrating the Spanish folk art, Flamenco, a style that Hauser himself has performed in Europe and the far east. To end the night, KFAI’s Radio Pocho DJ Miguel Vargas will provide us with dance beats that’ll make you glad you wore comfy shoes.
The next Friday night show will be a hip-hop night to remember, as Northrop welcomes “genre-busters” Culture Cry Wolf, and rapper MaLLy to the Plaza on July 13. Culture Cry Wolf is a hip-hop group based out of Minneapolis, that incorporate a variety of styles — cumbia, doo-wop, ska, and punkno — into their sets. Rapper MaLLy, is another rising star that is no stranger to the Minneapolis scene. City Pages recently voted him best hip-hop artist. The night ends with the beats of party rocker DJ Fundo.
Let us not forget the cherished noon concerts on the SMFN series, starting June 13 with the Adam Meckler Orchestra. This 18 piece band (including U of M students and recent graduates) is one of the Twin Cities’ only jazz big bands that play all original music, their sound influenced mostly by pop, modern, and gospel music. Performing on June 27 is soulful indie-rocker Alison Scott with her all-star band. Jump ahead to July 18, and The Premiums, a group of funky lads who just recently moved here from Wisconsin, bring their passion for groove and funk music. On July 27, Voices Merging will host A Splash of Summer, an open mic night run by the student organization and open to anyone who wants to share their words. Last, but definitely not least, we welcome the Sans Souci Quartet on the first of August. This quartet combines bluegrass with rock, folk, and innovation, and uses an authentic and traditional sound to make for a unique and refreshing style.
Well, there you have it. The Summer Music Festival at Northrop is underway, so come out and rock the mall with us!
~Rachel Hauser, Northrop Marketing & Publicity Intern, SMFN Student Advisory Committee
(Image credit: Carla Schleicher)