Wednesday, February 13, 2019

First Avenue's 50th Anniversary Exhibit (MN History Center + First Avenue?)

I'm sharing this little trailer (at the bottom) for this upcoming exhibit at the Minnesota History Center in St.Paul about First Avenue's 50th Anniversary.

-I'm learning about this per my wife who works at MHC, and is going to be WORKING ON this project soon, per she mentioned about it to me, and shared the below trailer on Facebook.

-First Avenue launched in 1970 (I believe it was Joe Cocker who played the 1st concert per there's a photo on the wall at The Depot restaurant that shows/notes this). So the 50th Anniversary is actually in 2020, but I guess technically 2019 is the 50th Year. Although if you include the period of time they were closed in the 2000's. not quite.

May 4th it opens, which beyond being Star Wars day, is also my wife's Birthday (and she hates Star Wars by the way, and was born before Star Wars existed).

The Exhibit will be at The Minnesota History Center, but I'm not sure if there also will be something else held at First Avenue itself (or it may just be advertised there, and there may be something else actually there for the 50th Anniversary).

First Avenue, a venue I have very mixed feelings about at best, but will admit in the last decade, I do prefer sometimes over other venues.

The History?

well my personal History is, I've probably attended 100 or more concerts there, maybe more like 200+ if you include The Entry.

I'm pretty sure The 1st time I did attend a concert there was seeing Dream Theater with Big Wreck in 1997. My 1st Dream Theater concert actually, which made it a rather big deal.

But before that, I was highly repulsed by the vibe, social, clique-ish/dance-night nature of First Avenue. Maybe that was a little premature, but why I have and probably always will have mixed feelings about this place.

But I can't argue with First Avenue being Minnesota's most well known and history music venue at least at the Club level and beyond maybe Paisley Park and maybe some Bob Dylan thing is the most iconic place to celebrate the history of  Rock and Pop Music in Minnesota (Purple Rain  the film and Prince probably have a lot to do with that).

So my wife is going to get to see a ton of the stuff that will go into this exhibit before it opens in May. It made me think or at least wonder what were my favorite shows ever there and what shows happened there that I did not get to see?

Of course my choices will be Prog shows mostly and First Avenue and its hipster approach and part of why I have had issues with First Avenue beyond their recently monopolizing the ownership/promotion and buying out other venues in this town, is their lack of respect for Prog and Metal; per bands like dredg, Porcupine Tree (+ Steven Wilson) and Fair to Midland never played The Main Room when they could and should have.

But that being said, here's my lists of favorites and missed.

Favorite 22 Concerts at First Avenue/7th Street Entry(that I can think of/find right now)

-Mutemath (3) 10/17/09, 2/18/12 (with As Tall as Lions), 4/3/16
-Foals  5/20/13
-Local Natives (2) 10/1/10, 3/23/13
-Victor Wooten Band 8/26/02
-School of Seven Bells (3) 7th Street Entry 10/13/09, 9/19/10, 1/24/11
-Cloud Cult 11/18/2010
-The Dear Hunter (3) First Ave/7th Street Entry 4/23/07, 4/14/13, 3/03/18 (with Coheed and Cambria)
-Mayer Hawthorne (2) 5/18/12, 2/13/14
-The Family Crest (2) 7th Street Entry 6/6/14 (with Mother Falcon) ,7/6/15
-Godspeed You Black Emperor 2/11/16
-Dream Theater 11/2/97 (with Big Wreck)
-King's X 11/05/01
-St. Vincent  7th Street Entry 7/24/07

Top 5 Concerts that happened that I didn't get to attend

-Marillion September 26, 1987 (the last time they played in Minnesota)
-Jellyfish July 6, 1993
-Oceansize June 13, 2004 (7th Street Entry)
-Spock's Beard May 23,1999
-Silverchair August 5, 2007

U2 among others also could be considered. First Avenue: Stories of Minnesota's Mainroom is an exhibit that opens at the Minnesota History Center on May 4, 2019.  Since 1970, First Avenue and 7th Street Entry have been at the heart of the Minnesota music scene. The First Avenue Exhibit takes you inside the scenes, sounds, and stories of a landmark club that put Minneapolis music on the map. Through the lens of music, discover how First Avenue, its staff, and the Minneapolis music scene have changed over five decades. First Avenue venue video used in this trailer by Minnesota Public Radio.  © 2019 Minnesota Public Radio®.  Used with permission.   All rights reserved.