Monday, March 18 First Avenue Mainroom
ANIMAL COLLECTIVE with DAN DEACON
Noisy, experimental psych rockers Animal Collective join forces with former Springfest performer Dan Deacon to play a sold out show in Minneapolis. Both have a history of unconventional live performances—Animal Collective has played entire albums of unreleased material while Deacon sometimes directs his audience in dance circles. Extensive improvisation and frequent refusal to play the hits live have made Animal Collective’s performances controversial, but the unpredictability is part of the appeal. Deacon is consistently bizarre, mixing his energetic electronica with audience participation.
Wednesday, March 20 First Avenue Mainroom
MAJOR LAZER with LUNICE and WYNTER GORDON
Although it has only been about a month since his four-city, single-day tour “Trap Hawk Down,” ubiquitous pop producer Diplo has already embarked on another tour with his dancehall project Major Lazer. Major Lazer has consistently released tropical, danceable party hits amidst experimentation with more laid back, melodic tunes (including last year’s collaboration with Dirty Projectors vocalist Amber Coffman). The Major Lazer crew has brought along Lunice (one half of break-out trap duo TNGHT) and Wynter Gordon (who had a radio pop hit like once, I think). Major Lazer’s live performances are elaborate—last tour it had giant inflatable stage props, vuvuzelas to hand out, and a zorb ball for running on top of the crowd. Shows usually involve some audience involvement and, of course, lots of twerking. But Major Lazer has much to prove on this tour: the group disappointed fans earlier in the month by pushing back the release date of its new album.
Friday, March 22 Varsity Theater
STARFUCKER with BLACKBIRD BLACKBIRD
Dance-pop electronica outfit Starfucker (STRFKR) is touring with dreamy pop breakout Blackbird Blackbird for a show that promises to be summery, synthy and danceable. Both groups re-imagine nostalgic synth-pop conventions of the 80s, adding catchy hooks and dazzling production.
Saturday, March 23 First Avenue Mainroom
LOCAL NATIVES with SUPERHUMANOIDS
Local Natives’ latest album “Hummingbird” set the bar high for indie-pop in 2013. It pulls off a sound that is light-hearted but not lacking depth—in comparison to the synthy, airy pop that has become trendy lately, it sounds bittersweet. Aaron Dessner of the National was an influential contributor to Hummingbird, inevitably instilling some of the National’s lyrical and aural melancholy in the album. The band’s live shows are reported to be just as melodic and tightly controlled as the album, keeping its smoothness and big harmonies intact.