Weekend Picks: Outdoor concerts, a block party, and Romeo and Juliet with a twist
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Weekend Picks: Outdoor concerts, a block party, and Romeo and Juliet with a twist

May 24, 2023

Plus: Palmfest brings music to the West Bank; Kashmina releases new album; new performance art installation explores the synchronized flight of birds; and more.

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Outdoor concerts and shows reign here in Minnesota in the thick of summer. At Somerset Amphitheater, local hip hop group Atmosphere performs with a mix of reggae, ska alternative and eclectic mashup music groups, while a whole slew of local bands rock out at Palmfest. Pillsbury House + Theater imagines abolition in its second annual Inside Out block party, and Kashimana sings of parenthood at the Cedar. Pangea premieres a new installation by Gabrielle Civil and Ellen Marie Hinchcliffe, and Mixed Precipitation brings back the Pickup Truck Opera tour this year, bringing the story of Romeo and Juliet to life through classic and modern music.

Atmosphere with Sublime with Rome, Slightly Stoopid and The Movement

Minneapolis hip-hop duo Atmosphere is heading to Somerset Amphitheater, located Northeast of Stillwater across the Wisconsin border. Members Slug (rapper Sean Daley) and Ant (producer Anthony Davis), just released their 13th studio album, “So Many Other Realities Exist Simultaneously,” (SMORE) an album that works out the anxiety of the last few years through the duo’s blend of poetry and beats. They’re also near to the release of their mixtape, Sad Clown Bad Dub 2, which comes out next month. You can check them out along with Sublime With Rome, a ska alternative rock group from California, and the San Diego-based Slightly Stoopid. Reggae band, The Movement, will also perform. Thursday, July 27 at 5 p.m. at Somerset Amphitheater, ($29.50-$145). More information here.

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A new performance art installation at Pangea World Theater takes its title from the way that birds— usually starlings— fly together and change direction together in synchronous, mesmerizing cohesion. Writer adrienne maree brown has used the concept of murmurations as a metaphor for organizing.

“My dream is a movement with such deep trust that we move as a murmuration,” brown wrote in the book “Emergent Strategy.” “[T]he way groups of starlings billow, dive, spin, dance collectively through the air — to avoid predators, and, it also seems, to pass time in the most beautiful way possible.”

Performance artists Gabrielle Civil and Ellen Marie Hinchcliffe now offer their own investigation on community, which they are presenting this weekend. They are joined by artists Keegan Xavi, Douglas Ewart, Rebecca Percy and others. Tickets are sold out for Friday, July 28 but some remain for Saturday, July 29 at 7:30 p.m. at Pangea World Theater. ($10-20). More information here.

Four years ago, Kashimana began working on the music for their latest album, “Phantom Cries,” with support from the 2019 Cedar Commissions. The work touches on childbirth and the journey of becoming a parent, painted through through the Nigerian-born, Minnesota-based folk/soul artist’s raw vocals and emotional lyrics. Spoken word artist ShaVunda Brown opens. Friday, July 28 at 8 p.m. at the Cedar. More information here.


Relish in the West Bank vibe at the annual Cedar Riverside shindig, Palmfest. It’s two days of Minneapolis music from some of the best the Twin Cities has to offer. Rock out to The Sex Rays and Cindy Lawson, celebrate the brilliance of Cornbread Harris and Friends, move your body to Theyself, and enjoy one of the best patios in the city. Saturday, July 29 from 1 p.m. to 1:30 a.m., Sunday, July 29 from 1 p.m. to 11 p.m. ($10). More information here.

Pillsbury House + Theatre and KRSM Radio draws inspiration from local author Junauda Petrus’ new picture book, “Can We Please Give the Police Department to the Grandmothers?” for the second annual Inside Out Block Party. Petrus’s picture book, which is based on the writer’s poem of the same title about police abolition, features illustrations by Kristen Uroda. For the event, neighbors will share food from the Public Functionary Cafe and community activities like a sound bath, roller skating, music from KRSM, and more. Saturday, July 29 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Pillsbury House + Theatre. More information here.

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Pickup Truck Opera: Romeo and Juliet

Mixed Precipitation takes on Vincenzo Bellini’s 1830 opera, “I Capuleti e i Montecchi” (The Capulets and the Montagues) and smashes it up with the music of Fleetwood Mac, The Fugees and the Pixies in this modern-day telling. Juliet and Romeo are influencers in different spheres, coming together in a world full of turmoil. Tragedy, comedy and great tunes converge in this punk and rock opera mashup. The show previews this Saturday, July 29 and opens Sunday, July 30, both shows at 5 p.m. at Loppet Trailhead. It then tours to various locations through September 10 ($5-$45). More information here.

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Sheila Regan is a Twin Cities-based arts journalist. She writes MinnPost’s twice-weekly Artscape column. She can be reached at [email protected].

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