Local Current Blog

Run Westy Run reuniting for show at First Avenue on December 27

Get ready for a chorus of screams from old school Minneapolis rock fans: beloved under-the-radar quintet Run Westy Run are reuniting, and they’ll play their first show in over a decade on Friday, December 27 in the First Avenue Mainroom.

Run Westy Run were regular performers at the 400 Bar back in its 1980s heyday as well as First Ave’s 7th St. Entry and the Uptown Bar. Though they quickly earned a rabid following in town—and had one of their albums produced by R.E.M.’s Peter Buck—they never were able to break out of the Twin Cities and find success outside of the Cities like their peers Soul Asylum.

“Stylistically dissimilar to all of Minneapolis’ other post-punk guitar bands, Run Westy Run restlessly ambles down its own path, casually playing around the edges of noisy blues, dissonant rock, chunky funk and twisted country,” reviewer Ira Robbins wrote in a review of Run Westy Run’s discography for Trouser Press.

The band featured three brothers at its core—Kirk, Kraig, and Kyle Johnson—playing alongside guitarist Terry Fisher, bassist Tom Merkl, and drummer Bobby Joslyn. Kraig Johnson went on to play in Golden Smog and the Jayhawks, and Kraig and Kirk regrouped with Tom Merkl in the early 2000s for a fun, funky electro side project, Iffy.

Tickets for Run Westy Run’s show in the Mainroom go on sale this Friday at noon, with a presale starting Wednesday. Find all the details on First Ave’s site.

And to prepare for this big gig, here’s a video of Run Westy Run playing First Avenue back in 1990: