Local Current Blog

MN Music-on-a-Stick 2014: Brother Ali, Doomtree, Bob Mould, Cloud Cult, Har Mar Superstar, Cactus Blossoms to rock Minnesota State Fair Grandstand

MN Music-on-a-Stick 2013. Photo by Nate Ryan/MPR.

The Current is proud to announce the lineup of its third annual MN Music-on-a-Stick showcase at the Minnesota State Fair: Cloud Cult, Bob Mould, Doomtree, Brother Ali, Har Mar Superstar, and the Cactus Blossoms will take the Grandstand stage on Saturday, August 30.

The MN Music-on-a-Stick series, presented by the Current, gives fans a chance to see an awesome array of Minnesota music acts at the State Fair’s iconic Grandstand. Attendance at the event more than doubled between 2012 and 2013; last year’s crowd numbered 8,834. Andrea Swensson described the excitement: “Fans were pressed up on the barricade in front of the stage from the show’s very first moments, and the crowd steadily grew from that smattering of dedicated fans to a sea of bobbing faces.” (Read Andrea’s complete review, and see photos by Nate Ryan, here.)

“We’ve been proud to partner with the State Fair to help bring amazing Minnesota music to the Grandstand for the past few years,” said Jim McGuinn, the Current’s program director. “To enjoy a diverse blend of local sounds on the big stage along with your favorite food-on-a-stick is fast becoming a tradition and a perfect way to wrap up your summer during Labor Day weekend.”

MPR members will have the opportunity to purchase up to four tickets (here, password: thecurrent) at a discount price of $25 each via a presale that will run from 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, May 29 until 10:00 p.m. on Friday, May 30. Members who purchase tickets after the presale will still receive the member discount price, for up to four tickets. Tickets will go on sale to the general public (also here), at a price of $30, at noon on Saturday, May 31.

Doors will open for the concert at 3:00 p.m. on August 30, and the music will begin at 4:00 p.m. Read on for set times and a description of each of the six artists performing at this year’s Minnesota Music-on-a-Stick.

Brother Ali (10 p.m.) is one of the pillars of Minnesota hip-hop; he’s won legions of fans around the world for his smart, agile rhymes set to killer beats. Hear a 2012 performance by Brother Ali in the Current’s studios here.

Doomtree (8:45 p.m.) might just be the highest-energy crew in hip-hop, and they’ve stayed strong as a collective even while their respective solo careers have taken off. The Grandstand stage will never be the same after it’s simultaneously stormed by Dessa, Mike Mictlan, Lazerbeak, P.O.S., Cecil Otter, Paper Tiger, and Sims. Hear a 2011 performance by Doomtree in the Current’s studios here.

Bob Mould (7:25 p.m.) became a legend of Minnesota music as frontman of the seminal rockers Hüsker Dü, then went on to launch a successful solo career that’s included albums like the cult-classic 1989 Workbook and the forthcoming Beauty & Ruin. Hear a 2011 set by Mould live in our studios here, and watch a song from his 2013 Rock the Garden performance below.

For years, Cloud Cult (5:55 p.m.) have inspired fans in Minnesota and beyond with their ecstatic, bittersweet chamber pop songs. Their latest release is an acoustic live album, Unplug, culled from a series of December shows at the Southern Theater. They celebrated the release with two sold-out April shows at the Fitzgerald Theater; hear selections from those shows here.

The jet-setting Har Mar Superstar (4:50 p.m) also wowed at our ninth birthday party, riding high after reinventing himself as a soul survivor with his 2013 LP Bye Bye 17. He lent his party rocker “Tallboy” to our Schell’s The Current six-pack of local songs; download the live barnburner for free here.

The Cactus Blossoms (4 p.m.) are fresh faces with a classic country sound. Their Live at the Turf Club was widely acclaimed as one of the best local albums of 2013, and they enraptured a sold-out First Avenue crowd at our birthday party in January. Hear a 2013 performance by the Cactus Blossoms in the Current’s studios here.