Local Current Blog

METRO Green Line Opening Day: Where (and when) the bands are

A test train rolls past the Current's studios. Photo by Luke Taylor/MPR.

Update: Metro Transit has announced that due to the stormy weather, outdoor events are canceled. The Current’s party at Union Depot is continuing as scheduled, taking place indoors.

June 14 is a big day for Twin Cities transit: it marks the opening of the highly anticipated Green Line connecting the downtowns of St. Paul and Minneapolis. It’s also a big day for Twin Cities music.

The Green Line will double the size of the light rail system, an enormous undertaking with an opening day of proportional size. Both cities will host free celebrations along nine stations of the Green Line to commemorate the beginning of its service (and the end of many months of planning and construction). The area will be abuzz with cultural and musical events—and they’ll be easy to attend, as Green Line rides are free for the day.

The Current will host its own celebration at the Union Depot Station in St. Paul, one of two main events. Music begins at 11 a.m., after the ribbon-cutting ceremony and inaugural run of the Green Line. The Current’s lineup features an eclectic mix: Duluth’s folk/gospel band Southwire; goofy rap from “the kid band for grown ups,” Koo Koo Kanga Roo; modern R&B group Southside Desire; heavy rock and roll from the 4onthefloor, and hip-hop collective Doomtree.

11 a.m. Southwire
12:30 p.m. Koo Koo Kanga Roo
2 p.m. Southside Desire
3:30 p.m. The 4onthefloor
5 p.m. Doomtree

But the Current’s celebration is only the beginning. We’ve complied a list of the other Green Line happenings, both along the stations and around the cities. Follow the links for full itineraries and more information.

Target Field Station: The second main event can be found at the other end of the Green Line, Target Field Station. The ceremony will run a similar schedule, with music after the inaugural train leaves the station at 10:00 a.m.

10:30 a.m. Kevin Bowe and the Okemah Prophets
11:30 a.m. Café Accordion Orchestra
12:30 p.m. Andra Suchy
1:30 p.m. Pistol Whippin Party Penguins
2:30 p.m. New Primitives

West Bank Station: Visitors to the West Bank celebration can take in Sandbox Theater, an innovative performance ensemble from Minneapolis; or listen to roots rocker Cadillac Kolstad and hip-hop group Apollo Quad. Save room for the “Taste of the West Bank,” featuring food trucks and local restaurants.

Stadium Village Station: This Vikings-themed party with face-painting, ice cream, and games will also feature music from DJ Chico Brown.

Raymond Ave. Station: This celebration promises an eclectic mix of music, art, and food celebrating the mid-city “creative enterprise zone.” Music will span from 10:00-4:00, with headliners the High Crimes and the John Rodine Band presented by Barely Brothers Records.

9:00 a.m. Nick Jordon & Mike Keyes
10:00 a.m. Broken Spokes
10:30 a.m. Chanson  Voice Academy Performers
12:00 p.m. Charlie Lawson
12:30 p.m. Inukshuk Pass
1:30 p.m. Mantra Percussion
2:00 p.m. Eddy Estrin
2:30 p.m. Barely Brothers Records presents: John Rodine Band
3:15 p.m. Barely Brothers Records presents: The High Crimes

The Dubliner Pub: This St. Paul pub puts its own spin on the opening of the Green Line with a Roast & Toast. Catch outdoor music from 1 p.m. to midnight; the pig meets the skewer at 3 p.m. The Dubliner will also be the central convening point for a Summit-sponsored “Off the Rails Pub Crawl,” with revelers enjoying $4 Summits at several bars and restaurants along the line.

1:00 p.m. Summit Stunt PI
4:00 p.m. Steve Kaul and Mykkel
7:00 p.m. Adam Stemple and John Sjogren
10:00 p.m. Tiller Black

Hamline Station: Named “The Great ‘Midway’ Get Together,” this celebration promises fair-themed fun and music presented by the Turf Club. Concerts begin at 1:00 p.m. with Twin Cities twang-rock band Pill Hill, followed by American roots group the Dirt Road Ramblers (2:00 p.m.) and Martin Devaney’s band Crossing Guards at 3:00.

Victoria St. Station: This stop will celebrate the diversity of the Rondo, Frogtown, Summit-University, and Dale Street neighborhoods, reflected in live music and dance. Performers include Kalpulli Yaocenoxtli Aztec Dancers, brass group the Midway-Frogtown Arborators Band, and Walker West Jazz Ensemble.

Western Ave. Station: This celebration entices visitors to “explore Little Mekong” with performances from cultural groups such as MU Daiko, Iny Asian Dance Theater, and Hmong Cultural Center Oeej Troupe.

Central Station: The heart of St. Paul will be filled with free live music from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Ensembles from nearby institutions McNally Smith, the Ordway, and School of Rock will perform, along with headliners GB Leighton and Tim Mahoney.

10:00 a.m. Breaking Brass from McNally Smith College of Music
10:30 a.m. X-Tet from McNally Smith College of Music
11:00 a.m. Broadway Songbook Performance from the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts
11:30 a.m. Sons of Soul
12:30 p.m. School of Rock
1:30 p.m. Tim Mahoney
3:00 p.m. GB Leighton

Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar: For this Lowertown landmark, “The End of the Line…is Just the Beginning!” In celebration of this sentiment the eatery has planned a block party along with Northern Warehouse artists and the Lowertown Entertainment District. Attendees can listen to live music from 2:00-9:00, including swing-band soul from the Maurice Jacox Band, jazz from the Zacc Harris Group, and Balkan party music from Orkestra Bez Ime.

2:00 p.m. Orkestar Bez Ime
3:00 p.m. Zak Harris Group
4:00 p.m. the Person and the People
5:15 p.m. Salsa del Soul
7:00 p.m. Pete Hennig, Brian Roessler, Brian Ziemniak and Fred Steele: Soul and Funk All-Stars
8:00 p.m. Maurice Jacox Band

Ellie Fuqua is a freshman at Macalester College. She plans to double major in international studies and media and cultural studies, and hopes to pursue journalism as a career.