Local Current Blog

Suburbs to return to the Cabooze as part of 40th Anniversary Concert Series

Steve Brantseg and Chan Poling of the Suburbs at the Current's studios. Photo by Nate Ryan/MPR.

The Cabooze has just announced a very special addition to their 40th Anniversary Concert Series: hometown heroes the Suburbs. On Sept. 27, the Suburbs will be returning to the Cabooze stage to help celebrate four decades of the iconic West Bank venue.

The Suburbs got their start in 1977 in the western suburbs of Minneapolis. In 1978, the band released The Suburbs, a nine-song, seven-inch EP, with their first full-length LP, In Combo, following in 1980. The Suburbs were known for their distinctive stage presence and new wave dance sound. They’re considered pioneers of the local indie-rock music scene and by the mid-80s had gained a following that grew from the Midwest to reach both coasts; in addition to headlining their own shows, they opened for acts including Iggy Pop and the B-52s. After three more singles, a radio hit (“Love is the Law”), and a new EP, Dream Hog, the band was then signed to Mercury Records in 1983, leaving the legendary local Twin/Tone label behind. In 1986, they signed with A&M Records and released The Suburbs.

The Suburbs broke up in 1987, though they have reunited several times. Tragedy struck the band on December 7, 2009, when guitarist Bruce Allen passed away at the age of 54. In 2013, the band released their first album in 27 years, Si Sauvage. The album’s lead single, “Turn the Radio On,” was named best local song of the year in the annual Star Tribune critics poll, and “Love is the Law” gained renewed attention when—with the band’s enthusiastic approval—it was adopted as the unofficial anthem of those supporting the legalization of gay marriage in Minnesota. Read more about the Suburbs’ career in Jon Schober’s Artist of the Month retrospective.

The Cabooze first opened in July 1974 and has since become well-known for the many artists that have graced the stage. The venue has played host to many great Minnesotan musicians including Atmosphere, the Replacements, Bob Dylan, and of course, the Suburbs.  The club can even boast that the likes of Mick Jagger and Keith Richards took the stage back in 1978, although they didn’t actually perform. To commemorate these 40 crazy years, the club has enlisted a number of bands for a concert series that continues into December.

The Suburbs play at the Cabooze in Minneapolis on September 27: doors for the 18+ open at 8:30 and music begins at 9:30. Tickets go on sale Friday, August 15 and are $15 in advance, $20 at the door.

Lillian Speakman is a student at Hamline University.