This Saturday, First Avenue will host “the Main Event,” an evening packed to the gills with rising local R&B and hip-hop acts.
The show was organized by Blayr Alexander, drummer for headliners Audiyo Element. “The [aim of the] Main Event is to bring some of the most reputable groups in Minneapolis under one roof to gift a night of music,” Alexander said.
The lineup will also include Twin Cities hip-hop veterans Up Rock and instrumental funk from the New Sound Underground, among others.
The show represents something of a culmination for Audiyo Element, who only formed in August of last year but have experienced a rapid ascent through the ranks of the local music scene during that time, according to Alexander. At their outset, Alexander says he gave his bandmates an ultimatum: if they let him work as the group’s manager, he promised they would headline at the Dakota within a year.
“[W]e headlined the Dakota with Up Rock on August 11,” Alexander said. “So that was within a year.”
The Main Event’s lineup will feature the record-spinning talents of Rhymesayers associate Toki Wright, manning the wheels of steel under his “Mamadu” alias. Alexander says Wright has been something of a mentor to him, giving him good references for gigs with different groups. “You know when you meet somebody and you can just tell they’re a good individual inside and out?” Alexander said of Wright. “At 2 a.m., [if he said], ‘I need a drummer,’ I’m there.”
In organizing the Main Event, Alexander says he strove to incorporate a wide variety of sounds into its lineup. “[I looked for] a whole bunch of different styles that would work together and mesh together,” Alexander said. “It’s gonna be a powerful, powerful night of just awesome music.”
“We would like to accomplish positivity,” Alexander said. “There’s enough music out there that’s talkin’ about what’s going on in the world, and how you can handle this situation or that situation. Audiyo Element’s here to put a light on everything, put motivation back in people, put dreams back in people.”
The future looks bright for Alexander and Audiyo Element. “In January we’re planning on going into the studio to start working on our album,” Alexander said. “It’s gonna be labeled The Intro, [and] we’re planning on releasing that later next year.”
Alexander said the group also hope to begin playing shows outside of Minnesota next year.
Tickets to the Main Event are $10 in advance and $12 at the door. The concert will take place at 7:30pm. The full lineup is as follows:
New Sound Underground
Danami and the Blue
Mamadu (DJ Toki Wright)