Spring is here and with it comes a flurry of events to forget about the cold season. There’s no better place to usher in springtime than the Twin City region, the beating heart of Minnesota. If you’re a lover of music, this is your chance to pay homage to the city that gave the world Prince and Bob Dylan, among many other vast talents. Minneapolis is the birthplace (and final resting place) of the late great Prince while Bob Dylan was born and brought up in nearby Duluth. Both have gone on to conquer the music world, putting Minneapolis on the music map.
Besides them, there is a host of great acts that have risen from this area, including The Replacements, who dominated the 1980s rock scene. Lizzo, who won in three categories at the 2019 Grammy Awards, started her life as an artist in Minneapolis. She, like many other budding musicians, was drawn by the city’s vibrant music scene. You can catch an excellent live performance in virtually any corner of the Twin Cities—be it at a huge amphitheater or intimate pub.
When it Comes to Music, St. Paul Brings the Heat
St. Paul may be the smaller of the Twin Cities, but it is no small fry in matters of music. From the big to the small, this city’s entertainment venues are brimming with personality and energy. This city is where you’ll find the Palace Theater, one of the more iconic music sites in the entire state. In addition to this century-old hall, you can get more intimate performances in such spots as Turf Club. This club is where many of Minnesota’s big names started, and musical greats still frequent it.
The Xcel Energy Center is one of the locality’s better-known venues. It is a vast multipurpose sports and entertainment facility that can host more than 20,000 people. They come not just to get their live music fix. Crowds also come to watch the Minnesota Wild, an NHL team, in action. Once named the best overall sports venue in the US, the X (as it’s commonly referred to) welcomes more than a million visitors through its doors every year.
You can sit at either one of four seating levels: the Lower Seating, the Bremer Bank Suite, the Upper Seating, and the RBC Wealth Management Club. Wherever you’re seated, you will enjoy the music thanks to the world-class acoustics built into the venue. And you’ll also have a view of proceedings on stage projected by a giant live video screen. Innovative theatrical lighting keeps the mood energetic throughout any gig. This year the X marks 20 years of operation, and you can bet things will be kept lively throughout 2020 as the arena celebrates this important milestone.
You had better clear your May calendar as the X will be serving up quite the treat for music lovers. On May 7, the incomparable Reba McEntire will grace the stage to belt out a selection of hits spanning her glittering 35-year career. The Queen of Country knows how to put on a show, so get your ticket, hat, and boots ready for the show.
A few days later, the X will welcome Irish pop sensation Niall Horan, formerly of One Direction. This show will be your chance to be among the first to hear him perform songs from his latest album ‘Heartbreak Weather’ (including the catchy ‘Nice to Meet Ya’) live. If you miss Niall, make sure you don’t miss The 1975. The British pop-rockers will perform on May 16 at the Xcel arena as part of their 2020 North American Tour.
Where to Lay Your Head
If you are traveling from out of town to catch an event, you will find yourself spoiled for choice in terms of accommodations. There are several decent hotels in St. Paul near Xcel Center. A stone’s throw from the X, you will find the Hyatt Place St. Paul/Downtown, which offers spacious rooms with delightfully tasteful décor along with 24-hour dining options. You will have access to a well-equipped fitness center as well as quiet spaces where you can reclaim your peace of mind.
Hampton by Hilton in downtown St. Paul is another solid choice. Located just a few minutes from the X, this four-star hotel welcomes guests with hot breakfast and free Wi-Fi. Other amenities to look forward to are the indoor pool and the business center.
Be There, or Be Square
Don’t miss this opportunity to be a part of Minnesota’s rich musical heritage this spring. Plenty is happening at the Xcel Center in May, and you have time enough to choose your gig, get tickets, and lock down your accommodations.
*Disclaimer: Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, these events may get canceled. Please check on the event’s website for further details.