As the weather begins to cool, the leaves turn orange and the days grow shorter and for some, school starts again. Just because summer is over, however, doesn’t mean the fun will end. Summer can also mean expensive vacations, lots of birthdays and plenty of outdoor activities, concerts and patios to deplete your savings. For those in school, well, books for the semester alone cost a fortune. Just because the sun disappears at an earlier hour and you might need to put on a jacket, doesn’t mean you can’t still have fun for cheap. The Twin Cities offer dozens of quality music venues that feel your pain and offer some truly great music for not much more than the change in your pocket. This fall, keep the party going without breaking the bank by checking out the following shows.
First Avenue Presents Porcelain Raft
Triple Rock Social Club
629 Cedar Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55454
Date: Sept. 14, 2013
The Triple Rock takes advantage of First Avenue’s incredible booking quite often, featuring at least a couple shows every week for $15 or less. A great place in general for reasonably priced music, the the hard-hitting Porcelain Raft is one show that is really worth the $10 price tag. The rockers will be making a stop in Minneapolis during their national tour, before heading to Europe, and you won’t want to miss the wailing guitars, high-energy vocals and onstage antics that the live show promises. Added bonus: the Triple Rock makes drinks that are strong and cheap, so you can keep the bar tab low as well.
1308 4th St. S.E.
Minneapolis, MN 55414
Date: Sept. 25, 2013
Located in Dinkytown, the Varsity Theater is the best place in the area to find interesting music for those on a budget. Though the neighborhood is filled with University of Minnesota students, the Varsity caters to everyone and brings in the acts to prove it. On any given night, you can find worthwhile acts for $20 or less, and it’s always cheaper if you book in advance. Theo Katzman’s mesmerizing live show is certainly one you won’t want to miss. After a long day, the smooth vocals and upbeat melodies, and ever-optimistic message of this New York indie rocker, will put your mind and soul at ease. For only $12, you can look forward to a night of great music that will make autumn seem just a little bit brighter.
The Turf Club
1601 University Ave. W.
St. Paul, MN 55104
Date: Oct. 12, 2013
Local country and blues favorite Charlie Parr is an act always worth seeing. His gritty vocals fill every venue he plays with intensity, and the melodies that come from his banjo will haunt you for days. The musician, originally from Austin, Minn., is truly a local gem. For just the $10 in your pocket, you can check him out at one of the coolest music venues in the city. An intimate stage, an original bar from the joint’s inception in 1940 and one of the most diverse and an always interesting crowds to rock out with make this one of the must-see shows for anyone on a budget.
D.E.M.O. (Diverse Emerging Music Organization)
Wild Tymes’ Palace Stage
33 7th Place W.
St. Paul, MN 55102
Dates: Every Wednesday through Friday
The large stage at Wild Tymes hosts everything from karaoke to open mic, but Wednesday through Friday, D.E.M.O. takes over and puts some truly great music onstage. The best part? The shows are free. Many of the acts come from world-class music school McNally Smith, located right down the street, and the musicians studying there are some of the most creative, inspired and hardworking in the Twin Cities. Many traveling acts take the stage as well, and they’re always worth seeing. Be sure to check out acts like Uzza, the crazy alternative rockers from Minneapolis, and Felsen, an ambient, lo-fi group coming all the way from Oakland, this fall.
Jackson Scott with Prissy Clerks
7th Street Entry
701 First Ave. N.
Minneapois, MN 55403
Date: Sept. 16, 2013
7th Street Entry, the smaller and some would argue cooler stage at Minneapolis’ legendary First Avenue, hosts many different eclectic acts. Jackson Scott, a young musician from North Carolina, has been making a name for himself around the country, and his grungy guitar riffs, low-key vocals and memorable lyrics are reason enough to come out for this $10 show. The addition of Minneapolis rockers Prissy Clerks, known for high-energy guitar and searing vocals that have helped to redefine local pop music, make this show one of the best values of the fall.
Related: Best Permanent Exhibits In Minnesota
Adrian Schramm is a resident Saint Paul writer with a passion for all things local. Through his work with Saint Paul Almanac and Minneapolis Examiner at Examiner.com, as well as in the kitchens of bars and restaurants around town, he has discovered what truly makes the Twin Cities tick.