Summer does not mean the end of outdoor concerts. Many of the best are booked when fall begins. This year’s lineup features celebrity performers that light up every stage. Headliners such as Shania Twain, Joan Armatrading and Madonna are not to be missed. Rounding out the concert series are the edgy Breaking Benjamin and Machine Gun Kelly. Want to beat the noise, traffic and the cost of concert tickets? Then settle back for gentle bluegrass music where you can sip lemonade and, if you choose, join in the music.
Shania Twain Rocks The Country
600 1st Ave. N.
Minneapolis, MN 55403
Date: Sept. 26, 7:30 p.m.
Across the U.S., Canadian-born Shania Twain is the queen of country music, totaling over 85 million in record sales. Her early days in music were a struggle. But Twain became the fresh face of country music. Her new sound and a pivotally striking new look resonated with young fans and reinvented the genre. After a hiatus, Twain is again in the spotlight on a Rock The Country tour. Catch her performance at the Twin Cities Target Center. With special guest performer Gavin DeGraw, Twain will be rocking the country.
Joan Armatrading In The Heart Of Hopkins
Hopkins Center For The Arts
1111 Main St.
Hopkins, MN 55343
Date: Oct. 10, 8:00 p.m. (Social hour at 7:00 p.m.)
Tickets: (952) 979-1111
Some have called her a diffident music performer. But Joan Armatrading has performed to captive audiences for over 42 years. The singer/songwriter/musician/producer has succeeded in a breadth of American roots music genres: rock, reggae, folk, jazz, blues and pop. She continues to stretch herself with compositions in today’s music formats. Nominated for several awards, including a three-time Grammy nomination, Armatrading is the winner of the Ivor Novella. She drew early attention as a singer and acoustic guitar player. This concert is one of her rare solos.
Madonna Rebel Heart Tour
Xcel Energy Center
199 W. Kellogg Blvd.
Saint Paul, MN 55102
Date: Oct. 8, 8:00 p.m.
Madonna (originally Madonna Louise Ciccone) has always been a rebel at heart. She first trained to become a great modern dancer. But after stormy differences with her dance instructors, she struck out on her own as a rock and pop performer. Her daring lyrical content and provocative self-choreographed dance movements re-energized a jaded post-alternative music world. The Material Girl is still going strong, and you can see her perform live.
Bluegrass And Lemonade In The Shadee
20880 Olinda Trail
Scandia, MN 55073
Date: Sept. 27, 2:00 – 4:00 p.m.
Just bring a picnic basket and perhaps your own instrument. Sip lemonade and relax in lawn chairs provided at this family event. Listen to soothing bluegrass music or pick, plunk and harmonize with the music makers at this improvisational concert fest. It’s the perfect way to bid a fond goodbye to the summer season.
Trollwood Performing Arts School
801 50th Ave. S.
Moorhead, MN 56560
Date: Sept. 29, 7:00 p.m. (Gates open at 5:00 p.m.)
Tickets: (218) 477-6502
His “The Diary of Jane” has total achy breaky punk appeal. You’ll be able to hear more from Breaking Benjamin at the beautiful Bluestem Amphitheatre. Benjamin’s secret identity is Benjamin Burnley, who founded the band with drummer sidekick Jeremy Hummel. Stylistically, Benjamin’s music defies categorization. It’s been labeled alternative hard rock, post grunge, alternative heavy metal, heavy metal and simply alternative. Whatever it is, Benjamin overlaps nicely with style — strong but definitely not silent. No, Breaking Bad has nothing to do with it.
Machine Gun Kelly
Duluth Entertainment Convention Center (DECC)
350 Harbor Drive
Duluth, MN 55802
Phone: (218) 722-5573
Date: Oct. 6, 2015, 8:00 p.m.
Tickets: (218) 727-4344
This rap artist and actor knows how to take stage and screen by storm. Richard Colson Baker earned the nickname Machine Gun Kelly (aka MGK) because of his rapid fire rapper delivery. Not to be confused with the Alcatraz inmate (George Kelly Barnes) from Prohibition times, MGK had his share of troubled confrontations. But he persevered and penned lyrics and music about his experiences.
Related: Best Music Venues In The Twin Cities
Linda Cameron has written home design, home improvement and lifestyle articles for The Boston Globe and City Shopper Magazine. She has related interests in the building industry, travel, real estate and financing. She is a contributor to Examiner, House Spot, Techsling and Behance, covering topics on career, people, businesses, education and technology.