Minneapolis is a beautiful city with plenty to do—when it isn’t freezing. So where do you turn during the long and frigid winter months? Music. Minneapolis has churned out a wide array of musicians, and its music scene is routinely named one of the top scenes in the country.
Prince, The Replacements, and Bob Dylan are arguably the most famous artists to come out of the Twin Cities, but you’d be surprised at how many others did as well: Morris Day, Semisonic, the Andrews Sisters, Motion City Soundtrack, Atmosphere, and Babes in Toyland, just to name a few. But here are the three big names along with how to walk in the footsteps of these music giants.
Prince: One of the most innovative and talented artists of our time, Prince was born in Minneapolis and even made his permanent home and recording studio, Paisley Park, in Chanhassen, Minnesota. You can now tour Paisley Park and see his iconic wardrobe, instruments, motorcycles, and awards. For more information, visit officialpaisleypark.com.
The Replacements: Formed in 1979, they are often considered the pioneers of alternative rock, influencing such bands as the Goo Goo Dolls, the Cribs, and the Gaslight Anthem. If you really want to walk in the footsteps of this band, pick up Bob Mehr’s biography of the Replacements, Trouble Boys, where you’ll find specific streets, neighborhoods, and even bus routes to explore.
Bob Dylan: Before anyone jumps on me, I know Bob Dylan isn’t from Minneapolis; he was born in Duluth, Minnesota, and spent his childhood in Hibbing, Minnesota. However, he attended the University of Minnesota and lived and regularly played in Dinkytown, a district in Minneapolis. Exploreminnesota.com has an in-depth, three-day Bob Dylan tour that leads you through Minneapolis, Hibbing and Duluth. And I do mean “in-depth”; this tour even goes to The Podium, a store where Dylan bought guitar strings in 1959.
The Historic Venue
First Avenue and 7th St. Entry have hosted some of the biggest music acts of all time. These two performance spaces housed in a landmark building in downtown Minneapolis have helped launch local bands like the Replacements, Semisonic, and Soul Asylum into the public eye. They’ve also acted as a stepping stone for Eminem, Joe Cocker, Metallica, and, of course, Prince. Oh, and they even filmed scenes for Purple Rain here. These venues need to be at the top of every music lover’s list of places to visit; these are hallowed halls.
*Photo courtesy First Avenue
For more music, check out our list of the best summer music festivals.