Father John Misty
In 2017, Father John Misty (aka Josh Tillman) released Pure Comedy, his third studio album under this moniker. His sardonic wit and unique instrumentation fuel a dark and delightful album topping best-of lists for the year. With lyrics alternately beautiful, disturbing, or confounding, his live shows—where Jim Morrison gyrations meet 21st-century social commentary—are not to be missed! Come kick off the summer under the glow of the Minneapolis skyline with headliner Father John Misty’s clever, existential musings.
We know. We love Feist too. Returning to Minnesota for the first time since 2012, Leslie Feist performs as the sun sets on the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden. With Pleasure (2017), the Canadian singer/songwriter’s first album in six years, the four-time Grammy nominee shows once again the extraordinary depth of her artistry. This new work emerges as Feist’s most formally defiant and expansive so far, reflecting on secrets and shame, loneliness and tenderness, care and fatigue. Get ready for “sparks of rock’n’roll … balanced with simmering introspection across a collection of patient, lushly arranged songs” (Pitchfork).
Summer has arrived when you feel the grass underfoot and the rumble of Kamasi Washington’s saxophone roll through your chest. Combining jazz, hip-hop, classical, and R&B, Washington’s award-winning album The Epic (2015) set him on a path as torchbearer for progressive, improvisational music. With projects spanning collaborations with Kendrick Lamar, John Legend, Run the Jewels, and Ibeyi as well as a multimedia installation Harmony of Difference at the 2017 Whitney Biennial, Washington refuses to be bound by genre. Taking in his full 10-piece band is a spiritual experience that will get hips moving and arms stretched up to the mid-June sky.
Ferocious. Vulnerable. Never what you expect. Minneapolis-based rapper, producer, and Doomtree cofounder P.O.S (Stefon Alexander) has a penchant for grinding beats and radical lyrics. Known for welding hip-hop with guitar squalls, screamed vocals, and futuristic beats, P.O.S blurs genres with Chill, dummy (2017), his fifth and most daring album to date. “What sticks with you is a sense of joy that surmounts all the anger and angst” (A.V. Club). Maintaining deep ties to his Minnesota roots, you may have seen his surprise guest appearance at Rock the Garden 2017 with up-and-comer Dwynell Roland. Get ready to shout it out as P.O.S takes center stage in 2018.
Hot damn. Nikki Lane is one part Loretta Lynn, one part Runways, served neat. She has been called the “First Lady of Outlaw Country,” a term she embraces. Lane’s stunning third album Highway Queen (2017) shows the young Nashville singer emerge as one of country and rock’s most gifted songwriters. Blending potent lyrics, unbridled blues guitars, and vintage ’60s country-pop swagger, she crafts new music that will resonate as easily with Lana Del Rey and Jenny Lewis fans as those of Neil Young and Tom Petty.
Melding folk, pop, soul, country, and gospel, Minneapolis-based Chastity Brown’s sound has been described as “nothing short of a massage therapist for the ears and soul” (Star Tribune). She’s a bright, rising star in the United States and Europe, thanks in part to a strong local following and captivating performances.
Low Cut Connie
There is nothing better than dancing with 10,000 of your friends on a sunny summer day, and Low Cut Connie’s signature brand of rock & roll chaos will push the party to new heights. It’s an explosive and fearless live show, bringing together rock, blues, and in-your-face piano. Since the band’s beginning in 2010, Low Cut Connie has been widely recognized both for their recordings and for “their ferocious live show … unmatched in all of rock right now” (Los Angeles Weekly).
The Guardian (UK) described Shame as “Britain’s most exciting new band,” and we tend to agree. They’re coming to us direct from London, bringing their brand of high-energy post-punk to Minneapolis for the first time (in the wake of their debut album Songs of Praise). It’s going to be the perfect complement to that signature Rock the Garden combination of sunshine, sweat, and electricity in the air.
The Walker Art Center and 89.3 The Current® present Rock the Garden 2018.
VIP Skybox Sponsor
The Minneapolis Sculpture Garden is a project of the Walker Art Center and the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board.
Rock the Garden is proud to be a zero-waste event in partnership with Eureka Recycling.