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Ben Gibbard and Death Cab for Cutie return to Minnesota on July 9. / Amy Harris, Invision/AP

Ben Gibbard and Death Cab for Cutie return to Minnesota on July 9. / Amy Harris, Invision/AP

While the proposed construction of a riverfront amphitheater in Minneapolis is moving ahead, at least for 2019 music fans in town will still have to head out of town to take in big amphitheater tours outside of the State Fair shows. There are already two newly announced dates that will probably be worth the drive.

TRAMPLED BY TURTLES AND AVETT BROTHERS (Sept. 21, Treasure Island Casino Amphitheater): Treasure Island’s new multi-million-dollar amphitheater proved a fun and reliable venue in its debut last summer, but it mostly only saw classic-rock and country acts for its first year. That changes when the homegrown acoustic pickers in Trampled pair up with the cultishly adored Avetts, who went over well at competing Mystic Lake Casino last fall.

Tickets are already on sale via Ticketmaster at $42-$99 for reserved seats or $35 for lawn general-admission. Treasure Island is less than an hour southeast of Minneapolis near Red Wing. So far, the casino’s only other outdoor concert for the year is Lynyrd Skynyrd’s ongoing farewell tour on July 19.

Minnesota fans can also probably expect another big, outdoor Trampled gig in July at what’s still the best outdoor venue in the state, Bayfront Festival Park in Duluth.

DEATH CAB FOR CUTIE (July 9, Vetter Stone Amphitheater): Two weeks after they play Red Rocks near Denver, Ben Gibbard and his revived band will hit the similarly rock-lined – albeit much flatter and less scenic -- amphitheater in downtown Mankato. Something of an unsung venue, the Vetter Stone is about 90 minutes southwest of the Twin Cities and holds about 3,500 people. Buzzing Chicago indie-rocker Lala Lala, aka Lillie West, will open the show. Tickets go on sale next Saturday, Jan. 25, at 10 a.m. via Ticketmaster for $30-$75, with pre-sale options starting Wednesday.