Xcel Energy Center is on quite an impressive roll as a concert hub this year. The St. Paul arena just landed Lorde’s first-ever Twin Cities date, and now comes news that Tool frontman Maynard James Keenan will come back for a second time this year to perform with one of his other bands, A Perfect Circle. Meanwhile, the X’s dismal neighbor the Roy Wilkins Auditorium has somehow become a hot spot again, with a newly announced LCD Soundsystem date also now on the books. Here’s the info on each of those shows:
LORDE (March 23, Xcel Energy Center): After breaking big out of New Zealand in 2013 at age 16 with the megahit “Royals,” the tempestuous alt-pop singer went on a relatively limited U.S. tour made up of many festival dates and never a Minnesota performance. Now that she has dropped her second album, “Melodrama,” she will finally make it here next spring three weeks into her 2018 North American tour, which starts in Milwaukee on March 1 and includes a March 24 stop in Lincoln, Neb., and a March 25 gig in Des Moines.
Tickets for St. Paul go on sale Friday, June 23, at 10 a.m. through Ticketmaster and the arena box office for $40-$100. Pre-sale options start Tuesday. An opener for the tour has not been announced yet.
A PERFECT CIRCLE (Nov. 25, Xcel Energy Center): Not seen in town since a 2011 show in Wilkins Auditorium, the all-star alt-metal band hit the road again this spring, then it took a break while Keenan returned to the Tool fold this summer (including a sold-out date at the X two weekends ago). And now APC will be back in action this fall. Those tickets also go on sale Friday at 10 a.m. through Ticketmaster and will be priced $40-$75. The Beta Machine will open.
Keenan’s bandmates on the tour will be: Billy Howerdel (Ashes Divide), James Iha (Tinted Windows, ex-Smashing Pumpkins), Jeff Friedl (Puscifer, the Beta Machine) and Matt McJunkins (Eagles of Death Metal, Beta Machine). They played two new songs on tour this spring but have not confirmed an album release yet. Place your bets on them or Tool getting a new LP out first.
LCD SOUNDSYSTEM (Nov. 9, Roy Wilkins Auditorium): Six years since their New York “farewell” shows, James Murphy and his beloved dance-punk troupe will return to St. Paul’s lousy old auditorium midway through a fall tour behind a newly announced album. Titled “American Dream,” the record will land Sept. 1 and has already produced two singles, “Call the Police” and the LP’s title track.
Tickets for the show also go on sale this Friday morning through Ticketmaster. Prices have not yet been announced.
The LCD crew will follow recently announced dates by Gorillaz, alt-J and Queens of the Stone Age at Wilkins Auditorium, a venue that Twin Cities musicheads had gladly left for dead when the refurbished Palace Theatre opened a few blocks away this pring. But there's still more room and thus more money to be made at "The Roy," so who cares what fans want? At least LCD Soundsystem is among the minority of bands who did manage to rise above the bad acoustics and aesthetics and put on a strong show there in 2010.