On a pilgrimage for great live music?
Join American Way's caravan to these up-and-coming music
scenes, where today's artists seek their big
Ask the person sitting next to you to rattle off a few cities that
are home to thriving up-and-coming music scenes. Cities that will
likely produce the next "big star." Chances are they'll recite one
or all of the following: New York, L.A., Chicago, even Austin or
Though all are proven spawning grounds for great talent, a number
of lesser-known spots offer the fan in all of us the chance to say
of next year's hot band, "I saw them when they were playing at this
Take the Twin Cities, for instance. On a recent Tuesday night at
Minneapolis' First Avenue & 7th Street Entry, where the club
scenes for Prince's Purple Rain were shot, we found nearly 1,000
people in attendance for "new band Tuesday." The talent was
certainly hit and miss; some could someday be a hit, and others,
well, they missed. But it didn't matter to these fans. "I love it.
I think it offers a chance to see something new and different from
what's already out there," says spectator Peggy Starr. "Minneapolis
is totally supportive of their local bands. You can see a local
band any night of the week ... and they sometimes get to open for
the big acts coming through here."
To help us get the skinny on Minneapolis and other burgeoning spots
for great local music, we talked to a host of radiodeejays and
program directors, whose business it is to take the pulse of their
music communities. What follows is a tale of four cities, each
overrun with area bands vying for the dream. Or, if nothing else,
keeping their parents up at night worrying about whether they'll
ever get a "real job."