The $15.6 million renovation of St. Paul’s long-dormant, 101-year-old Palace Theatre fills a crucial need in the Twin Cities music scene. The 2,800-capacity Palace provides a stylish general admission venue that fits in comfortably between the venerable State and Orpheum theaters in Minneapolis, and the outdated gymnasium that is the nearby Roy Wilkins Auditorium. Operated by First Avenue, the Palace burst out of the gates with a stellar string of top-quality bookings. Opening weekend in March saw a trio of high profile, sold-out shows from Atmosphere, Phantogram, and the Jayhawks. Regina Spektor and a two-night run from the String Cheese Incident kept the early musical momentum going. A diverse run of upcoming gigs includes names like Tycho, the xx, Slowdive, At the Drive In, Jason Isbell, Ryan Adams, Bryan Ferry, and the Pixies. The Palace’s sightlines, sound, and spaces are all impeccable, managing to make even larger shows feel intimate. So far, it looks like one of the best — and most essential — live music venue additions to the Twin Cities in years.
Readers’ Choice: First Avenue/7th St. Entry